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Utah Hockey Club signs 'Spicy Tuna,' Liam O'Brien, to new deal

Posted at 10:45 AM, Jun 26, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — The player Utah Hockey Club fans have already come to know and love as "Spicy Tuna" has signed a new deal to keep him in Salt Lake City.

Forward Liam O'Brien inked a three-year contact Wednesday, the team announced.

The 26-year-old played in 75 games for the franchise last season, putting up five goals and nine assists, while also leading the NHL in penalty minutes.

"Yesterday, me and my wife couldn't stop smiling," said O'Brien. "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."

Apart from his statistics, O'Brien immediately endeared himself to fans when he took the microphone to introduce himself at the "Welcome the Team" party in April.

"My name is Liam O'Brien, you guys can call me Spicy Tuna!," he said to roaring cheers, "and I cannot wait to get this place buzzing!

"Let's go!"

On Wednesday, O'Brien used the word "refreshing" when discussing the team's new ownership since the Smith Entertainment Group took over after years of failed arena construction attempts and other team issues in Phoenix.

After originally going undrafted, O'Brien's NHL career began as a free agent signing by the Washington Capitals in 2014. He later came to the Coyotes ahead of the 2021-22 season.

“[Liam] adds energy, grit and physical presence to the line-up every night that will greatly complement the excitement we expect from Utah hockey fans, especially in our inaugural season," said Utah Hockey Club General Manager Bill Armstrong. "We look forward to having Liam on our roster for the next several seasons.”

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