Shane O’Brien just took a run at Bo Horvat, and he did not let up.
The 39-year-old former Canucks defenceman did not take kindly to Horvat’s recent comments about Vancouver, and he doesn’t appear to be accepting of his apology either.
“It’s a lot better than Vancouver; I’ll tell you that for free,” Horvat said in a post-game interview last week when asked where his experience with the Islanders ranks.
Two days later, Horvat apologized, saying his emotions got the best of him.
“I didn’t mean any disrespect to the fans of Vancouver or my teammates or the city of Vancouver at all. It wasn’t directed at them at all,” Horvat told reporters.
O’Brien, who now co-hosts the Missin Curfew podcast with former NHLer Scottie Upshall, first tried to understand Horvat’s comments, before ripping into the former Canucks captain.
“If he was taking a shot at the management and the front office, then good on ya Bo. I don’t know what happened with those conversations that went through your negotiations, I don’t know the day-to-day stuff that happened as an organization. I don’t know how that front office is being run,” O’Brien said on the podcast.
But ultimately, O’Brien wasn’t buying the apology to fans.
“To me, he took a shot at the fans. And as an ex-player that loved my time in Vancouver, I’m going to say, Bo, you were the captain of the f*cking Canucks. You didn’t get them in the playoffs.”
O’Brien, who played 141 games for the Canucks in the regular season and 22 more in the playoffs over a span of two seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10, had a much different Vancouver experience than Horvat.
The Canucks not only made the playoffs in both those years, but they also topped their division and made it to the second round each time. Horvat, meanwhile, was stuck on a bad team for most of his Canucks tenure.
The Canucks lost the sixth-most number of games in the NHL during Horvat’s time in Vancouver, which began in the 2014-15 season and ended when he was traded to the New York Islanders on January 30.
O’Brien believes Horvat should take a significant portion of the blame for that though, particularly since he was named captain in 2019.
“You got three f*cking coaches fired Bo… all when you’re the captain. And when you’re the captain, like it or not, it comes down on your shoulders,” O’Brien said. “And if you want to say Long Island is better than Vancouver, and this is no disrespect to the Long Island fans… there is no way it’s a better place to play than Vancouver.
“When you win, and you live in that f*cking city, it’s the best f*cking place to play in the world to play. The place is rocking, the fans are great, and when you’re not playing great Bo, yeah they’re going to throw f*cking jerseys on the f*cking ice. To me, he was backtracking like a motherf*cker, Vancouver fans are the best in the league, and when you don’t play well, they’re going to give it to you. And that’s their right.
“For him to take a shot at the Vancouver fans and the city of Vancouver, come on Bo, that’s not going to sit well with me. And it’s on you. You didn’t get into the playoffs. You didn’t do shit when you were there. I personally think they’re better off without him… He can backtrack all he wants, I never thought they should have signed Bo Horvat.”
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Horvat is an unlikely villain in this story, given how beloved he was during his time with the Canucks.
There were certainly fans that took offence to what Horvat said, though O’Brien’s level of anger appears to be far from universal in Canucks Nation.
But for O’Brien, who clearly loved his time with the Canucks, he seemed to take Horvat’s comments personally.
“When it was GM Place, and you wanted to come in there, it was f*cking rocking. It was a hard place to play, and our fans were great. They were loud, they were drunk, and it was f*cking a great city.
“And you go out after wins, people would buy you drinks… The Vancouver Canucks fans are fair, and they are passionate, and they’re great f*cking people.”
.@ShaneOBrien55 shoots on the Bo Horvat Vancouver comments and sends a strong message to the City he once called home #MissinCurfew Ep 173 | @LabattUSA #Canucks | #Isles pic.twitter.com/nXUXIJ0C1N
— Missin Curfew (@MissinCurfew) April 14, 2023