LINUS OMARK: POLITICS AND HONESTY

Robin Brownlee
October 04 2010 02:38PM

Linus Omark didn't try to hide his disappointment and frustration at being sent to the minors by the Edmonton Oilers this morning when he spoke with reporters at Rexall Place.

The skilled 23-year-old Swede is ticketed to the AHL with Oklahoma City after failing to do enough, at least in the minds of those calling the shots, to earn a spot among the Oilers top nine forwards.

There's a lot of people out there, me included, who saw that writing on the wall because it looked, at least from where I sit, like the diminutive winger didn't really get an honest shot at showcasing his skills -- outside of an appearance on a line with Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner.

Summoned to face obligatory questions from the media -- "Linus, is it disappointing that . . .?" -- Omark didn't sugar-coat his feelings after getting the bad news.

WHAT HE SAID

"Of course I'm disappointed, but I'm going to go to Oklahoma and do my best and, hopefully, I come back," Omark said.

Omark was then asked what, if anything, the Oilers said to him regarding the reason he was being demoted. "What did they say? That they're going to work on some stuff and they want to see me here, but I'm going to go there," he said.

Then, Omark was asked by Jim Matheson of The Journal if he thought he picked the wrong time to come to Edmonton because of all the young, skilled players the Oilers have vying for jobs. "You can see that way, but I'm a better right now than I was last year, so I don't know," Omark said.

Dan Tencer of 630 CHED asked Omark for his impressions of participating in an NHL training camp. Omark's response had reporters scribbling.

"It's a little bit different," Omark said. "It's a lot of politics here. I just couldn't play my game . . . hopefully, I come back."

NO COMMENT

Omark was then asked if he felt that he was given a fair opportunity. "I don't want to discuss that, but I want to play a lot, so that's all I can say," he said.

Dave Mitchell of CTV followed up by tossing Omark a grenade, asking him if the Oilers are the best organization for him at this point in his career. To that, Omark offered: "No comment."  Matheson followed up by offering Omark didn't sound like he agreed with the decision to send him to Oklahoma City.

"I'm very disappointed, but it's not up to me," he said. "I think I played better and better every day, but, yeh, that's the way it works." Tencer asked if Omark was hopeful of being recalled. "I don't know," he said. "I'm just going to do my best in Oklahoma and see what happens."

Mitchell asked if Omark thought he had the "offensive skill-set" and the quickness to play here.

"It doesn't matter what I think," he said. "I think I showed you I can handle this game."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#151 Sweet Jibs
October 04 2010, 09:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Elaine wrote:

The thing that bugs me about Omark is that he really didn't get a fair chance. I think the decision to send him down was made before the training camp even opened. Thus if they had played him fairly in camp with other skilled players he would have screwed their plan and might have forced them to keep him on the roster. Politics is always a factor, like it or not. The Oilers don't always keep the best players, always looking for something else.

This is the issue. Sometimes it's a numbers game. If someone falters, or gets injured, its going to be him or Giroux getting the call. Not necessarily a bad place to be....

/Thread.

Avatar
#152 rindog
October 04 2010, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Sweet Jibs wrote:

Sorry to say but Cogliano is not a "tweener". He does need to establish a role for himself on this team but lets not get carried away.

Hmmm???

I kinda figured a player that doesn't fit (or have a role) after 3 full seasons would be considered a "tweener".

What exactly is a "tweener" then?

Avatar
#153 Sweet Jibs
October 04 2010, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

Hmmm???

I kinda figured a player that doesn't fit (or have a role) after 3 full seasons would be considered a "tweener".

What exactly is a "tweener" then?

I suppose in that context he would. When I hear/see the word "tweener", I think of a player who can't seem to stick in the NHL and bounces up and down - a la Liam Reddox.

Avatar
#154 Eddie Shore
October 04 2010, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

Hmmm???

I kinda figured a player that doesn't fit (or have a role) after 3 full seasons would be considered a "tweener".

What exactly is a "tweener" then?

Cogliano did have a role on this team until Quinn had the brilliant idea that rolling all four lines can work and he stuck Cogs on the 4th line.

Avatar
#155 rindog
October 04 2010, 10:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

2 points in 25 games resembles the numbers of a 4th liner, doesn't it?

The question is...

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Avatar
#156 Buckwheat
October 04 2010, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Wow! Lots of opinions, lots of passion. Guess that's part of what makes Oilers fans the best in the league . . .

Days end, none of us know what ST has in mind vis a vis the trade department. We know he's a ditherer, but we also know he must trade Souray; what we don't know is who we we have to package with him. (I'm pretty sure I'm right; if he's not been able to trade Souray straight up after God knows how many months, there has to be a sweetner and thus it becomes more complex.) Further, I'm going to guess that Cogliano's name has been mentioned more than once.

Linus Omark is 23 years old. He's from Sweden, English is a second language. Straight from the heart, he says he's disappointed. Reading between the lines, he doesn't feel that he had a 'fair,' shot.

Linus Omark is also not familiar with the politics that exist within every NHL club, the Oilers do not have an exclusive. Fact is, in this NHL, larger is perceived as better, and without getting pedantic, who's to argue? The adjective 'sandpaper,' is getting way more airtime than it deserves, nevertheless, to some degree, it's needed. Teams cannot win with 4 scoring lines, teams cannot afford to have their best players physically intimidated, teams in fact need a physical component, a physical presence. That's why the Oilers have Smack, that's why Zorgatini and Peckham make the club.

Nevertheless, despite the fact Renney, excepting for one game, decided to play Omark on lines composed of players with somewhat less than offensive talent. Huh? What's wrong with this picture? What's that meant to demonstrate or prove? Was it a secret that Omark is (could be,) an elite offensive talent? Was it a secret that he's but 5'9 and ill-suited to bash, crash, and otherwise provide a physical presence in the corners?

From the word 'go,' Linus Omark was always destined for OK, short of a trade of one of the destined 9. Like him, I don't feel that he was given a 'fair,' shot, otherwise he would have played all his exhibition games with more talented linemates.

The AHL won't kill him, in fact he'll be far more knowledgable and wise regarding the who's what's why's and wherefor's of life in the NHL. More, the experience will benefit him skill-wise, there's most assuredly an adjustment to a smaller ice surface habitated by far more physical players than he's accustomed to. He'll also tear it up, (I think,) motivating, if need be, ST to move heaven and earth to find a place for him.

I'll never forget the year the Flames had Martin St.Louis at training camp those many years ago. The press had it that Martin had been a scorer at every level he'd ever played at, and the player himself hoped there was no reason why the NHL should be any different. And, they wrote that because he showed well at TC. Well, next thing you know good old Martin was gone, the braintrust explaining that although he was offensively talented, they didn't think, (reading between the lines,) that he was physically capable of playing a full year without injury. Besides, said they, although he had scoring prowess his defense was very much a concern.

I don't suggest that Omark is the second coming of Martin St.Louis, nor do I suggest he's a Theoron Fluery in the making. We don't know what he is yet, and we never will unless we give the guy a shot. I think he's going to jam it up ST's arse, and frankly, I look forward to it. . .

Off topic: If Jordan Eberley is quoted using the word "obviously," one more time, I'm gonna write him a nasty letter.

Further off topic: ST is clearly not familiar with the phrase, "too much analysis leads to paralysis." Gonna be interesting as to what happens with 3 goaltenders, perhaps a trade involving Souray, a goalie, and Cogliano?

And finally: Rant is over.

Avatar
#157 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 04 2010, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

2 points in 25 games resembles the numbers of a 4th liner, doesn't it?

The question is...

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Seeing as he put up 2nd line numbers when put in a 2nd line roll....

Avatar
#158 Sweet Jibs
October 04 2010, 10:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

2 points in 25 games resembles the numbers of a 4th liner, doesn't it?

The question is...

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

That is slightly cherry picking some stats to support your argument I'd say.

Avatar
#159 DN
October 04 2010, 10:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

At this stage , given that we know the line up. What are the best line combinations to start the season ?

Avatar
#160 rindog
October 04 2010, 10:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

It's not cherry picking. We all watched him play last year.

The 4th line was a bonus for him. On most nights he deserved to be up in the press box.

I liked his effort on a lot of nights, but his effectiveness was very questionable.

He has played 3 full seasons and the only things that really stick out for me is a 20 game stretch in his rookie year and a few overtime winners in a row. Other than that there were many, many nights that if you didn't look at the game sheet, you wouldn't know he even played.

I might feel a bit more optimistic if he came to camp and lit it up.

He didn't, so I my questions still remained unanswered.

If you are telling me that he is a proven veteran that is just using TC to get his legs under him - I don't buy it.

He (of all people) had a lot to prove this TC, and I didn't see much. I look at him and then I look at a guy like Brule. They are the same age, height and weight and yet Brule goes on makes a difference on a regular basis.

Brule seems to get it. If he is not scoring he is hitting or engaging the opposition.

What does Cogliano do?

Avatar
#161 rindog
October 04 2010, 10:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

OB1

I seem to remember Cogliano getting time on the 2nd line and doing basically nothing. Then 3rd line... then 4th line...

Don't get me wrong, I really want the guy to do well - but his game has not progressed at all (I would argue that it has regressed).

I just fell there are better options in the organization, that would do better with the icetime.

Avatar
#162 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 04 2010, 10:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

It's not cherry picking. We all watched him play last year.

The 4th line was a bonus for him. On most nights he deserved to be up in the press box.

I liked his effort on a lot of nights, but his effectiveness was very questionable.

He has played 3 full seasons and the only things that really stick out for me is a 20 game stretch in his rookie year and a few overtime winners in a row. Other than that there were many, many nights that if you didn't look at the game sheet, you wouldn't know he even played.

I might feel a bit more optimistic if he came to camp and lit it up.

He didn't, so I my questions still remained unanswered.

If you are telling me that he is a proven veteran that is just using TC to get his legs under him - I don't buy it.

He (of all people) had a lot to prove this TC, and I didn't see much. I look at him and then I look at a guy like Brule. They are the same age, height and weight and yet Brule goes on makes a difference on a regular basis.

Brule seems to get it. If he is not scoring he is hitting or engaging the opposition.

What does Cogliano do?

So just so we're all on the same page here, you don't like Cogliano?

Avatar
#163 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 04 2010, 11:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

OB1

I seem to remember Cogliano getting time on the 2nd line and doing basically nothing. Then 3rd line... then 4th line...

Don't get me wrong, I really want the guy to do well - but his game has not progressed at all (I would argue that it has regressed).

I just fell there are better options in the organization, that would do better with the icetime.

Yes, like the vast majority of the team he essentially played on every line.

I'd have to go back and break it down, but he did produce when finally paired with Penner and Brule.

off the the top of my head though, he spent the majority of the rest of the season with Moreau/Stortini

Avatar
#164 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 04 2010, 11:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

OB1

I seem to remember Cogliano getting time on the 2nd line and doing basically nothing. Then 3rd line... then 4th line...

Don't get me wrong, I really want the guy to do well - but his game has not progressed at all (I would argue that it has regressed).

I just fell there are better options in the organization, that would do better with the icetime.

.

Avatar
#165 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 04 2010, 11:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

OB1

I seem to remember Cogliano getting time on the 2nd line and doing basically nothing. Then 3rd line... then 4th line...

Don't get me wrong, I really want the guy to do well - but his game has not progressed at all (I would argue that it has regressed).

I just fell there are better options in the organization, that would do better with the icetime.

.

Avatar
#166 rindog
October 04 2010, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

That's a fair assumption...

I guess if you would like, you could try to give me an argument as to why (or what) I should like about Cogliano (besides having scored the 3rd most goals on the team over the past 3 years having played all 286 games when most of our other offensive players have been sidelined for large amounts of time with injuries, illness, etc).

Avatar
#167 Wanyes bastard child
October 04 2010, 11:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@rindog

dawgbone? is that you?

Avatar
#168 Eddie Shore
October 04 2010, 11:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

That's a fair assumption...

I guess if you would like, you could try to give me an argument as to why (or what) I should like about Cogliano (besides having scored the 3rd most goals on the team over the past 3 years having played all 286 games when most of our other offensive players have been sidelined for large amounts of time with injuries, illness, etc).

1. First round draft pick.

2. Back to back 18 goal seasons with little to no powerplay minutes.

3. 10/28 playing with absolute plugs for linemates as well as little to no pp time.

4. He's 23 and has played 3 years in the NHL.

5. He's 23.

6. He's 23.

~Yea, this guy's career is over.

Avatar
#169 rindog
October 04 2010, 11:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Just to further comment on your claim of Cogliano having scored the 3rd most goals in the last 3 years...

Over the last 3 seasons there have been 7 forwards (excluding Pisani) that have been with the organization on a regular basis (and playing on the top 3 lines).

Penner (242 games, 72 goals) - Horcoff (210 games, 51 goals) - Hemsky (168 games, 50 goals) - Cogliano (246 games, 46 goals) - Gagner (223 games - 44 goals) - Nilsson (195 games, 30 goals) - Moreau 178 games, 28 goals)

We could also look at GPG (goals per game) during these same three years.

Hemsky (.30gpg) - Penner (.30gpg) - Horcoff (.24gpg) - Gagner (.20gpg) - Cogliano (.20gpg) - Moreau (.16gpg) - Nilsson (.153gpg)

So the way I see it, Cogliano has the 4th most goals out the 7 offensive forwards and the 5th best goals per game average of the same 7 forwards.

Am I mistaken or are your numbers inaccurate?

Avatar
#170 rindog
October 04 2010, 11:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Alaskan Pipeline

1. So was Jason Bonsignore (and a lot higher pick as well).

2. Followed up by a 10 goal season and decreasing point totals in each season.

3. His play dictated his icetime. He started on a better than line than Gagner did to start the season...

4. So?

5. So?

6. So?

I never said his career is over, but the Oilers have better options for the type of role they need him to play.

Avatar
#171 andrewmk20
October 04 2010, 11:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Buckwheat

I agree and it's not just about guys who can throw punches. Diversity is needed because on nights were the skill players just aren't clicking or the other team has found a way to trap the neutral zone effectively physical grinders who can do the board work ,forecheck and physically grind down the opposition is just as required as skill. If your team is too heavy one way or another you can be neutralized more easily. Whereas if your team can come at an opponent in a lot of different ways it's tough to beat them. Hence why the Capitals exited early while the Blackhawks hoisted the cup

Avatar
#172 Eddie Shore
October 04 2010, 11:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rindog wrote:

Alaskan Pipeline

1. So was Jason Bonsignore (and a lot higher pick as well).

2. Followed up by a 10 goal season and decreasing point totals in each season.

3. His play dictated his icetime. He started on a better than line than Gagner did to start the season...

4. So?

5. So?

6. So?

I never said his career is over, but the Oilers have better options for the type of role they need him to play.

They don`t have a better option, hence him having a spot on this team. I`m done arguing with you.

Avatar
#173 Evilstu
October 05 2010, 12:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

You guys crack me up.

Enjoy the season people.

Quit letting your excessive estrogen rule your thoughts.

God bless hockey.

Avatar
#174 Bill
October 05 2010, 12:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is a little late but it really bugs me that our media kept digging to create an issue/ controversy for their own interest. As you pointed out his first response was that he was going to OK city to work hard. That is a great response. I can understand a couple more of the questions but after a while it was clear they were looking for a story. Even if it makes the player mad and anti Edmonton or the fans angry at the team. It is interested that the same so called journalists spent the summer drooling over the Detroit organization which almost always sends young players to the minors to groom them and now they are looking to create controversy because the Oilers are doing the same? Quite interesting and almost discusting! This is a long term plan to build a team and I for one think it is going well.

Avatar
#175 J-Dogg
October 05 2010, 01:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Buckwheat

I enjoyed your post and agree 100%

I've had an eye on Omark for a couple years now and was as excited as anyone to see what he could do in training camp if they gave him some space to run and some offensive guys to play with.

I was up near the front of, if not riding shotgun on, the indignant outrage wagon when he winded up getting far less time in these ideal conditions to showcase his game and sent down to OKC.

But as many have posted here, when you get a better sense of the picture being painted by all the inference and implications of the oiler's staff and the final current starting roster composition, I'm more convinced that this has worked out for the best.

It's clear he's hungry to show he's NHL calibre and to be there doing so, and a short stint in OKC will only add fuel to the fire that's clearly been lit under him already, in addition to boosting his confidence and understanding of the North American game.

He will indeed be in front of the queue for call ups, but the comment of management working on things, seems indicative of needing some time to make space for him in the roster. I could be wrong but I'm also tempted to think they mean to package Cogs in a trade, move Brule to center and throw Omark in on the wing, which would suit me just fine.

Anyway long story short, I'm happy with this scenario now, as I think it benefits both Omark and the Oilers the best.

Avatar
#176 TigerUnderGlass
October 05 2010, 01:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
RossCreekNation wrote:

Not you, too?

So you'd be fine with Omark here & Paajarvi down? Omark on the 4th line? Omark in the top 9 & "Cogliano/Brule/Hall/Eberle/Paajarvi/insert name here" on the 4th line?

What is the harm in sending what now becomes their best non-NHL/non-CHL forward prospect to the AHL to play on the top line, top PP unit & possibly lighting the lamp on what looks to be a good team... not to mention proving he can play without the puck? Be excited that there's another prospect playing big minutes in the A that can possibly, just maybe, contribute upon being recalled.

I'm not saying that Omark doesn't belong here without a shadow of a doubt. I'm asking where does he fit & how good will that slot be for his overall development?

Fabian Brunnstrom put up lots of points in Sweden. What's he done here?

This is a bit late, I was busy.

I responded to your comment that Omark was not on Paajarvi's level in Sweden. I think it's pretty demonstrable that he did. I did not say that I believe Paajarvi should go down instead. Not even close.

Why can't you stick to the point being contested? What does "where does he fit" have to do with their level of play in Sweden?

Brunnstrom is so brutally irrelevant here that I don't even know what to say about it other than maybe remind you that the point has zero to do with who will become the better player. Oh, I guess I should also mention that Brunnstrom never came within a mile of Omark's numbers either. Funny huh?

Avatar
#177 TigerUnderGlass
October 05 2010, 01:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
jr_christ wrote:

Not a fair comparison. Paajarvi was playing as a 17 and 18 year old. Omark was in his early twenties...

I think Paajarvi showed his speed was more valuable to the Swedish team that Omark's puck control (and small size)...

I would engage this but I refuse waste time debating with people who either cannot be bothered to read the discussion or are to idiotic to comprehend it.

Avatar
#178 Dwol
October 05 2010, 12:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I like the guy he is pretty slick out there but on that same note the NHL is not just offense you must play defensive as well. This league is not the sweedish elite league. I'm a big omark fan I hope he proves himself down in the Ahl so we can see him back here. Omark should have come last year and secured a spot. Hang in there Linus someone gets hurt all the time on this team!

Avatar
#179 Stevezie
October 05 2010, 01:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

One of the reasons Omark got cut is Hall couldn't go to the farm, right? I have an idea, it's probably stupid but someone please tell me why. Hall is far too good for juniors but only maybe good enough for the NHL. If, hypothetically now, Hall shows that he's not quite up to the big league just yet... what about Europe? Before anyone answers that Hall is definitely going to be good enough- that's not the point. This solution could have worked for Schremp a few years ago when he was too good for juniors and not nearly NHL ready. Why not send you 18/19 year-old prospect to play a season in Sweden, or the KHL? Everyone keeps talking about how much playing against men benefited Paajarvi right? If Hall or anyone like him spent a year in Russia he wouldn't resent the oilers for costing him money because he'd still be making good coin, right? Your 19 year-old gets a year playing in a professional league against men and you don't have to pay him or burn a year of his contract, that's better than juniors isn't it? A little culture never hurt anyone, right? I'm sure this is a bad idea and wouldn't work, I'm just not sure why. So go nuts, tell me. BTW obviously you can't make your kid go to Europe, but where would you rather be: broke in Moosejaw or getting paid in Stockholm or Moscow? Plenty of kids would go for this.

Avatar
#180 VK63
October 05 2010, 04:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Stevezie

perhaps you have missed the giant billboards, endless hype, fan meets and greets and promotion of the new "face of the franchise".

Might be a tough sell from the salt mines near minsk.

Avatar
#181 Stevezie
October 05 2010, 08:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Like I said this might not make sense for Hall specifically, but it would have worked for Schremp, or Schenn last year, and so on.

Comments are closed for this article.