Liam O’Brien, aka “The Big Tuna,” is a rough and tough kind of player for Hershey and that is exactly what we expected from him. He inked a new contract with the franchise, avoiding a scheduled arbitration. In his last two seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QJMHL) Liam racked up 164 PIM in the 2012-13 season and 148 in the 2013-14 season prior to coming to the Bears.
Liam had an interesting start in the Caps organization, playing 13 games and scoring one goal and one assist with the Capitals before making his Hershey debut in the 2013-14 season. Even in his short 45 game season with the Bears he managed to accumulate 121 PIM, in comparison Tom Wilson totaled 172 PIM in his inaugural season with Washington. Many of Liam’s penalties like Tom’s have come as a result of the many fights he has had. Perhaps in our favorites were the fights Liam had with Tom Sestito during the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2016.
Liam’s numbers in the beginning of his AHL career left something to be desired but we have seen him improve each season just like Tom has in the NHL. But do the Caps really NEED another Tom Wilson? In our opinion, we think there is only space for one Tom Wilson in the show. Unlike Liam, Tom was given the opportunity to make it big and he took full advantage of that, making a name for himself any way he could good or bad… Tom also took the NHL by storm this season by doubling his number of goals and doing almost the same in the assist department from the 2016-17 season and leading the NHL in penalties with 58 this season. But can Liam follow in the footsteps of Tom Wilson?
Liam brings the grit and power to the lineup every night and plays his heart out. We can see that he loves playing with the group of guys that are lucky enough to call Hershey home and that is what helps them win games.
Read our Hershey Bear reports to meet the players.