Bob McKenzie just tweeted:
Carolina?? That's like a bad joke. This is from just last year...
[MORE AFTER JUMP]
A couple of hours ago, I wrote about how upset I was with the Justin Williams for Patrick O’Sullivan for Erik Cole deal. I lamented the fact that Patrick O’Sullivan would have been a phenomenal player to have here and the Canes should have left it at that. Well, it turns out that it would have been impossible for O’Sullivan to play here. For his well-being. When Patrick O’Sullivan looks for his dad in the crowd after a game, he’s not doing it for normal reasons. He’s doing it because he hopes that dad isn’t there. Patio’s father, John, is one of the biggest jerks in America, and he lives right here in North Carolina. He was an abusive father and he’s had numerous restraining orders placed against him by his ex-wife and also by Patrick. He’s banned from entering any Ontarian hockey rink and there are now efforts to have a permanent restraining order, valid in all 50 US states. None of that matters, because John O’Sullivan has violated every restraining order and is rightly perceived as a physical threat.
Now, I just hope that somehow in the last year this has all magically been resolved. I don't really think it's possible, but I guess there could have been a miracle. Maybe John O'Sullivan doesn't even live in North Carolina anymore. I think I read somewhere that Patrick got married this summer, so maybe he's reached out to his dad. I don't know. I assume we'll be getting updates on this story over the next few days.
For the last seven or so years, I've been rooting for Patrick O'Sullivan. A lot of people have been. Even when he was in his contentious contract battle with Kings management (followed by an underperforming season and subsequent trade), I'm sure everyone wanted him to turn it around. And in Edmonton, despite the joy a sports fan gets from his team "winning a trade," I never got much pleasure from Patrick's struggles with the Oilers, or his buy-out in Phoenix. It's just too sad. Like one of those "struggle against adversity/rising up against all odds" movies, only with the wrong ending.
Now he's signing in Carolina. I guess if you were writing his story as a tragedy, that's how you would write it.
Here's the original, now seven year old, story from CBC. Still sickening and surreal. Follow the link and read the whole thing.
In January 2003 Patrick played at the Ottawa Civic Centre. It was a night he would never forget. Patrick's final confrontation with his father came after a hockey game. He wasn't having a good night and assistant coach Washkurak could hear his father's wrath in the stands. John was pounding on the glass shouting to his son that his hockey career was over.
JOE WASHKURAK: I remember that night particularly because it was the worst he's been.
BOB MCKEOWN: How did Patrick respond?
JOE WASHKURAK: He was pretty embarrassed. A lot of our players were looking at each other like - this doesn't happen. This isn't supposed to happen in major junior hockey.