Liam O’Brien On New Contract With Utah Hockey Club: “It’s Where I Wanted To Be”

Jun 26, 2024, 4:28 PM

Liam O'Brien Arizona Coyotes Utah Hockey Club...

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 06: Liam O'Brien #38 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Seattle Kraken during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena on April 06, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Hockey Club forward Liam O’Brien (also known as Spicy Tuna) joined the KSL Sports Zone after signing a three-year contract on Wednesday.

After becoming an early fan favorite in Utah, O’Brien will hit the Delta Center ice with his old teammates in October.

“I’m just really happy we were able to get it done,” O’Brien said. “It was where I wanted to be. To have the opportunity to play in Utah and also in the NHL for three more years, there’s nothing better than that.”

It has been a busy offseason for “Spicy Tuna”.

On top of moving over 600 miles from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, O’Brien and his wife, Adela, welcomed their first child into the world last month.

RELATED: Utah Hockey’s Liam O’Brien Announces Birth Of Daughter

“I had a lot of people try to scare me,” O’Brien said. “It’s been pretty good. She has been really good to us. It has been an amazing six weeks. I have my mom coming in next week to meet her for the first time so just really looking forward to that.”


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A post shared by Liam O’Brien (@official_big_tuna)

It really will be a new chapter for O’Brien and the rest of the players coming over to Utah.

The problems in Arizona became more apparent last season but O’Brien looked back on years of problems.

“There were definitely some days where as a group we were disgruntled,” O’Brien said. “I think that just made us that much closer. We went through a lot of obstacles, ups and downs, and disappointment throughout my three years there.”

Smith Entertainment Group attempted to make the transition as smooth as possible for the players.

From the initial conversations to the welcome party, SEG’s efforts were noticed and appreciated by the players.

“For all the guys, I think it was a breath of fresh air,” O’Brien said. “How chill (Ryan Smith) was about the whole thing. Just coming in, sitting down, and shooting everything to us straight. Obviously, coming to Utah was incredible. It’s been refreshing for all the guys.”

Utah Hockey Club Inks Deal With Liam O’Brien

Utah hockey club signed fan-favorite Liam O’Brien (also known as Spicy Tuna) to a three-year deal, the club announced Wednesday.

O’Brien stole the hearts of Utah fans upon their first meeting at the Delta Center this Spring. He told fans if they kept showing up, he’d “run through a wall” for them.

Per club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to sign Liam to a three-year contract,” said Utah Hockey Club General Manager Bill Armstrong. “He 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. We look forward to having Liam on our roster for the next several seasons.”

Shortly after O’Brien’s deal was announced, the center spoke with the media and shared excitement about his future in Utah.

“Super excited to be bringing my family to Utah. A really good place to have a family,” O’Brien told KSL Sports.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host of the Jazz Notes podcast, a Locals In The NFL Insider, and Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Liam O’Brien On New Contract With Utah Hockey Club: “It’s Where I Wanted To Be”