SportsUtah Hockey Club


'Spicy Tuna' excited to bring hard-nosed brand of hockey to Utah

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jun 28, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — As the Utah Hockey Club has been busy signing players to new contracts ahead of Friday's NHL Draft, the team made sure to secure the player who has quickly became a fan favorite.

Liam O'Brien brought the crowd to a roar at the team's welcome party in April simply by introducing himself. 

"My name is Liam O'Brien and you guys can call me Spicy Tuna, and I cannot wait to get this place buzzing!" he yelled. "Let's go!

O'Brien inked a new 3-year contract extension this week worth a reported $3 million, meaning Utah will now be home for Spicy Tuna, his wife and their new baby.

"Me and my wife couldn't stop smiling," he said. "My baby girl is just over there. Just super excited to be bringing my family to Utah. Just a really good place to be and a really good place to have a family."

Originally arriving in the league back in 2014, O'Brien is coming off his best season in the NHL with 5 goals and 9 assists. He's excited to keep it going with his teammates in Utah.

"I knew I wanted to stay. The group that we have, we're really close and we've been through a lot together. I've formed a really strong bond with a lot of my teammates," he shared Tuesday. "There was no doubt, I knew i wanted to be in Utah."

Known as an enforcer on the ice, O'Brien had career highs in penalty minutes and hits last season as a member of the franchise previously known as the Arizona Coyotes.

"It's the best feeling in the world, and the second best feeling in the world is when you get hit and wakes you up, and you're like, 'Okay, now I've got to go run somebody," he explained.

Overall, the 29-year-old has played three-and-a-half seasons in the NHL and improved every year.

"I find every year I just continually have gotten better and nothing is going to change," he said. "I am going to continue to work. That's just part of who I am and I'm really excited to be able to that in Utah.

"It's the best job in the world. We are privileged to be able to do what we do and there's just nothing else I would rather be doing than being able to go the rink and and compete and try to win a Stanley Cup."

Catch all Utah Hockey Club games on Utah 16 this fall!