OMARK, HORCOFF AND GOOD TIMING?

Jason Gregor
November 08 2010 10:21AM

Shawn Horcoff is listed as day-to-day with a left leg injury after clipping skates with Jack Skille during the Oilers 2-1 win in Chicago last night. Meanwhile in Oklahoma City, Linus Omark was putting on a clinic against the Toronto Marlies. Omark potted five goals in regulation and added another in the shootout to lead the Barons to a 7-6 victory.

Scoring five goals in any league will get you noticed, and I wonder how this performance will impact Omark's ranking in the organization?

Prior to his five-goal outing, Omark had a respectable five goals and 12 points in 14 games in his rookie AHL season. The list of players who scored in the AHL but could never match that production in the NHL is longer than the wait time in emergency rooms across Edmonton right now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Omark isn't one of those guys.

There is no denying the 4th round pick in 2007 has incredible skill, a highly creative offensive mind and is surprisingly strong on the puck for his size. If he keeps producing he will force the Oilers to find a way to get him on the roster.

If Horcoff can't play tomorrow in Carolina, Omark should be recalled, but due to JF Jacques' conditioning stint the Oilers don't have any room to bring up an offensive player. I know Omark isn't a centre, so he won't take Horcoff's position on the ice, but his style of play fits into the top-nine philosophy of Tom Renney.

Renney doesn't have a lot of options to replace Horcoff. Colin Fraser doesn't have the skill set to play with Gilbert Brule/Dustin Penner or Magnus Paajarvi/Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall/Ales Hemsky. The best option for Renney would be to move Brule to the middle and recall Omark.

Ryan O'Marra, Chris Vande Velde and Milan Kytnar aren't ready to play the middle in the NHL, so the options of a centre from the farm are limited. Brad Moran would be the best centre option, but at 31-years of age I don't see any reason to recall him ahead of Omark, who is leading the Barons in scoring.

SOLUTIONS

I know many fans are going to say the Oilers should just waive JF Jacques so then Omark can take his spot on the roster. That could be an option, but the Oilers like Jacques' size and ability to play physical. His ability to stay healthy is the issue. The trouble for the Oilers is that a five-goal game will get people talking, and if Omark continues to produce they might have no choice but to put someone on waivers and recall the 23-year-old.

The Oilers could send Eberle or Paajarvi to the minors, but I can't see any way that happens.

A trade is the other option, and is that happens the likely candidates would be Andrew Cogliano, Zack Stortini, Ryan Jones, J.F Jacques or Penner. I'm not suggesting the Oilers are trying to trade any of these guys right now, but when you look at the depth chart and needs these seem like the most likely forwards to be shipped out if a deal arises.

Steve Tambellini doesn't have to recall Omark right now. There is no need to rush him up here, but if Horcoff can't play tomorrow the best option would be to have Omark in the lineup for a night. Right now the Oilers extra forwards are both 4th line guys, and while Renney will most likely bump Ryan Jones into the top-nine, I think Omark would be a better fit.

We won't get to see Omark just yet, but something tells me that "Exciting Last Place Hockey," might get even more exciting when Omark eventually makes his NHL debut sometime this season.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 UsedRugs
November 08 2010, 01:35PM
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@GSC

Heeeeeey-oooh!

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#53 Ender
November 08 2010, 01:42PM
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Horcsky wrote:

Ya we're boned. Cole will look like a power forward driving to the net off the right wing, Sully will snipe one in off the post, instead of just clanging iron, Samsonov will be dangling in the slot, and Pitkanen will be leading the rush will that smooth stride. They will be the anti-oiler versions of themselves. Book it.

I think you're right. It's also interesting to note that the ex-Oilers that have lit us up this season are averaging 0.25 goals per game. Against teams that aren't the Oilers, they are pluggers that average 0.15 goals per game between them. Against the Oilers, that group becomes premier forwards that score at an average rate of 0.83 goals per game. We really are the high point on their schedule. May the hockey gods be merciful tomorrow.

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#54 DK0
November 08 2010, 01:47PM
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@Ender

Tomorrow is going to suck, but I think LA might be the death of us.

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#55 Woodguy
November 08 2010, 01:51PM
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The Oilers don't have to worry about LTIR as they have piles of cap space.

IR rules for the NHL:

In the event that a player is injured and a Club wishes to place him on the Injured Reserve List the Club must follow these procedures:

1. A club may place a player on the Injured Reserve List if such player is injured, disabled or ill and unable to perform his duties as a hockey player after having passed the Club's initial physical examination in that season.

2. A player who has an injury that renders him physically unable to play for a minimum of seven days after that date of the injury can be placed on the Club's Injured Reserve List. Once a player is placed on the list, the Club may replace said player on its NHL roster with another player. All determinations that a player has suffered an injury warranting injured reserve status must be made by the Club's medical staff and in accordance with the Club's medical standards.

3. A player placed on Injured Reserve is ineligible to compete in NHL games for a period of not less than seven days.

Players on Injured Reserve may attend team meetings and meals, travel with the team and participate in practices

Difference in length is that LTIR requires 24 days or 10 games to be missed, where as IR requires only 7 days missed.

IR gives you no cap relief, but gives you roster relief, LTIR gives cap relief and roster relief.

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#56 esa tikkanen
November 08 2010, 01:55PM
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Gregor

Do you think O'Marra could play on the fourth line with Fraser playing left wing, Cogliano at center with Hemsky and Hall, Brule at center with Penner at LW and Paajarvi at RW (He says he can play either wing equally), and Jones with Gagner and Eberle?

Mostly wondering if O'Marra fits in on the fourth line at least and to help with the PK until Horcoff gets better.

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#57 Dyckster
November 08 2010, 01:56PM
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#58 Rogue
November 08 2010, 01:59PM
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Gregor is right. Cogs and Penner are the first 2 forwards that should be moved....but not yet. Let them play and pump up their value( hopefully) and move them at the deadline or draft. I would like to see Omark and Reddox on a shuttle off and on as needed. Omark does not have a fit here right now, but if and when injuries pop up bring him up, as long as he is on one of the top 3 lines. Patience is needed. OOOOOOMMMMMMMM

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#59 positivebrontefan
November 08 2010, 02:00PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'd say no chance for Eberle going to centre. No reason why I'd move him there. And Eberle has won three and lost four draws...42.9%

I'd agree that there may be better options such a Brule possibly to move to center, I just see everyone bringing up Halls' name and never Eberle, and from what I have seen of the two I would say that Eberle is more responsible defensively than Hall. That with his patience withe puck and Eberles' foot speed doesn't seem to be an issue when it comes to beating guys to the net. I guess that would just give us another small center though.

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#60 Darrenski
November 08 2010, 02:04PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

To open a spot for Omark? No way. Excluding his faceoff performance, Cogs is on fire right now...give it a week or two and i might agree with you, but at this exact moment in time, i like Cogliano and wouldn't trade him.

While cogs is on fire would be the best time to move him, you would get the most back for him. Give hall a shot at center, he plays all over the ice like one anyway and with his strength I believe he would be successful at the dot. He can get down pretty low when he spreads those legs, I think he would do very well. It is a rebuild try most everything.

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#61 Woodguy
November 08 2010, 02:06PM
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Given the next couple of opponents are out of division and not particularly know for being tough (until NYR on Sunday) I'd tell Smac that he had a relapse and retro actively put him on the IR so he can play Sunday and call up Omark.

4-89-83

27-13-14

91-67-23

28-16-46

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#62 positivebrontefan
November 08 2010, 02:08PM
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Omark says in that interview that he scored 18 goals in one game on his tenth birthday! That is sick! I don't care how old you are no one does that!

At the 47 second mark.

http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=81904&navid=DL|EDM|home

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#63 D-Man
November 08 2010, 02:12PM
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Darrenski wrote:

While cogs is on fire would be the best time to move him, you would get the most back for him. Give hall a shot at center, he plays all over the ice like one anyway and with his strength I believe he would be successful at the dot. He can get down pretty low when he spreads those legs, I think he would do very well. It is a rebuild try most everything.

Granted, we're in a rebuild, but don't mess with the rookies... They need time to develop as NHL players first, before you start tinkering with position...

You said it yourself - "Hall plays all over the ice" - that screams his need to work on his defensive play. Let him figure out how to play solid defense from the left side first; learn what it takes to be a good/great NHL player. After the 2011 draft and maybe a couple more trades, then take a look at the organization's need.

If the feel is that we're still weak down the middle, then try Hall out in the 2011-12 spring training camp. The thought of sliding him over to the middle right now does not make any sense 12 games into the season.

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#64 Ender
November 08 2010, 02:14PM
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DK0 wrote:

Tomorrow is going to suck, but I think LA might be the death of us.

When I first read your post, I gasped and said "I didn't even think of them,"

After review, however, it's not quite as scary as it sounds. They have Greene, who has no points in 7 games so a multiplicative spike in production against the Oil still doesn't amount to much.

Smyth and Stoll have 9 goals between them and are averaging 0.346 goals per game. If they were to see the same 553% jump in production as the other ex-Oilers that have lit us up this year, that would indicate they were due for 2 goals against us each.

As long as we can keep the rest of the Kings off the scoresheet and Omark comes up and scores us another five goals, the math says we're golden. Right?

Right?

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#65 Woodguy
November 08 2010, 02:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Why?

Because the Oilers need a #1C and this is a low risk, low pressure opportunity to get Hall moving in that direction.

I thought you said he was over his head, and now you want to put him at center?

DSF said in a previous thread:

He's in over his head. Seguin is too although he's outscoring Hall 3-1 with far less ice time. 3-1 over 82 games is huge.

BTW, Hall 6pts in 12 games

Seguin 5pts in 11 games

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#66 DK0
November 08 2010, 02:24PM
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@Ender

You're forgetting that ex-Oilers playing against us gain a 553% boost in production if they have had some success lately, and the ones who have had no success at all are destined to bust the slump.

But i guess we're ok then too cause that makes it a 5-5 game and then Omark can win it for us in the shoot-out.

So nevermind, Crisis Averted®

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#67 Ender
November 08 2010, 02:27PM
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@DK0

Amen.

Unless Renney replaces Omark in the shootout with Penner.

That's Exciting Last-Place Hockey®.

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#68 BigE91
November 08 2010, 02:39PM
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How long has it been since the Oilers had a player on their organization let alone team that had the capability of scoring 5 on any given night. They've got guys that could get a couple but 5 that's been pretty much non-existant.

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#69 VK63
November 08 2010, 02:42PM
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I temper my enthusiasm for last nights Omark performance with the realization it came against the leafs org.

Nuff said.

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#71 Dyckster
November 08 2010, 02:48PM
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BigE91 wrote:

How long has it been since the Oilers had a player on their organization let alone team that had the capability of scoring 5 on any given night. They've got guys that could get a couple but 5 that's been pretty much non-existant.

According to Wikipedia only 43 players for a total of 59 occurances have scored 5 goals or more in the league's history.

This leads me to believe there are very, very, very, very, very, very few players who are or have been capable of scoring 5 in a game. I see where you're going with your statement, but me thinks we need to lower our expectations a bit.

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#72 The Fish
November 08 2010, 02:51PM
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BigE91 wrote:

How long has it been since the Oilers had a player on their organization let alone team that had the capability of scoring 5 on any given night. They've got guys that could get a couple but 5 that's been pretty much non-existant.

Pat Hughes

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#73 BBOil
November 08 2010, 02:53PM
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@BigE91

Theoretically, anyone of our skaters are capable of putting in 5 on any given night, just like I'm capable of buying a lottery ticket and becoming a millionaire. The odds of either happening though, definitely pretty much non-existent.

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#74 DSF
November 08 2010, 02:54PM
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Woodguy wrote:

I thought you said he was over his head, and now you want to put him at center?

DSF said in a previous thread:

He's in over his head. Seguin is too although he's outscoring Hall 3-1 with far less ice time. 3-1 over 82 games is huge.

BTW, Hall 6pts in 12 games

Seguin 5pts in 11 games

Not entirely sure what your point is.

It's a short term, low risk audition and Hall is playing like a centre in the offensive zone anyway.

You don't think he can handle it?

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#75 I'm a Scientist!
November 08 2010, 02:54PM
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@Jason Gregor

Unlike you, I would bring up Brad Moran. I don't understand why being 31 should keep him in the AHL? He has 12 points in 15 games and plays center.

I am just of the mindset that you don't put a square peg in a round hole. Need a center? Get a center.

I don't claim to know a single thing about the AHL players, but he seems like more of a fit than Omark if we need to replace Horcoff. I can't find Moran's FO%, but i assume it is no worse than the players that are currently on the Oilers.

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#76 Tayranchula
November 08 2010, 02:58PM
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What was O'Marra's draft day hype. What made him go in the first round? He seems like a solid 3rd or 4th round player to date but what made the Islanders take him first round and what made the Oilers include him in a deal involving prospects? Was Mike Milbury to count for this draft?

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#77 madjam
November 08 2010, 03:01PM
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Always figured Horcoff would be the perfect center for Paajarvi and Omark . Well let Brule try a kick at centering those two ! Call it the DE(MARK)ATION LINE .

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#78 Tayranchula
November 08 2010, 03:05PM
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O and one other thing about O'marra, on youtube when you type his name in all you get is him absolutely destroying some czech player during world juniors, and Pierre Mcguire does the anouncing (not butchering it as usual) Possibly my favorite hit of all time during world juniors (F off Phenauf)

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#79 Ender
November 08 2010, 03:08PM
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madjam wrote:

Always figured Horcoff would be the perfect center for Paajarvi and Omark . Well let Brule try a kick at centering those two ! Call it the DE(MARK)ATION LINE .

OK, I'll bite. How does that line name make sense?

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#81 The Real Scuba Steve
November 08 2010, 03:30PM
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Is Omark any good on draws?

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#82 S.Tambellini
November 08 2010, 03:43PM
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Woodguy wrote:

I thought you said he was over his head, and now you want to put him at center?

DSF said in a previous thread:

He's in over his head. Seguin is too although he's outscoring Hall 3-1 with far less ice time. 3-1 over 82 games is huge.

BTW, Hall 6pts in 12 games

Seguin 5pts in 11 games

Don't try to understand the DSF genius. Just enjoy the ride. Who can really be held responsible for things they may have said yesterday or last week.

Recognize the greatness and go with it. Often I copy his posts here and put them on other sites so I can look like a NHL MENSA member too.

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#83 Woodguy
November 08 2010, 03:59PM
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DSF,

I think he's back checking and playing in the Dzone like an 18 year old rookie.

Moving him to center and demanding the defensive accountability of a center would probably be too much right now.

I'd like to see him understand and execute what is needed defensively as a NHL winger before putting him in deeper water.

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#84 Senator Theo
November 08 2010, 03:59PM
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Horcsky wrote:

Tlusty also sexted naked pictures of himself to a girl, which eventually ended up on the internets. Should we expect that from Omark as well?~

Where do we register to receive these sexts from Linus (the pinus)?

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#85 Kieso
November 08 2010, 04:13PM
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@Jason Gregor

Gregor,

I thought some guy named Alexander Selivanov pulled out five against the LA Kings one night when he was with the Oilers.

Maybe I am wrong but I think I remember this from somewhere other than a drunken fit or crazy dream.

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#86 Horcsky
November 08 2010, 04:32PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Where do we register to receive these sexts from Linus (the pinus)?

Well, if the pronunciation of Linus' name is actually "Lee-niss" as we were led to believe during training camp, i'm guessing it's a website with an address similar to www.pinus.com ... only with the correct pronunciation and spelling ;)

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#87 ubermiguel
November 08 2010, 04:36PM
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Kieso wrote:

Gregor,

I thought some guy named Alexander Selivanov pulled out five against the LA Kings one night when he was with the Oilers.

Maybe I am wrong but I think I remember this from somewhere other than a drunken fit or crazy dream.

Selivanov is a great example of a guy that scored in streaks and was generally useless. He's one reason I'm not too excited by Omark's 5 goal night.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_players_with_five_or_more_goals_in_an_NHL_game

Looks like scoring 5 goals is a pretty rare feat. 8 guys in the last 20 years. Only one guy (Gaborik) in the last 13 years.

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#88 Dan the Man
November 08 2010, 04:41PM
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How long has it been since the Oilers had a good player available for call up from the AHL?

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#89 David S
November 08 2010, 04:43PM
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"That could be an option, but the Oilers like Jacques' size and ability to play physical. His ability to play NHL caliber hockey is the issue."

Fixed.

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#90 VK63
November 08 2010, 04:46PM
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@Dan the Man

~Huh.... what about the "other" youtube legend?~

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#92 Wanyes bastard child
November 08 2010, 05:39PM
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A few things I guess.

I agree with Arch, I can't see anybody getting called up if Horcoff is only listed as day to day, if he was out longer than maybe.

If he is out for longer the only logical choice to me would be switching Brule to centre. Or have Brule and Penner pull double duty on the same line, and then bring Omark up for the top 9. Doing something like an MPS, Hemmer, Cogs line - Penner, Brule, Omark line and a Gagner, Hall and Eberle line. Switch MPS and Hall as needed, maybe even Cogs and Gagner, seeing as though Renny isn't afraid of using the MacBlender.

The only problem I have with calling Omark up is that I picked him as my goat for the year and would hate to see him turn it up just to spite me :P

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#93 unca miltie
November 08 2010, 06:01PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hughes did score five, but Gretzky was last Oiler to do it, when he potted five in 1987.

How time flies. I was at that game. I am older than lowetide but not as smart.

My take on omark is that he is a real player. Watched him at one pre-season game and the kid has game IMO. The 5 goal game is just icing on the cake. I can see him sticking in Edmonton at some point this season.

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#94 Bucknuck
November 08 2010, 06:02PM
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@ubermiguel

that's a great list. Thanks for finding it.

I love the fact that Red Green had a five point game in 1924. That is so cool!!! I wonder if he used Duct tape instead of hockey tape at the time. :-P

it is great to note that since the Oilers entered the league there have been 25 five goal events and six of those were Oilers. How spoiled we were.

I hope we get to see another.

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#95 unca miltie
November 08 2010, 06:08PM
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Whoops, I was wrong again. I was at the Minnesota game not the last game Gretz scored five. Still a pretty exciting occasion.

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#96 Reach Advantage
November 09 2010, 12:24AM
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Would Reddox have to clear re-entry waivers, and if they call up Omark they should do it when they have intentions of him staying, not just for 2 games ( or whatever)when Horcoff is out. imo

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#97 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 09 2010, 02:57AM
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S.Tambellini wrote:

Don't try to understand the DSF genius. Just enjoy the ride. Who can really be held responsible for things they may have said yesterday or last week.

Recognize the greatness and go with it. Often I copy his posts here and put them on other sites so I can look like a NHL MENSA member too.

Well, of the 3 comments or so I've read of yours, each of them were a direct insult to DSF. At least he's contributing opinion. You've contributed nothing.

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#98 Lochenzo
November 09 2010, 08:45AM
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1. This is a rebuild. #1 priority is the development of assets. Keep Cogliano, Brule and Penner together. This combo really helps Cogs and I'm all for helping this guy. If he stays, great. If not, having nice productive stats will help his trade value.

2. Let's not pigeon-hole anybody. It seemed Omark was the one holding the short straw before training camp began. Omark has an out clause that kicks in in year 2 of his contract, where he could go back to Europe. Omark has to show us what he's got. But if he's got game, then the Oilers will have to show a commitment to Omark and convince him that he could and should be here.

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#99 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 09 2010, 08:47AM
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Gregor if what you say is accurate about Mac(which I'd assume so) then why wouldn't the Oilers put him on the IR? Can he not put on it retroactively and pretty much already have served the minimum 7 days that he has to be on it?

Seems like with some banged up guys on the roster instead of playing a Strudwick as a 4th line winger it would make sense to call someone up for a few days while guys heal up.

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