MILES TO GO

Lowetide
April 22 2012 09:13AM

The playoffs are underway in the American Hockey League, but the offensive leader--and most talented offensive player--is not on the roster. Edmonton and Oklahoma fans will say goodbye to Linus Omark over the summer, but we shouldn't be surprised if he lands in another NHL city and thrives.

NHL equivalencies are the brain child of Gabriel Desjardins, the man who gave us behind the net for those days when we simply have to find an answer to questions like "how tough an opponent is Taylor Hall up against every night?" and have nowhere to go.

Gabe's NHL equivalencies have certainly stood the test of time, and in the case of the AHL we nick all players by .44 when placing them into the NHL. Here are the NHL equivalencies for OKC Barons forwards in 11-12.

RIDDLE ME THIS BATM...ER WOMAN!

OKC BARONS NHLE’S—FORWARDS (all per 82gp)

NAME

G

A

PTS

LINUS OMARK

12

20

32

MAGNUS PAAJARVI

7

20

27

JOSH GREEN

11

15

26

RYAN KELLER

11

14

25

TEEMU HARTIKAINEN

10

13

23

MARK ARCOBELLO

8

13

21

PHIL CORNET

13

7

20

HUNTER TREMBLAY

8

8

16

TYLER PITLICK

4

9

13

ANTON LANDER

3

10

13

CHRIS VANDE VELDE

4

8

12

ANTTI TYRVAINEN

4

8

12

TANNER HOUSE

4

7

11

TRISTON GRANT

7

3

10

CURTIS HAMILTON

4

6

10

MILAN KYTNAR

3

5

8

RYAN MARTINDALE

0

5

5

CAMERON ABNEY

0

0

0

Omark is the class of the group, no surprise there. Edmonton's skill wingers of the future are all on the team and younger than Omark, save for Nail Yakupov and he'll pass the Swede on draft day. I believe the Oilers are missing out on a tremendous young player, but when the competition is Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Yakupov then these things will happen. But please don't try to tell me the Oilers have an interest in three scoring lines. They don't, and proof will come when Omark is sent away this summer.

Magnus Paajarvi's NHLE is in line with his rookie NHL season, we could see the same player following up MP's 80, 15-19-34 debut in the NHL a year ago. I think the organization will try Paajarvi in a third line role this coming season with established linemates (say, Smyth and Horcoff or Belanger) and he'll get a full season to show he can play in a support role.

Teemu Hartikainen is in many ways the most interesting player of the group. Hartikainen's size and grit make him a "perfect fit" or close to based on team need. I can see the Oilers giving him a long look at training camp, hoping he'll bring some muscle and a physical presence to one of the kid lines. Enormous opportunity for Hartikainen, depending on players signed and traded away.

Anton Lander had a tough NA debut, struggling badly in most areas at the NHL level and given little time to regroup in the AHL before the playoffs. I'm not certain his NHL time or the AHL numbers give us a true reading of him as an offensive player. We know it'll be shy of Paajarvi, but he'll get a chance again next year to play a regular shift and establish himself in North America.

Much has been made of the offensive output of Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton this year, notably an article by Jonathan Willis yesterday here at Oilers Nation. It focused on Pitlick, but the same things can be said of the former Saskatoon Blade as well. I mostly agree with Jonathan's points, but would suggest there is a significant part of the equation missing from the discussion.

TIME ON ICE

If Tyler Pitlick's NHLE above comes on 14 minutes a night at evens plus 2 on the PP then this is not a player who will be able to survive offensively in the NHL.

If however--and I think there's evidence--Pitlick didn't become a regular in the traditional sense of the word until late into the season then the number above is likely unfair to Pitlick. In his last 23 games (including the 2 playoff games), Pitlick has posted 4-10-14 numbers. If he maintained that over an entire season, his NHLE would be 82gp, 6-16-22. Certainly not close to being a candidate for one of the skill lines, but given his other skills it would put Pitlick in a position to be a 3 or 4 line solution.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I agree with Jonathan's overall view on the subject, and do believe Pitlick will end up being a 3 or 4 line contributor. However, the time on ice omission (it isn't Jon's fault, TOI in AHL is not available) is a major one, and I think there's a degree of danger is making a decision on a player so early in his pro career. Jason Chimera didn't do much as an AHL rookie, but blossomed when the opportunity to play presented itself. I think we need more evidence before making any kind of call on Pitlick or Hamilton. Miles to go.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Robin Brownlee
April 22 2012, 09:16AM
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Put me first in the line of people who will be surprised if Omark has any kind of substantial NHL career.

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#2 Robin Brownlee
April 22 2012, 09:38AM
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For me, it's simple, and size has nothing to do with it.

Don't tell me how offensively talented or creative Omark is -- I think it's obvious he has eye-grabbing flair -- or pump his tires with underlying numbers, just show me his bottom line in good old-fashioned boxcars.

Will Omark ever produce enough G-A-Pts as a top-six forward to make up for dimensions he doesn't offer? I doubt it. He's 25. What you see it what you get.

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#4 striatic
April 22 2012, 05:33PM
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ok so losing Omark is fine by me, though i think if he'd been handled better the oil could have gotten more for him than they will.

the caveat is that losing him is fine IF the Oilers draft Yakupov and not Murray.

a blowtorch needs to be taken to this myth that the Oilers are "stacked on offense need to trade for defense". when people were talking about trading Hemsky at the deadline, there was no one in the system to take his minutes at similar levels of point production.

Smyth is not going to be around much longer and Jones, gawdlovim, isn't a replacement. MPS hasn't shown well enough yet and i don't think the Oilers should gamble that he will.

is Gagner a center on a championship level team? again, hasn't shown well enough yet. Hall may need to switch to C, and if so who plays first line LW, let alone second?

this team needs Nail Yakupov.

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#5 yawto
April 22 2012, 10:17AM
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Omark, MPS and next years first for Marc Staal.

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#7 RexLibris
April 22 2012, 02:13PM
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I know Hartikainen gets a lot of attention here on the Nations and elsewhere on the interwebs, but I would still like to see him start the year in OKC before being a call-up around deadline time.

I think he still has some consistency issues to work around and I think the reward for that has to be the NHL rather than ice-time on this team. With injuries and poor play almost across the board, whomever coaches this team won't necessarily have that much leverage in doling out ice time to those whom are most deserving.

To that end I think Hartikainen needs to feel that consistency is the price of an NHL job. Set the bar high and push him to succeed. The payoff is well worth it, in my opinion. I think this young man could be a real find.

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#8 gcw_rocks
April 22 2012, 07:02PM
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Wow, people sure are harsh on rookies. It's the first year of pro for these kids.

Hamiliton's WHl career started out (full seasons only)

27pts ->> 49pts ->> (injury) ->> 82pts

Martindale went: 17 ->> 47 ->> 60 ->> 83

Pitlick bounced from league to league, so he is harder to get a read on, but Hamilton or Martindale struggling when moving up to another league with a very deep roster at forwards shocks or disappoints me not one bit. Had either lit it up, that would have been the surprise. I mean, the Sedins didn't exactly rip the NHL apart for thier first 4 seasons.

If these kids aren't showing progression this time next year, then we have something to worry about. All that has happened is Pitlick and Hamilton have defined the baseline and Martindale needs to define his next season. The baselines tell us these are not going to be overnight sensations. That is all it tells us at this point.

If Pitlick, Lander, Martindale and Hamilton all burn thier ELC's learning the game in the AHL and come to the NHL later, but more well rounded, that's a good thing.

But to expect them to beat out AHL veterans in thier first AHL season, to tear up a very good league, is a little nuts.

So, boogey man aside, I am going to draw no other conclusion than with these lads we need to be patient. And patient I will be.

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#9 pelhem grenville
April 23 2012, 05:26AM
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...too many I's in every way this lil fellow spells team...it's been his attitude toward his employer that has been his undoing all along...he has sulked and has made very stupid comments via the media and the twitters...he might have been in the AHL playoffs but decided to be an anus...

now where is he?

Oilers get very little for him because he's branded himself as a malcontent...he won't ever burn the Oilers with goals because he won't be able to play against the Oilers in Russia or Europe...

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#10 Dark Passenger
April 22 2012, 09:25AM
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before I sleep

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#12 Hat Pughes
April 22 2012, 09:29AM
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Im standing in the same line as Brownlee...cant see it happening. Too much peripheral zone play for me. Move him now before buses or pucks are the only option in return .... but still kinda stumped as to the decision to have him not play in the AHL playoffs (is he a cancer in the room ie is there a Souray-like concern).

Also Lowetide -- nice to see more local content (Jamie Sale !!)

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#14 hammers
April 22 2012, 09:40AM
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Omark needs the right team to pick him up and I maybe wrong but I see Detroit & Montreal as 2 teams who would use his skills correctly .

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#17 Hat Pughes
April 22 2012, 09:56AM
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Lowetide - dont wanna pile on about LOs inrelevant intangibles.

I agree he has an uncanny ability to walk out of scrums with the puck fishing it out of feet/skates. But dont think that'd be effective in the playoffs where "take the body first" is the MO.

Boxcars are ok but there's no more room for a sub 6' F in the top 9. Those around are better than Linus.

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#18 John Chambers
April 22 2012, 09:57AM
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Hey, I think Jamie Sale is single now!

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#19 Archaeologuy
April 22 2012, 10:00AM
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Couldnt agree more with RB. Omark is completely one dimensional. Thats OK when youre Phil Kesel and you can score 50 goals in a good year. But when you're Omark and 50 points seems like a stretch then youre in Rob Schremp territory. Too good for the AHL not good enough to keep an NHL job.

His flair can help sell tickets in Columbus, but it wont help Edmonton win championships.

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#20 OilFan
April 22 2012, 10:12AM
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How many points would Omark need to be considered good in Oiler fans eyes ? I've already read 50 points is a stretch. How many Oilers hit over 50 points last season or the year before ?

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#21 OilFan
April 22 2012, 10:15AM
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I'd agree Omarks done in Edmonton but like lots of others he will play in the NHL and score 80% of his points vs the Oil.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2012, 10:18AM
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I certainly agree that role has something to do with Pitlick's numbers. OKC's depth could be a negative in that regard.

On the other hand, "he didn't get an opportunity" can also mean "he didn't win a prominent job early."

I'm not saying write the kid off, just try to keep the expectations realistic. Right now he's a bit of a question mark in terms of offensive ability, and if we're projecting forward based on what we know now, we're probably looking at a bottom-six role in the NHL.

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#23 Justin
April 22 2012, 10:19AM
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So trade Omark with Eric Belanger for Nate Thompson

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#25 Jonathan Willis
April 22 2012, 10:28AM
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@Lowetide

Agreed. And of the kids, Pitlick is one of the few in full-time farm duty that looks interesting.

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#26 speeds
April 22 2012, 10:30AM
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yawto wrote:

Omark, MPS and next years first for Marc Staal.

I like Marc Staal, and we'll see what the Oilers do this summer, but generally I'd be pretty hesitant to move the 2013 first were I the GM.

Optimism reigns in the summer, but this is a team that has finished in the bottom 2 three years in a row, and the 2013 draft may have 5 or 6 guys who project better than any player, except Yakupov, in the 2012 draft.

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#27 Jenga
April 22 2012, 10:46AM
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Too many Oilers fans are obsessed with not letting any skilled players"get away". I would have thought that after the Shremp debacle people would have learned that potential is not enough to keep a player on the roster. Especially on this roster. If you were building a hockey version of the Harlem Globetrotters he would be awesome. If you are building an NHL playoff team, not so much.

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#28 RexLibris
April 22 2012, 11:01AM
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Seeing as it is now open season on "what is Linus Omark worth on the trade market", I've been knocking around a few ideas.

Detroit seems an obvious candidate, but at what cost? Their draft position devalues many of their later-round picks, yet they have already traded a 1st round pick and may be reluctant to move a 2nd rounder in the same year. I also don't know that Ken Holland is a big fan of trading picks in future years, so I won't suggest that. That leaves one of their prospects and I think we can safely exclude Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar, Teemu Pulkinnen and Brendan Smith from that list.

Columbus could be interesting, but I could only see Scott Howson moving a 3rd round pick for Omark. At this point Omark's selling feature is along the lines of "a bird in the hand..." for many GMs.

Montreal may be the more easily swayed party as they have two 2nd round picks this year and three next year. Omark for a 2013 2nd round pick? That would give the Oilers three 2nd round picks in that draft year. And Omark does fit the size criteria for the Canadiens. What if the Oilers were to move Omark and Peckham together to the Canadiens?

Now this last one may be apples and oranges because of style of play and age, but would Omark be worth Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors? St. Louis could afford Omark's small stature in their lineup, although his play might make Hitchcock's head explode. It would probably be an underpayment for Omark, but I think we need to accept that he isn't going to be worth great deal at this stage.

Now the really crazy trade idea: Omark to Calgary for one of Ferland, Reinhart or Gaudreau. It would help Oiler fans move past the grieving stage and directly into anger towards Omark, and Flames fans would be irate at Feaster for making another trade with their despised northern cousins. At this stage Omark would almost immediately slide into their top six rotation and improve their powerplay.

Yeah, I know, not going to happen.

I would have said Omark to Calgary for draft picks, but Feaster has already traded many of those away.

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#30 steelymac
April 22 2012, 11:27AM
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With no bonafide top six winger on the farm I think they have to take the YAK.

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#31 Muji 狗
April 22 2012, 11:33AM
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I'm not mad that they're not keeping Omark. But I am mad that they're going to lose him before knowing exactly what they have in him. Also, they'll get nothing for him; they burried him on a 29th place team.

I like Omark. I hope he makes it in the NHL and burns the Oilers whenever he plays them.

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#32 RexLibris
April 22 2012, 11:44AM
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@Lowetide

Probably right, but aren't we supposed to fan the flames of fanaticism by saying Omark and L.A.'s 3rd round pick to Calgary for Sven Baertschi?

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#34 RexLibris
April 22 2012, 12:03PM
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@Lowetide

Great, let's get Kent Wilson on the line and see what we can work out. We'll just need some impressive Corsi/Rel and puck possession stats and we'll be all set.

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#35 Walter Sobchak
April 22 2012, 12:06PM
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Not a huge Omark fan but it's good to see the kid didn't pull a Robert Nilsson and disappear during actual hockey games, he has some passion for the game and a drive to succeed at least.

I wish him all the best and here is hoping he doesn't turn into a Satan.

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#36 Rama Lama
April 22 2012, 12:08PM
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I hope that Omark is a fascinating one- dimensional player. I for one like his cocky attitude ( some call it small man syndrome), but his situation with the Oilers is just bad timing.

We drafted him at a time when the brilliant master Kevin Lowe was reading tea leaves in an undisclosed ashram. It is there he learned that small players were going to dominate the NHL and decided to empty every hockey Shrier he could find of it's small players.

It's too bad Omark is slow otherwise he might have a chance here.

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#37 RexLibris
April 22 2012, 12:18PM
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@Lowetide

This is a little off-topic, but given their now-perennial inability to win in the post-season, do you think Doug Wilson decides to finally pull the plug and ask Joe Thornton and/or Patrick Marleau to waive their NMCs?

Nash is already on the move, and Iginla is a possibility. A GM could do well in moving big players to teams that lost a bidding war, the way L.A. paid for Ponikarovsky after failing to land Kovalchuk a few years back.

The Sharks are almost unanimously rated as the weakest team in prospect depth across the league so the bottom is going to fall out sooner or later. They could beat a team like Calgary to the punch in stockpiling draft picks for the 2013/2014 draft years.

Just a thought.

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#38 Cool Beans
April 22 2012, 12:31PM
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Teemu Hartikainen is in many ways the most interesting player of the group. Hartikainen's size and grit make him a "perfect fit" or close to based on team need. I can see the Oilers giving him a long look at training camp, hoping he'll bring some muscle and a physical presence to one of the kid lines. Enormous opportunity for Hartikainen, depending on players signed and traded away.

I just don't see the grit in Hartikainen's game. Not to say he isn't useful but I don't think he uses his body enough.

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#39 Hammers
April 22 2012, 12:53PM
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Oh so true re not giving players a chance and the real problem was and still is they had fans expecting to loose and accepting it and we brought in dead weight at twice the cost . Maybe I am not remembering correctly but it seems Sather played a bunch of underage players in the early going noing the fans would still give the team support . Its called having the guts & foresight .

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#40 common sense
April 22 2012, 01:13PM
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I disagree with the Browner. I think Omark could succeed on the right team. How can we ever forget Satan.

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#41 Wax Man Riley
April 22 2012, 01:30PM
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OilFan wrote:

I'd agree Omarks done in Edmonton but like lots of others he will play in the NHL and score 80% of his points vs the Oil.

I agree.... and since he will be going to Tampa, we will only see him once a year. So my Wax Man Riley Equivalencies (WMRNHLE) for Omark are 2 points. One in Edmonton, and one over the rest of the year (and a shootout goal)

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#42 Wax Man Riley
April 22 2012, 01:37PM
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Muji 狗 wrote:

I'm not mad that they're not keeping Omark. But I am mad that they're going to lose him before knowing exactly what they have in him. Also, they'll get nothing for him; they burried him on a 29th place team.

I like Omark. I hope he makes it in the NHL and burns the Oilers whenever he plays them.

I think he is 25 going on 26 and they know exactly what they have.

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#43 Clarence Oveur
April 22 2012, 02:49PM
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Or he'll go the way of Rob Schremp.

Regardless, he's a goner.

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#44 Oil Bog
April 22 2012, 03:08PM
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Jamie Sale inspirers. Does Omark have the same effect with his team mates (other than the swedes) not likekly. Is Omark as good as Samsonov was. No. Omark gave us hope of something 80ish. So did Shremp. The nhl 80's are done. You need more as a player now. Look at Ovechkin. All the skill in the world doesn't bring you the cup. You need to be great and you need to be a great team player. That seems to be the formula. Maybe Omark has that him but he hasn't shown it. Will he, maybe, but at this point in his career is he really worth tying your hopes too? No.

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#45 Rocknrolla
April 22 2012, 03:39PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Seeing as it is now open season on "what is Linus Omark worth on the trade market", I've been knocking around a few ideas.

Detroit seems an obvious candidate, but at what cost? Their draft position devalues many of their later-round picks, yet they have already traded a 1st round pick and may be reluctant to move a 2nd rounder in the same year. I also don't know that Ken Holland is a big fan of trading picks in future years, so I won't suggest that. That leaves one of their prospects and I think we can safely exclude Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar, Teemu Pulkinnen and Brendan Smith from that list.

Columbus could be interesting, but I could only see Scott Howson moving a 3rd round pick for Omark. At this point Omark's selling feature is along the lines of "a bird in the hand..." for many GMs.

Montreal may be the more easily swayed party as they have two 2nd round picks this year and three next year. Omark for a 2013 2nd round pick? That would give the Oilers three 2nd round picks in that draft year. And Omark does fit the size criteria for the Canadiens. What if the Oilers were to move Omark and Peckham together to the Canadiens?

Now this last one may be apples and oranges because of style of play and age, but would Omark be worth Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors? St. Louis could afford Omark's small stature in their lineup, although his play might make Hitchcock's head explode. It would probably be an underpayment for Omark, but I think we need to accept that he isn't going to be worth great deal at this stage.

Now the really crazy trade idea: Omark to Calgary for one of Ferland, Reinhart or Gaudreau. It would help Oiler fans move past the grieving stage and directly into anger towards Omark, and Flames fans would be irate at Feaster for making another trade with their despised northern cousins. At this stage Omark would almost immediately slide into their top six rotation and improve their powerplay.

Yeah, I know, not going to happen.

I would have said Omark to Calgary for draft picks, but Feaster has already traded many of those away.

I see him going to Dallas, Phoenix, or Montreal. 3 worst PP teams last year.

Anyone see coach Hunter on the Washington bench. He's drinking out of the old Gatorade style water bottle like he did as a player. Love it. No bottled Evian for him. After each goal he takes a swig.

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#46 Bulging Twine
April 22 2012, 04:03PM
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Isn't Omark slow?

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#48 steelymac
April 22 2012, 04:36PM
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Im watching the caps bruins game right now and what a game.I think the east is more exciting this year than the west to watch anyway.Washington has the players we need to get over the top.We need Brooks Laich we need Holtby and we need Alzner.So what do we have that they would want?Well we have the first overall we have Gags,Omark and Peckam is that enough? sure changes our team when it comes to competing.That Johannson looks good at center as well along with Backstrom.Of all other 30 teams this one trading partner has what we NEED.As I have said before Washington may over pay with there cap trouble and the chemistry with Yakapov and Kunetzov[sp}.Im with Hall we have to be in the playoffs next year.If Dithers doesnt have the BALLS I will pull the trigger on this one.LOL.

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#49 Oilers89
April 22 2012, 07:39PM
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striatic wrote:

ok so losing Omark is fine by me, though i think if he'd been handled better the oil could have gotten more for him than they will.

the caveat is that losing him is fine IF the Oilers draft Yakupov and not Murray.

a blowtorch needs to be taken to this myth that the Oilers are "stacked on offense need to trade for defense". when people were talking about trading Hemsky at the deadline, there was no one in the system to take his minutes at similar levels of point production.

Smyth is not going to be around much longer and Jones, gawdlovim, isn't a replacement. MPS hasn't shown well enough yet and i don't think the Oilers should gamble that he will.

is Gagner a center on a championship level team? again, hasn't shown well enough yet. Hall may need to switch to C, and if so who plays first line LW, let alone second?

this team needs Nail Yakupov.

I like this post. Yakupov is needed. Last year by my count we had three players who were dangerous basically every shift and who could score on a regular basis. The three were the kids, and I am sure that Hemsky will come out and be very good next year. The point is last year without a kid on a line that line was basically useless. Let's draft another kid who can make more than one line dangerous.

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#50 etownman
April 22 2012, 09:05PM
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There was no room for Omark to strut his stuff, especially when Smytty was brought back! Omark can play & it's an injustice to compare him to Schremp! Robbie would not play in traffic one iota, Linus will! Hudler's a UFA this year in Detroit & I do believe they're going to change some things around there. I could see Linus going there to replace Hudler & I believe he would put up some sweet numbers playing with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen et al!

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