Flames assign O’Brien, recall Breen

It hasn’t been the best season for Shane O’Brien, and now the seven-year NHL vet is heading back to the AHL where his professional career began.

O’Brien, drafted 250th overall in 2003 by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, was dealt to the Flames in June by the Colorado Avalanche in a package with David Jones that brought Corey Sarich and Alex Tanguay back the other way.

At the beginning of his career, O’Brien spent three seasons with the Ducks’ affiliates — two with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and one year in Portland with the Pirates.

To fill O’Brien’s spot, the Flames have recalled 24-year-old Chris Breen from Abbotsford. Breen, who has spent the last three seasons with the Heat, will get a chance to suit up for just his sixth NHL game in the recall.

Breen signed with the Flames at the culmination of his junior career, where he spent five seasons between the Peterborough Petes, Erie Otters, and Saginaw Spirit.

In 20 games with the Heat this season, Breen has tallied three assists.

Flames ink giant D Breen

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have re-signed defenceman Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract.

The mammoth defenceman — he stands at 6’7″ and weighs 223 lbs. — will be back with the Abbotsford Heat next season. Breen, who landed with the Heat after signing with the club as a free agent on an amateur tryout in 2010, has been a regular for the squad over the last three seasons. In those 211 games, the 24-year-old blue liner has put up nine goals and 18 assists.

While he doesn’t quite have the frame of Zdeno Chara, Breen is a giant on the blue line and can punish opponents with his size, and utilize his long reach to keep attackers at bay. Though he signed an NHL deal with the Flames just two months after inking his ATO with the Heat, Breen hasn’t been able to crack the big club’s lineup, and it’s unlikely he will anytime soon.

The financial terms of the deal have not been released.