Linus Omark Recalled

Jonathan Willis
November 06 2013 08:01AM

 

So. That happened.

It feels like it's been a long time coming, but the Oilers have decided to call-up Linus Omark.

The Lineup

The interesting item here (or at least one of them) is the timing. Ryan Smyth played last night, which went some distance toward neutralizing the Oilers' need for a left wing. Here's what the forward lines looked like against Florida:

  • Hemsky - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
  • Smyth - Gagner - Yakupov
  • Jones - Gordon - Arcobello
  • Gazdic - Acton - Eager

Where does Omark fit in that group, and who comes out for him?

The first task is to find him a spot in the top-nine, and that seems pretty straight-forward even if we assume no injury. The fourth line struggled badly last night, and I'd guess that Ben Eager rotates out and Ryan Jones moves down to right wing. Smyth gets bumped down to the third line with Gordon and Arcobello, and Omark slots in with Gagner and Yakupov on an all-offence line.

There are other ways to do it, but there seems at least to be a spot for him in the rotation.

The window for Omark to make an impression is narrow here: Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu and David Perron are all out of the lineup with injury, and if even one or two of them get back and Omark hasn't done much he'll be on his way back to the farm.

More to Come?

Rumour has it the Oilers and the New York Rangers have been talking trade, with the Rangers in bad need of a skilled winger. Could it be that there's a trade in place for one of the Oilers' wings? 

Because that's certainly one way to read this recall. If an Ales Hemsky (or maybe even Nail Yakupov) is heading out of town, there's suddenly a slot on a skill line that needs filling and Omark's the only really viable candidate for the role. 

Maybe there's nothing more to this than the coach being unhappy with his lines and deciding those guys from the farm did such a nice job injecting some scoring into the lineup that it makes sense to add one more. But it's certainly possible that there's another shoe left to drop.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Of course the lockout makes things a little wonky but there's nothing that can be done about that.

I think the "garbage time" aspect of Yakupov's rookie season IS something that needs a closer look.

He scored 34 NHL points last season with 10G and 15P coming in April.

His shooting percentage in April was 30.3%.

Clearly an unsustainable run for anyone.

It's not much of an argument. esp. against a player playing on a terrible, terrible team.

What you really want is an argument about sample size.

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#52 madjam
November 06 2013, 08:07AM
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No surprise I suppose , as call ups seem to be doing more than incumbents .

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#53 Talbot17
November 06 2013, 08:07AM
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When i saw he was recalled, the music off of Step Brothers when Will Farrell looks at Dale's drums went off in my head.

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#54 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 08:24AM
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I wonder if Sather wants to have an NHL look at Linus before he gets thrown in with a package?

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#55 Lochenzo
November 06 2013, 09:22AM
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Doomoil wrote:

He's not eligible to go down to OKC and would have to return to Juniors.

Wow, he's still junior eligible?!?! I hope everyone realizes just how young he still is. He's not getting the slack that Hall, Eberle and RNH received as they went through their growing pains in their first 82 games in the league.

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#56 Word
November 06 2013, 10:58AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

This is a completely valid point. Age is a very good indicator of true talent. That's why you don't evaluate "rookies" (for example) when one is 18 and the other is 24 (unless you are giving away meaningless awards).

Age is a great caveat to this conversation. As are birth month and things like lockouts.

All that said, we need to add even more caveats and ask why you are making the four month difference in age between the two do so much work here? It makes your analysis sketchy at best and certainly clouds the value of it.

A couple of factual questions for you: what counts as a player's "age year" for you?

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

I have to think that people trashed you before they read the entire post. I "propsded".

Propers.

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#57 shanetrain
November 06 2013, 11:12AM
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@DSF

You are going to compare Yak to Stamkos?

Ok. Elite company.

However, I do not see a Lecavalier or St Louis on Edmonton's roster.

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#58 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 11:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward.

While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

Now, some of that difference may be team effects but it's worth noting that Stamkos posted his numbers on a team that finished 25th overall that season but Stamkos managed to finish 4th in league scoring with 95 points and led his team in scoring.

I don't think there is any danger than Yakupov will do any of those things.

Is it not also important to note who each player was playing on a line with?

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#59 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 06 2013, 11:31AM
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DSF wrote:

Draft year + helps me just fine.

How did Stamkos do in his draft year +1?

51G 44A 95P

that's draft year +2. (hint: "draft year" = the year you are drafted)

not sure why you would fudge on that. I don't think anyone is trying to run Stamkos down around here.

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#60 Vaclav
November 06 2013, 01:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Of course the lockout makes things a little wonky but there's nothing that can be done about that.

I think the "garbage time" aspect of Yakupov's rookie season IS something that needs a closer look.

He scored 34 NHL points last season with 10G and 15P coming in April.

His shooting percentage in April was 30.3%.

Clearly an unsustainable run for anyone.

You're right. You should look at the "garbage time" aspect of his rookie season a bit closer.

In April Yakupov scored: 3G 1A against a Wild squad fighting for their playoff lives

1 G against Chicago who went 10-4 in the month

1 G against Phoenix who were still in the playoff chase

1 A against each of LA and Anaheim who were fighting for playoff positioning

3G 1A against the Flames which are never garbage games as far as intensity goes

3G against the Vancouver Canucks ECHL affiliate albeit with Luongo in net

So if we ignore the Vancouver game he still scored 8G 4A in 13 meaningful games. Keep beating that "garbage time" drum DSF.

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#61 2004Z06
November 06 2013, 02:01PM
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@David S

On most of your points, I would agree with your comments albeit one.

It has been mentioned many times that in order to change the make up of the top six, you may have to move out a point producer in exchange for a player that may not necessarily produce the points on par, but brings more of what the team needs overall ie. grit, defensive responsibility, size, puck possession, face off% etc.

I agree that teams are not eager to trade these types of players hence the comment about using Gagner in a package to get the return.

You are correct in the fact that every GM knows what we need, but there are many teams out there that have size and are lacking scoring. Sam could be well insulated on a team like that as the size of his linemates would not only protect him against the Kassians of the world but would allow him more time and space as well as cover up for some of his defensive short comings.

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#62 Stack Pad Save
November 06 2013, 06:28PM
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@Joy S. Lee

I agree. I don't like Sam Gagner with the Oilers. He is a servicable NHL player as an offensive specialist, but the Oilers have a much better version of him in RNH. Also Arcobello has proven to be a better all around option as he is a better forechecker, better defensively and better at the face off. Gagner fans are out to lunch, the guy is invisible unless he does something horrendous most nights that cause goals against. He than puts up a great game here or there and gets in the occasional scrap and some fans love him for it. I personally would use him in a trade for something we really need if I was GM. ...... but than again, I am not the GM.

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#63 Taylor Gang
November 06 2013, 06:51PM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Treating someone's ascent to stardom as a linear one is folly. When Crosby and Ovechkin came into the league, most people claimed Ovechkin was the better of the two. Nowadays, it's Crosby, and it's not close.

You're splitting hairs to say that Yakupov is behind in his development just because Stamkos progressed differently. Bottom line: Yakupov broke Stamkos' records for Sarnia so it's far too early to jump to conclusions just yet.

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#64 bubba
November 06 2013, 08:52AM
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GREGOR!!! Omark recalled!! If he scores you better be wearing one of Strudwick's Sweaters!!!

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#65 Keon14
November 06 2013, 09:10AM
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Doomoil wrote:

He's not eligible to go down to OKC and would have to return to Juniors.

Oh - RNH played in OKC last year vs returning to junior!

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#66 Starving Student
November 06 2013, 09:17AM
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WHO'S PLAYING IN OKC?!

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#67 Lochenzo
November 06 2013, 09:32AM
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GriffCity wrote:

I dont mind this call up. I liked what we saw in Pitlick but he got injured in the PHX game and I hope Omark can contribute. Who is getting sent out of town? It better not be Ales Hemsky, this guy had dont everything he has been asked this year, including sacrificing his body to block shots. I am hoping that we will see Yakupov sent to NYC for Del Zotto. I really wanted Yak to turn into that Bure type player but I dont think he will and frankly, we dont have time to wait for his development to maybe happen or not. I would hate to see Hemsky go at this point, I do not think he is part of the problem.

I'm greedy. For me to part ways with Yak, I want one of the Rangers' top pairs, Ryan McDonaugh. Del Zotto is a great Dman, but he's currently in a 3/4 pair.

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#68 Spoils
November 06 2013, 10:03AM
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smytty's halfclapper wrote:

Can anyone clear this up for me - why don't we have Arcobello playing center and Gagner on the wing? Gagner won 22% of draws last night, and 9% the game before. He's not a great skater, and while Arcobello isn't much better, he does have more of a presence at the faceoff dot.

I cringe every time Gags takes an O-zone draw, especially on the PP... wasted chance!

Why not just have Arco take the key draws as a winger? People get tossed out of the circle all the time.

At least until his numbers go up.

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#69 TigerUnderGlass
November 06 2013, 10:44AM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

...and Dustin Penner has the best +/- in the league. What is your point exactly?

The argument that Yakupov is a bust because he hasn't destroyed the league before completing a whole season is absurd.

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#70 TigerUnderGlass
November 06 2013, 10:46AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Why not simply use "draft year +"?

Because that doesn't help him here. He will do so when it is beneficial, not before.

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#71 Word
November 06 2013, 10:54AM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Everybody pay attention! DSF has enlightened us with the absolute fact that age trumps experience. Ergo, Gagner is awesome again!

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#72 oilerjed
November 06 2013, 11:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Generally speaking, although there are certainly exceptions, the physical maturation of young men changes drastically from the age of 18 to 20.

Often, observers of the draft miss the obvious that one player taken may be almost a year older than another and then are amazed when the younger player takes a major step forward.

While "draft year +" makes it easier to compare players, it lacks the age context.

In any event, Yakupov played 70 professional hockey games last season and, while he performed quite well, much of his production came in garbage time and against teams that were already comfortably in the playoffs.

Using your "draft year +" approach even with the caveat that Yakupov is older than Stamkos in the year, the comparative production looks pretty dreadful for Yakupov.

Now, some of that difference may be team effects but it's worth noting that Stamkos posted his numbers on a team that finished 25th overall that season but Stamkos managed to finish 4th in league scoring with 95 points and led his team in scoring.

I don't think there is any danger than Yakupov will do any of those things.

Is it not also important to note who each player was playing on a line with?

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#73 Zarny
November 06 2013, 02:33PM
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DSF wrote:

Stamkos posted those numbers as an 18 year old...Yakupov is 20.

When Stamkos was 19, he scored 51G 44A 95P

When Stamkos was 20, he scored 45G 46A 91P

Also worth noting, Nail Yakupov has the worst plus/minus in the NHL at -13.

Stamkos also had St. Louis passing him the puck and still had Vinnie on the other line.

Age is a factor but experience counts for far more and Yak has only played 63 games.

Take a look at Tavares' numbers...I guess he's just a hack because he didn't put up 50 G in his 2nd year.

Oh and how did you like Galchenyuk looking like a lost puppy when Mon moved him to C the other night?

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#74 2004Z06
November 06 2013, 04:16PM
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@David S

Not a fan of that stat. I prefer actual numbers rather than predictions. A lot can happen over the other 34 games. Too many variables.

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#75 dangilitis
November 06 2013, 04:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Hint.

Stamkos was drafted in 2008.

In 2009/10 one year after being drafted he scored 51G 44A 95P.

Unless you are calling rookie seasons Draft Year +1.

Back to your original argument - no way I would say Yak will become Stamkos, but many thought Stamkos wouldn't become Stamkos. Not every 1st overall pick has to be the best goal scorer in the league, but they are the most likely bets at an extremely young age, before they are allowed to buy liquor or vote. I would settle for a legitimate top line forward, and there's still no indication to me that he cannot become this.

But if you want to talk purely about production early in NHL careers and use stats to prove your point, here are some stats that prove that Yak is better, even with this horrendous slump he finds himself in, than Stamkos.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1815423-breaking-down-nail-yakupovs-trade-value-for-edmonton-oilers

You see how I just took a few credible numbers, inserted them in an argument to make myself look smart? This post is straight from the DSF school of logic. Thank you, and please, from here on out, lets only talk about Yak's value as being greater or equal to that of one of the game's elite forwards...

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#76 Joy S. Lee
November 06 2013, 05:05PM
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David S wrote:

Unfortunately that was the stat that got Sam a new contract and would be the evaluation point for the rest of the league too. That and his outstanding PK and PP play.

He may not fit into your definition of success because he doesn't punch faces much or deliver crushing body checks, but Sam is a pretty valuable player because (healthy) he helps a team put up W's by contributing the things team success is determined by in the standings - G's and A's.

He helps a team put up W's? Um, hate to break it to you, but Sam's lifetime NHL record would pretty much suck about as bad as you'll find. Not all his fault, but THAT is a FACT....even more factual than his fictional 65-point season. When Sam starts dominating, let me know. Great attitude helps, but does not guarantee wins, quite the opposite.

Of all the guys on the Oilers we allow excuses for, who on the team is perhaps the weakest defensively? Would Sam be amongst that group? If so, this is what, season 7 for him? I think he's had time to figure it out. That doesn't sound very promising.

And, I hope I'm wrong.....but don't think I am.

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#77 Ales Hallsky
November 06 2013, 08:56PM
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Barrrffff. This dsf arguing is worse than a kassian two hander to the chops and a potter skate to skull stomp.

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