Expectations of Omark

Jason Gregor
June 08 2010 06:42AM

05940811 date 22 05 2010 Copyright imago SMRFOTO 22 05 2010 Cologne Ice hockey World Cup Semi-finals Sweden The Czech Republic v l Johan Harju SWE and Linus Omark SWE cheer After the goal to 1 0 Photo SMRFOTO 22 05 2010 Cologne Ice hockey World Cup Semi-finals Sweden The Czech Republic Ice hockey men World Cup National team international match Semi-finals Cologne Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd Cologne Cologne Hockey IceHockey Ice hockey World Cup World Cup World Championship IIHF Semi-finals Semi Final Semi-finals 1 2 Final Semi Final Sweden Sweden Sverige SWE The Czech Republic Czech CZE.

Only seventeen days until we know if it will be Tyler or Taylor, but that won’t be the end of the debates in Oilerville, in fact; it’s just the beginning. After June 25th there will be plenty of other players/situations to discuss, including Jordan Eberle.

The 22nd pick in 2008 will come to camp with a legitimate opportunity to make the team, and his most direct competition will come from the 97th pick in 2007, Linus Omark. Omark is now 5”10’, 180 pounds and blessed with incredible skill,but he is the biggest question mark heading into camp.

What can the Oilers expect from Omark?

Maybe this if they get to a shoot out:

Pretty sweet move but I’m more impressed with the courage it takes to try that move in a game.

But the Oilers would probably prefer the following move since he did it in a game. Looks similar to what Daniel Sedin did to win play of the year on TSN.

Of course Omark will need more in his game than just a few highlight reel goals, and according to Kevin Lowe he has just what the Oilers are looking for.

“His game begins once a guy engages him in the corner. Once a player is on his back, he is good at spinning off, shifting away from the defender and beating guys. It looks like he doesn’t mind the rough stuff, which is what we need.

“He protects the puck very well, which is crucial because you need guys who won’t turn the puck over,” continued Lowe.

Omark’s ability and willingness to cycle the puck could make him a good fit with Dustin Penner. Penner’s best attribute is his ability to cycle the puck down low, make good passes in confined areas and go to the net. Omark could complement Penner very well considering, despite his size, he likes to cycle the puck and can spin off defenders very well.

Penner needs to play with guys who complement his game. Last year he added the ability to score on the rush, but he is most effective along the boards, battling defenders and then taking the puck to the net. He needs guys who can move the puck quickly and accurately in tight areas and Omark seems to fits the bill. If he truly doesn’t mind contact then he should get an extra long look in September, because the Oilers aren’t blessed with many skilled forwards who are willing to play in the tough areas.

Would it be too simplistic to say one of Eberle and Omark stays while the other goes to the Oklahoma City? It might be, but I sense that’s how it will play out.

Rob Daum coached Eberle for 20 games over two seasons in Springfield and so I asked him to describe Eberle’s offensive game.

“He has great offensive instincts and a great offensive mind. He goes to the tough areas and can make special passes. He slips into holes and off of people, but he doesn’t get as involved physically as Omark. He plays by moving instead of confrontation.”

Eberle and Omark have similarities in their game, but Daum’s last line explains perfectly the major difference of their games. It doesn’t make one better, just different. In the long run they might be able to complement each other very well, but when camp comes around I expect they will be battling for the same position.

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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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#1 Matt Henderson
June 08 2010, 09:10AM
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madjam wrote:

Ironic and Deja vue perhaps ? Proper bebuild from the backend ? As i recall, Oilers first ever draft pick as an NHL club was a defenceman called K.Lowe . Might history repeat itself ? Having said that , i still would take Hall first , however . Then i'd go out and try a deal for Gudblanson .

It's very early to be drinking, madjam. I dont see how drafting Kevin Lowe impacts the 2010 draft at all, but obviously you're working on a whole different level than me right now. I'm pretty sure that most people would agree that securing centre Wayne Gretzky was the most integral part of building the early Oilers teams.

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#2 Matt Henderson
June 08 2010, 12:13PM
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Chris. wrote:

Yawn. I find it hard to get too excited about a diminutive 23 year old fourth round draft pick who has never played a single pro game on North American ice.... So what if he's been playing against Men... at 23 isn't Linus supposed to be a man? I mean didn't Patrick Thoresen waaay outproduce Omark just last season in the KHL? Would anybody be geeking out about the potential return of the Mighty Thor?

I hope Omark proves to be a player. I do... But I'm not exactly holding my breath either.

x2.

WHEN he does something here I will be excited. To date, Eberle has accomplished more in North American Pro Hockey, and even then there are a lot of ON readers who think he belongs in the AHL to start the season.

They should all get the opportunity to make the team, but I dont see Omark outplaying some of the other kids.

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#3 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 09 2010, 08:39AM
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madjam wrote:

I see S. Sullivan is still alive and well in Nashville despite having probably runs by his own teammate Weber .

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you don't OD on Adavan before you go to bed.

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#4 Valic
June 08 2010, 07:28AM
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Omark is the forgotten man, he has accomplished more against better compitition than any of our prospective rookies. He has flair, he has determination, and he has success whereever he goes. Talk of his slight stature is overstated. I watched a bunch of his games in completiion this year, and he has some strong core muscles, he is likly to be harder to knock off the puck than Gagner, O'Sullivan, Eberle, Cogliano, Nilsson, and probably MPS. He looks for contact, because he knows he can beat them inside with superior agility and puck control skills.

I honestly think Penner might be the ideal linemate for Omark now that you mention it.

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#5 Wanye
June 08 2010, 07:30AM
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Boo everything!

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#6 Lebowski
June 08 2010, 10:14AM
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Wanye wrote:

Boo everything!

What kind of comment is this? Why even bother?

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#7 Chris.
June 08 2010, 12:05PM
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Yawn. I find it hard to get too excited about a diminutive 23 year old fourth round draft pick who has never played a single pro game on North American ice.... So what if he's been playing against Men... at 23 isn't Linus supposed to be a man? I mean didn't Patrick Thoresen waaay outproduce Omark just last season in the KHL? Would anybody be geeking out about the potential return of the Mighty Thor?

I hope Omark proves to be a player. I do... But I'm not exactly holding my breath either.

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#8 Matt Henderson
June 08 2010, 01:07PM
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swany wrote:

Useing this logic Detriot shouldn't have been excited about Zetterberg or Dats either. I do believe that Omark has out scored Zetterberg in the SEL has he not that's some could company, and when exactly has Zetterberg drafted .....4th round I believe.

What is so tough to understand about what I'm sayin? Get excited all you want about his potential. I'm just not willing to pencil him in until he actually does something here.

Zetterberg is 15 pounds heavier than Omark and I dont think Omark will fill out much more than he has at the age of 23. The fact they were both drafted in the 4th round has no bearing on Omark's ability to compete in the NHL right away.

I think he's a pretty good prospect too but out of Eberle, MPS, Seguin/Hall and Omark, I'd place Omark 4th on the depth chart.

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#9 Matt Henderson
June 08 2010, 01:39PM
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@swany

I think if Omark was as good or better than Comrie then he would have been here sooner. I dont totally buy into Omark, but I also think you're selling Comrie a little short. The other rookies will also be looking to take the empty spots in the lineup, I think you have to line Omark up against the other kids.

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#10 Deaner
June 08 2010, 07:40PM
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Just watched his yearly highlights, pretty cool i must admit. But the only way he does those sick dangles and fights off people is because he is using the big ice to his advantage.

Personally i don't think he will have enough room do complete half of those moves here, in North America. That is why i see him going to the AHL for at least the first little bit of this year to sort of re-invent his game.

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#12 BUCK75
June 09 2010, 09:58AM
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@madjam

That body checking study the University of Calgary did would scare the sh*t out of me when you look at Taylor Hall.

Is he super talented? Yes

Does he get creamed often? Yes

Chances are he has had a ton of concussions already if 12 year old kids are having to retire because of their concussion symptoms.

They have 2 different skill sets, but when long term health comes into the equation I would rather take the guy who doesn't get snot bubbles 4 times a year.

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#13 OILERSORDEATH
June 09 2010, 10:03AM
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I really dont think T.Hall is that stupid to not want to play in Edmonton. right now its all mind games between Edmonton and Boston. Its got to be a no brainer the Oilers will take Hall. If Boston really wants him that bad, then I'm sure there will be a deal. Either way we come out on top whether we take hall or Boston throws in a top 6 forward and the #2 pick and maybe more.

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#14 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 09 2010, 10:52AM
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Jackie Treehorn wrote:

These wingers you speak of, are they the disgruntled Penner and Hemsky... that have one year left on the contract?

So a 30th place team drafts based on need because our depth chart is full at wing? ....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...wait .....again hahhahahahahahahahahhahahah hah ha hah ha

There is only controversy in the media, not behind closed doors. The old Stauffer would be yelling at the top of his lungs to draft Hall over Seguin.

The old Stauffer was also "Philosophically opposed to the way Graig McTavish coaches" ... so I wouldn't exactly use his opinion as the be all, end all.

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#15 Matt Henderson
June 09 2010, 11:22AM
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Jackie Treehorn wrote:

Slow down the Oilernation Policeman. I've read your stuff here a lot and you can really be abrasive in a passive aggressive way, but at least you back your stuff up; I just wish your weren't such a douche about it.

I done my research and I've made my decision oh and guess what Arch(the great one), I'm entitled to my opinion.

"I'm entitled to my opinion."

Weak.

At least indulge me (the great one, apparently). You've done the research and made your decision. You wanted to engage in conversation about Hall vs Seguin. You think Hall is the hands down BPA, at least explain why you think that before taking the "I'm entitled to my opinion." route.

Call me a douche if you want, you wont be the last, but you came out swinging with:

"Seguin supporters are putting all their faith in what they've been told, not from what they've seen. Are you guys gamblers?"

and

"So a 30th place team drafts based on need because our depth chart is full at wing? ....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...wait .....again hahhahahahahahahahahhahahah hah ha hah ha"

You've gotta expect at least one person to come back at you with the other side of the argument.

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#16 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
June 09 2010, 11:46AM
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Constable Archaeologuy?

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#17 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
June 09 2010, 11:57AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

When can I get my Stun Gun from Bingofuel?

Don't tase me, Archaeolobro.

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#18 Oil Dude
June 08 2010, 06:46AM
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The main problem with Omark is his size. The Oilers I think will/should be moving some smaller bodies around though especially any named Nilsson or OSullivan and get someone in there that looks like they care a little bit.

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#19 BUCK75
June 08 2010, 07:46AM
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If you are putting it 1 or the other I would have to say that Omark has more to prove. Plus could imagine what Quinn would say if he pulled that move out in a shoot-out & failed? It would be comedy gold.

While our team lacked some serious skill, we also lacked some grit & smarts. I have to give Eberle the benefit of the doubt here. A solid defensive game would go further than a few nice offensive moves. Nilsson has some sick hands, but never can put together a complete game, until I watch a YouTube video of Omark defensive hilites I stand by my Eberle vote.

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#20 Stone Hands McOsta
June 08 2010, 07:56AM
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To be honest with you, I think Omark might have the better chance of cracking Pat Quinn's squad. The ol'Irishman wants his players with crust and if Omark is willing to have more crust then Eberle, it could cost Captain Canada Jr. 20 games or so in O'City, until one of our bad contracts gets hurt.

Plus Omark put up great numbers in the KHL against men last year while Eberle was still playing with teenagers. I know Eberle has a great attitude and has tremendous upside, but is anyone else worried he could easily slip down the depth chart as all these new fresh prospects are coming in? Schremp part 2? I'm not saying thats what I think will happen, but there is no way the Oilers have room to squeeze all these young guys onto a roster full of bad contracts, there is simply no room for all of them to flourish and develop into their full potential. I would love to see the Oilers stacked with Hall/Seguin, MPS, Eberle and Omark this year, I know it won't happen though.

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#21 madjam
June 08 2010, 08:15AM
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OMark was overly impressive at the World Cup . In other words, he played far greater than most expected . He appears to be a lot more than just hype . I believe off his showing that he can continue and play at that level in the NHL . Other than his size their is little other evidence to show he will not succeed at a high level in NHL .

CREDENTIALS play a huge role in assessing future Oilers . Hall , as an example, carries all the credentials to continue being the franchise player Oilers have been looking for . There is nothing in his credential package to show/expect otherwise .MacFarland was expected to push Hall , but he fell this year . Seguin was expected to challenge Hall , but he also fell by the wayside in head to head and competition against elite company in tournaments, etc. . Not once did Hall , as he continued to excel at all levels .

Another one that continues to impress with his list of credentials and elite presence is/was Gudbranson . He's done nothing more than continue to develop and impress . I find it very difficult not to have this fellow as my NBR. 2 rated draft pick this season, and dropping Seguin to third ranking . Gudbranson may turn out to be the best of this years crop of draftees in the future .

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#22 misfit
June 08 2010, 08:15AM
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Omark is probably more ready for the NHL at this point, and I think he's got a pretty good chance of making the team. He's a little older (23) than the other rookies looking to break into the league, and he's been playing in some pretty good leagues against men and has had success.

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#23 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 08:30AM
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Well this is something we haven't seen in awhile. Prospects with some offensive flair have a legitimate shot at cracking the opening day lineup. We'll see what happens during camp but I would be pleased if Omark can translate his game on the big ice to the smaller ice surface.

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#24 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 08:35AM
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@madjam

Why, because he(Gudbranson) is a D-Man?

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#25 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
June 08 2010, 08:42AM
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We're all hoping for Eberle to turn into something special, and with his ability to come up in the clutch I think its only a matter of time. But Omark has to have the leg up early on based on the physical play.

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#26 offside
June 08 2010, 08:47AM
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Well, according to Wikipedia, he WILL be playing for the Edmonton Oilers next season. I hold this to be the absolute truth!!!!

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#27 madjam
June 08 2010, 08:52AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Why, because he(Gudbranson) is a D-Man?

Ironic and Deja vue perhaps ? Proper bebuild from the backend ? As i recall, Oilers first ever draft pick as an NHL club was a defenceman called K.Lowe . Might history repeat itself ? Having said that , i still would take Hall first , however . Then i'd go out and try a deal for Gudblanson .

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#28 Jmask5
June 08 2010, 09:00AM
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First off Omark plays left wing. So he wouldn't work with Penner who is also a left winger. That also means that in terms of position he wouldn't be battling with Eberle who plays Right Wing. I think Eberle will probably be battling with Brule and whomever the Oilers want to play RW on the 3rd line. Last year it was Pisani this year I don't know. It depends what the coach wants to do with that line. I think Omark's status with the team will depend on whom the Oilers draft. If they take Seguin then than there is one less Left winger in the system and therefore Omark has a better shot at making the team. If they take Hall then the Oilers would have MPS, Penner and Hall at LW which would mean Omark would most likely get bumped to OKC unless he could play on the 4th line which I'm not sure would work. It could though.

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I'm pretty much at the point where I want to see these guys in training camp/preseason before making too many decisions.

Last year we couldn't even decide who made the team when it came to 4th liners how the heck are we to decide what happens with skilled players?

Lots of potential this year I just hope that guys don't take it the wrong way if they have to spend some time in the AHL.

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Off-topic, but anyone find it weird that the Oilers draft party costs more then the actual draft itself? Sounds like there is a free BBQ and proceeds are going to charity, but it goes to show what fans in certain markets will pay to see hockey related events.

Also of note Gagner, Smid and JDD will be there. Quite interesting considering JDD could very well be dealt at the draft.

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#31 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
June 08 2010, 09:34AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Off-topic, but anyone find it weird that the Oilers draft party costs more then the actual draft itself? Sounds like there is a free BBQ and proceeds are going to charity, but it goes to show what fans in certain markets will pay to see hockey related events.

Also of note Gagner, Smid and JDD will be there. Quite interesting considering JDD could very well be dealt at the draft.

They need to pay for OBOs to quell the riot that ensues when the Oilers make their first round selection.

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#32 I'm a Scientist!
June 08 2010, 10:14AM
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Ok...Omark, Eberle, MPS, SEGUIN... looks like our forward group is building quite nicely. I am a little tired of talking about all the forwards and how stiff the competition is going to be to crack the line up. How about the defense? Do we have ANYTHING worthwhile there? I am scared. Should i even start on the goaltending situation? nope.

Oh well, first pick on 10/11 should make things interesting too!

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#33 I'm a Scientist!
June 08 2010, 10:16AM
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Lebowski wrote:

What kind of comment is this? Why even bother?

And THIS contributed a lot to the world? Wow. Thanks for coming out Captain Downer. Why don't you just go sail off on your ship the SS Party Pooper.

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#34 No Clue
June 08 2010, 10:58AM
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I hate to be "that guy" but with all the heavy contracts i think it may be far fetched to expect that any more than 1 youngster makes the team out of camp. Tambone has said that development is priority #1, so we should expect, barring trades, that the line-up is similar to the beginning of last year, at first. Patience should/would be the best approach.

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#35 Senator Theo
June 08 2010, 11:07AM
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@No Clue

Hey - quit raining on our unrealistic optimism!

This is the time of year that we (Oiler fans) get to talk about winning the division and/or contention for the cup next year. I don't want that taken away by people being reasonable or this crazy talk about patience with our prospects.

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#36 Ryan14
June 08 2010, 11:07AM
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It seems people are over evaluating our prospects. They are all not going to be nhl ready this year. We will probably see 1 or 2, but 3, or 4+? Management is probably going to bring in the top 1-2 prospects and dump the rest back in the minors/CHL to develop their game.

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 08 2010, 11:08AM
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No Clue wrote:

I hate to be "that guy" but with all the heavy contracts i think it may be far fetched to expect that any more than 1 youngster makes the team out of camp. Tambone has said that development is priority #1, so we should expect, barring trades, that the line-up is similar to the beginning of last year, at first. Patience should/would be the best approach.

So what would the "heavy contracts" have to do with how many young guys make the team?

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#38 Tapdog
June 08 2010, 11:28AM
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@ Gregor

Jason, in you talk with Rob Daum was there any mention of the coaching role in Oklahoma? Has there been any talk of Daum coming back to Edmonton if there were any changes within the coaching ranks? I beieve Daum had a big part of communicating with the young guys on this team! Most of them had quite solid seasons the year he was here. Seeing that there will be more youth this year, it would be great to have him back. Never did like the fact that they moved him out in the first place!

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#39 Quicksilver ballet
June 08 2010, 11:38AM
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I just hope he's not the Swedish equivalent to Robbie Schremp. He could be the selfish type and go home if he doesn't make the team right away.....hope i'm wrong.

I'm all in favour of gutting this team to get another top 5 dp or two. With another top five pick and Nilsson and O'Sullivan being possibly bought out there may be room for him afterall.

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#40 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 11:43AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I just hope he's not the Swedish equivalent to Robbie Schremp. He could be the selfish type and go home if he doesn't make the team right away.....hope i'm wrong.

I'm all in favour of gutting this team to get another top 5 dp or two. With another top five pick and Nilsson and O'Sullivan being possibly bought out there may be room for him afterall.

What has Omark done that gives you the impression that he is anything like Rob Schremp? (Aside from appearing on youtube)

By all accounts Omark is a much different type of hockey player and it would seem that the type of game he plays would translate better to the NHL than the way Schremp played in the OHL.

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#41 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
June 08 2010, 11:46AM
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Looks like Scott Arniel is expected to be announced this afternoon as the new head coach of the Blue Jackets. Way to go, Scotty!

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#42 Ribs
June 08 2010, 11:46AM
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I think Omark would have been decapitated after that second goal by an NHL defender.

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#43 Quicksilver ballet
June 08 2010, 11:50AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

What has Omark done that gives you the impression that he is anything like Rob Schremp? (Aside from appearing on youtube)

By all accounts Omark is a much different type of hockey player and it would seem that the type of game he plays would translate better to the NHL than the way Schremp played in the OHL.

Doing it over there and doing it over here is significantly different. Can he do it on a smaller ice surface with bigger D'men?

I'm not holding my breath on Omark.

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#44 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 11:56AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Doing it over there and doing it over here is significantly different. Can he do it on a smaller ice surface with bigger D'men?

I'm not holding my breath on Omark.

You haven't answered where the Schremp comparison comes from?

Omark appears not to be afraid to enter high traffic areas with the puck while Schremps game relied on mainly finding the soft spots on the ice.

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#45 Chris.
June 08 2010, 12:16PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

You haven't answered where the Schremp comparison comes from?

Omark appears not to be afraid to enter high traffic areas with the puck while Schremps game relied on mainly finding the soft spots on the ice.

The Schremp comparisons begin and end with u-tube hype, and the potential for unreasonably high expectations by many fans to be dashed.

As for Omark entering "high traffic areas"... I'm not convinced Omark will necessarily show a willingness to consistantly battle the likes of Robyn Regehr in those areas over an entire 82 game schedule... and if he does: will he be at all effective? After the last number of seasons you will forgive me if I distrust Lowe's assessment of talent...

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#46 John K
June 08 2010, 12:22PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

And THIS contributed a lot to the world? Wow. Thanks for coming out Captain Downer. Why don't you just go sail off on your ship the SS Party Pooper.

And THIS contributed a lot to the world? Wow. Thanks for coming out Captain Downer. Why don't you just go sail off on your ship the SS Party Pooper.

We've entered a time loop!!11

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#47 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 12:26PM
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Chris. wrote:

The Schremp comparisons begin and end with u-tube hype, and the potential for unreasonably high expectations by many fans to be dashed.

As for Omark entering "high traffic areas"... I'm not convinced Omark will necessarily show a willingness to consistantly battle the likes of Robyn Regehr in those areas over an entire 82 game schedule... and if he does: will he be at all effective? After the last number of seasons you will forgive me if I distrust Lowe's assessment of talent...

Kevin Lowe didn't draft Omark so it isn't only him that thinks Omark has some upside.

Time will only tell if he will be as willing when he starts taking shots from guys like Regher but you can't dismiss that he doesn't shy away from the action.. as of yet.

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#48 Eddie Shore
June 08 2010, 12:27PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

x2.

WHEN he does something here I will be excited. To date, Eberle has accomplished more in North American Pro Hockey, and even then there are a lot of ON readers who think he belongs in the AHL to start the season.

They should all get the opportunity to make the team, but I dont see Omark outplaying some of the other kids.

Using that logic we shouldn't be excited about MPS either then.

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#49 Matt Henderson
June 08 2010, 12:35PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Using that logic we shouldn't be excited about MPS either then.

Right, because the 10th overall pick from last year who just led Sweden in scoring during the World Championships is definitely in the same situation as a former 4th rounder who just managed to hit 180 pounds at the age of 23.

And no. Using that logic we shouldnt expect MPS in an Oiler uniform until he proves he's ready. I'll repeat. They should all get the opportunity to make the team. It doesnt mean they all will.

Get excited that Omark is apparently willing to play in North America and show whether he can do it. I just wont be etching his name into the Rookie of the Year Award yet. I'm unconvinced he can break into the NHL ahead of some of the other guys.

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#50 Rusty Duggan
June 08 2010, 12:37PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

It's very early to be drinking, madjam. I dont see how drafting Kevin Lowe impacts the 2010 draft at all, but obviously you're working on a whole different level than me right now. I'm pretty sure that most people would agree that securing centre Wayne Gretzky was the most integral part of building the early Oilers teams.

There goes good ole arch policing the crazies. Good on ya Man.

Know your role Madjam!! hahaha just kidding.

Lowe holds the keys to the future.

"hey guys look what happened to the team when I was drafted? huh huh, yep all me, all day"

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