Rush trade for toughness

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

Edmonton Rush head coach and general manger Bob Hamley felt his team needed to get tougher.

So he went out and acquired one of the toughest guys in the National Lacrosse League.

Yesterday the Rush announced they had signed free agent forward Tim O'Brien, who had spent the last three seasons with the Toronto Rock.

"He's a tough kid," Hamley said. "What we liked about him is that he's really trying to improve his game. The knock on him was that he couldn't play.

"But he has a great attitude, is a really good team guy and we felt that maybe we got pushed around a little bit last year so we really wanted to address that."

O'Brien, 31, had 109 penalty minutes in 29 NLL games which includes stops in Albany, Rochester and New York.

Two seasons ago, the six-foot-one, 200-pounder got the better of Rush enforcer Daryl Welsh in a spirited and memorable bout at Rexall Place.

This summer O'Brien played with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks where he scored a goal and added an assist with 20 penalty minutes in 12 games.

"By all reports he played pretty well," Hamley said. "I saw him a couple of nights when I was there. He really wanted to be back in the league and so we want to give him that opportunity."


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