Linus Omark signs

Jonathan Willis
August 27 2013 10:00AM

 

The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they had signed Linus Omark to a one-year contract.

Two-Way Contract

Bob Stauffer offers the explanation for what changed:

The Oilers likely would always have taken Omark back on a two-way deal, but the player clearly felt he'd proven he was better than the AHL. My guess is that after looking around for a new home this summer, Omark got a better idea of what his NHL stock was, and decided that a two-way contract made sense.

As for Edmonton, with the departure of Toni Rajala the Oklahoma City Barons were looking awfully light on firepower; Omark is an exceptional scorer at that level and offers the Oilers another recall option.

What I Expect

It would be something of a surprise if Omark cracked the Oilers' roster out of training camp. While he is a good player there simply isn't room in the top-six and he's a bad fit for a Boyd Gordon line oriented toward defence. With the number of one-way conmtracts the Oilers are carrying, it would take something exceptional for Omark to force his way on to the roster.

But that isn't what this is about for Omark; this is a move designed to get him into the NHL. He already saw that a fantastic year in Switzerland wasn't enough to get the interest of NHL teams - the question isn't his scoring ability, it's the rest of his game. If he shows well in training camp, he might get a team interested when he's sent down to the minors (as he needs to clear waivers). If he clears waivers but shows well in the AHL, he's more likely to land an NHL contract next season.

The Oilers are bringing in a guy who has decided that he wants to play in the NHL more than he wants to make the easy money in Europe. This season is about Omark proving what he can bring; he's going to be highly motivated and it's never a bad thing to have a driven guy with real ability in the system, even if he has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Justin Azevedo digs a little deeper into Matt Stajan - who breathed some life into his career with a strong performance last season - and aks if we've been underrating him all along:

Stajan has had three seasons where he's been a top-6 forward by any measure and another outlying season where he was unfairly lambasted by both fans and coach alike - which is odd considering the coach is the one that positioned Stajan to fail. He might not be able to make his teammates in the top-6 better, but he can play with them to the degree necessary. He pushes play forward and scores at a good rate while costing about the average amount for his position.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Darrell
August 27 2013, 10:03AM
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This should stick a fist up DSFs a$$ ....

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#2 Chris
August 27 2013, 10:37AM
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How anyone can be opposed to adding a player who won a scoring title in an NHL lockout year, with NHLers in the swiss league is beyond me. Hes better than 4/6 of our bottom six. 0.46 ppg in the NHL playing with bottom tier linemates. Oiler fans must not like having depth. Omark has a ton of talent and if he plays hard, like say for a contract, its a win win. 600k!

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#3 ubermiguel
August 27 2013, 10:20AM
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Spector's reporting $600k NHL price tag!!! MacT win.

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#4 Obiwan Eberle - Team Silver Fox
August 27 2013, 10:27AM
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If there is a no desire to rush RNH back then a shift of Hall to center, for a time, is much easier with Omark as a 2nd line LW option...

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#5 Marshall Law
August 27 2013, 12:22PM
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The most exciting part of this transaction is that it now allows us to observe as the local media tries to explain how they never meant to say that Omark was a joke with no value.

Clearly there remains some interest in him. Otherwise, the Oilers would have Toni Rajala-ed him a long time ago. One can only hope he gets a decent opportunity to prove himself this time around.

Shove it up the backsides of your critics, Linus!

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#6 ScottieA
August 27 2013, 10:06AM
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Oh wait, what was that Stauffer said about Omark back in June?..

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#7 John Chambers
August 27 2013, 12:33PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I'm not sure you get how this works. It's about having options and minimizing risk.

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#8 They're $hittie
August 27 2013, 11:27AM
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truthseeker wrote:

Huge move, under-appreciated by most. Opens up the chance to move Gagner to effect fundamental change in the roster.

omark has nothing to do with Gagner. Stupid comment.

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#9 Supernova
August 27 2013, 10:34AM
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Omark > Smyth

good move.

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#10 Peachy
August 27 2013, 11:09AM
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@shanetrain

Given that Toronto is ranked #12, the article has zero credibility.

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#11 wheeler
August 27 2013, 10:23AM
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Well JW, it appears you and Staples disagree on something, as he likes the Omark-Gordon-Hemsky idea.

"It’s no secret that Ales Hemsky is a soloist who does his best work when surrounded by support players. Newly acquired centre Boyd Gordon and Omark can be those support players, with Gordon doing the heavy lifting down low in the Oilers zone, like Shawn Horcoff used to do with and for Hemsky. Gordon will also be the guy coming back hard on the backcheck. Omark can win pucks on the boards all over the ice, while Hemsky is on the puck, advancing it up the ice, his great strength as a player." "this line would have a chance to get the job done by cycling the puck in the offensive end, and surviving in the Oilers end due to the efforts of Gordon."

I think you're wrong on this one.

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#12 Mojo
August 27 2013, 11:31AM
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@justDOit

5 goals + shootout winner. All against some goalie named James Reimer.

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#13 justDOit
August 27 2013, 11:51AM
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BOLD:

Blazing

Offence

Lacking

Defence

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#14 OilDieHard
August 27 2013, 10:14AM
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he won't last long here, and if he scores, he'll make attractive trade bait. kudos to the Oilers for not just releasing this guy and actually trying to get something for him down the road.

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#15 Marshall Law
August 27 2013, 01:05PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

This is the most exciting part of the transaction for you? Puzzling perspective, that.

Omark, as he and his agent clearly found out, doesn't hold the cachet with NHL GMs he thought he did. Tearing it up in Europe didn't get the phone ringing the way he hoped.

Now, he's back and saying the right things about doing what it takes to make it to the NHL. There is no downside to Omark coming back motivated to show he belongs at the NHL level. We'll see if he does.

Truthfully, seeing Omark get another opportunity is what excites me the most.

I merely find it interesting that, over the past 2 years, many members of the local media have spared no effort in ridiculing fans for believing that he deserved another shot. These same individuals now must acknowledge that Omark may hold some worth.

I can appreciate that you, like other members of the media, have had to tolerate many unrealistic trade proposals involving Omark's name. That would undoubtedly get irritating. However, it seems as though this has spurred many of you to respond by suggesting that Omark has no value whatsoever.

My argument is simply that, if this were the case, they wouldn't have bothered holding onto his rights.

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#16 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 27 2013, 11:01AM
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600k is reasonable. I love an underdog story, I hope he makes the team and tears it up this year. Call it youtube fodder, but that 360 shootout winner was awesome to see.

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#17 jake
August 27 2013, 01:00PM
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They have his rights, he wants to come back, does so on Oilers terms, 2-way contract.....no risk, all potential gain. If his AHL salary is 100,000.00, not outrageous either. Win-win.

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#18 DieHard
August 27 2013, 01:53PM
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MacT wants internal competition, he wants skill verses non-skill, he wants to weed out the whiners, he wants players to want to be here. Omark wants an honest chance to play in the NHL. I don't believe he's ever gotten one. This is do or die for Omark. This is an excellent move by MacT.

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#19 Tyler
August 27 2013, 10:41AM
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I'm with ya. MacT stressed that you have to at least be a threat to score when any line is out there. Why have a pure defence line? Put out Hemmer Omark and Gordon (to make sure they're not giving up more than they create - another MacT mantra) and you may have something. A creative and offensively gifted duo against other 3rd lines with less skill could be dynamite. Two potential 30-55pt (Hemmer obviously represent the 40-50 range with Linus in the 30-40 with little PP time) but those guys that deep in the roster doesn't happen often. If the experiment fails in preseason or even a few games in to the season, flush it. Risk reward ratios have to say giddy up. Calgary, Vancouver, the Ducks, PHX and even LA, or the Sharks don't have that kind of offence on the 3rd.

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#20 Craig1981
August 27 2013, 11:29AM
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DSF wrote:

How Gillis handles this will be a defining moment of his career.

In other news, CSN Philly ranks the GM/Coach combinations in the NHL.

http://www.csnphilly.com/hockey-philadelphia-flyers/ranking-all-30-gmcoach-combos-nhl?

Some local sports writer rated the Oilers last...OMG. If you read, he based it on their poor performance in the last 7 years. MacT was put in place at the end of the season and Eakins hasn't coached a game yet....... His argument for having them as the worst duo makes as much sense as when you told me the Bruins would resign everyone from last year.

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#21 916oiler
August 27 2013, 11:46AM
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This is good. The Oilers will get SOMETHING, one way or another, out of Omark instead of him dancing around in Switzlandialand with the polar bears and unicorns.

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#22 Mojo
August 27 2013, 10:20AM
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I still think this guy is an NHLer, but he does play very well on the big ice.

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#23 yawto
August 27 2013, 11:05AM
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@shanetrain

Steve Tambellini got more for Dustin Penner a couple years back than feaster got for Iginla last year and feaster isn't listed as the worst. ( and who is the high school kid they took saying they felt they got the best player I the draft a year ago ). #zerocredibility

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#24 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 12:49PM
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Why do most of the media, especially the Edmonton media keep pronouncing his name wrong? You'd think they'd catch on when his teammates pronounce it correctly in their interviews. It is pronounced "Lee-Nuss", not "Ly-Nuss" like the Charlie Brown character.

It makes them sound like lazy morons.

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#25 Oil Fan in Ottawa
August 27 2013, 11:00AM
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Why not have the bottom two lines be:

Omark-Arcobello-Hemsky (play soft competition)

Smyth/Joensuu-Gordon-Jones (take the d-zone starts)

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#26 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 11:12AM
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Nothing wrong with this move at all. 30P in 65GP, while getting mostly 3rd-4th line minutes and 15-20(?) of those GP with Belanger is not bad numbers at all.

At best he helps the PP/shootout & depth or gets us something in return in a trade. At worst he gets claimed on waivers, or if he clears waivers, he "replaces" Rajala and OKC is much stronger. I fail to see any negatives. It's simply more depth and with the Oilers injury problems the last few years, that is a good thing to have.

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#27 Grizztopia
August 27 2013, 01:20PM
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mooler wrote:

Jeeze, switzerland's closer to the equator than the polarbears...

I'm a fan of how you're willing to let the part about the unicorns slide.

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#28 Robin Brownlee
August 27 2013, 12:42PM
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Marshall Law wrote:

The most exciting part of this transaction is that it now allows us to observe as the local media tries to explain how they never meant to say that Omark was a joke with no value.

Clearly there remains some interest in him. Otherwise, the Oilers would have Toni Rajala-ed him a long time ago. One can only hope he gets a decent opportunity to prove himself this time around.

Shove it up the backsides of your critics, Linus!

This is the most exciting part of the transaction for you? Puzzling perspective, that.

Omark, as he and his agent clearly found out, doesn't hold the cachet with NHL GMs he thought he did. Tearing it up in Europe didn't get the phone ringing the way he hoped.

Now, he's back and saying the right things about doing what it takes to make it to the NHL. There is no downside to Omark coming back motivated to show he belongs at the NHL level. We'll see if he does.

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#29 Craig1981
August 27 2013, 10:10AM
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You would think is any of the top 6 get injured there will be a chance for him. Then I would think Dallas might be the perfect type of coach for him.

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#30 Hayek
August 27 2013, 11:23AM
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Great signing, point a game player in AHL, lead Swiss League in scoring last year. Welcome back Omark, hopefully you make this roster and give us a 3rd line with scoring threat.

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#31 Batfink
August 27 2013, 02:48PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Omark - Gordon - Hemsky sounds interesting but I don't know if the chemistry will work. Omark and Hemsky are both "puck hogs" and are both of the "pass first" mentality. They would be constantly cycling and almost never shooting. Driving the opposition, teammates, coaches and the fans crazy.

A puck hog that has a pass first mentality? I'm not a 'linguistics major' but I know what an oxymoron is. And what a moron is.

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#32 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 27 2013, 01:39PM
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@tileguy

I would argue that Omark's spin was much more classy as he 360'd at the blue/high slot then faked the slapper and went 5 hole. Bit of a showboat? Sure, but if he missed the goal, he would never have heard the end of it from fans, coaches and the media.

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#33 wiseguy
August 27 2013, 10:03AM
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Facepalm!

The more things change...

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#34 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 27 2013, 11:15AM
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Didn't Omark have a 5 goal game in the AHL a couple years ago?

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#35 shanetrain
August 27 2013, 11:26AM
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@DSF

Gillis could find himself all alone in first place if he found another home for those two regular season wonders.

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#36 OilDieHard
August 27 2013, 10:59AM
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wheeler wrote:

Well JW, it appears you and Staples disagree on something, as he likes the Omark-Gordon-Hemsky idea.

"It’s no secret that Ales Hemsky is a soloist who does his best work when surrounded by support players. Newly acquired centre Boyd Gordon and Omark can be those support players, with Gordon doing the heavy lifting down low in the Oilers zone, like Shawn Horcoff used to do with and for Hemsky. Gordon will also be the guy coming back hard on the backcheck. Omark can win pucks on the boards all over the ice, while Hemsky is on the puck, advancing it up the ice, his great strength as a player." "this line would have a chance to get the job done by cycling the puck in the offensive end, and surviving in the Oilers end due to the efforts of Gordon."

I think you're wrong on this one.

i like the idea of an Omark/Gordon/Hemsky 3rd line. it might be the best we can do at the moment, especially if MacT can't dump Hemsky this year.

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#37 ubermiguel
August 27 2013, 10:16AM
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Sounds like someone picked up a little humility in Zug. Wonder if this deal was in the works before dumping Rajala.

What's his waiver status if it's a 2 way deal?

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#38 heresdylan
August 27 2013, 10:18AM
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I don't think Omark will play much if any in the AHL. Mac-T most likely promised lots of NHL minutes. 3rd line with Gordon and Hemsky.

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#39 shanetrain
August 27 2013, 10:32AM
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Omark and Hemsky with Gordon is a disaster if it happens.

Gordon will need an oxygen tank everytime he comes back to the bench.

I really hope this isn't it for MacT.

Danny Cleary and maybe Brunner at the right # would really solidify the bottom 6.

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#40 Rocket
August 27 2013, 02:12PM
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Wow the advanced stats guys are going nuts on the interweb. Over at thecopperandblue they're practically popping champagne.

I think it's an interesting signing. Good for Omark and The Oilers. I wonder if he pushes Jones down to the fourth line?

I think a third line with Gordon, Hemsky, & Omark looks tempting.

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#41 Stew
August 27 2013, 10:02AM
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FIST!

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#42 Archaeologuy
August 27 2013, 10:18AM
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*Shakes head disapprovingly*

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#44 Rob...
August 27 2013, 11:03AM
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@shanetrain

I'm waiting to read where the National Enquirer has the Oilers GM/Coach duo ranked before giving up all hope... they're a more credible source for hockey news than a site where a 'top story' is "Christie Brinkley made baseball cards of the 1995 World Series teams?".

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#45 Oilbaron
August 27 2013, 11:48AM
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I knew it! When that story broke a month ago about Omark close to returning to the NHL, I had a feeling it was gonna be with Edmonton. I think Mac-T just wants everyone to compete for a spot, and the remainders will be trade bait.

I think they told him to keep quiet about it too once the news came out

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#46 Spydyr
August 27 2013, 01:38PM
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Smart move by Linus.He was looking to get back in the NHL now he will have to clear waivers before going down.Looks like he could of been earning more in Europe so the desire to play in the NHL is there.Hope he gets a fair shake.

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#47 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 01:39PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

He shouldn't give a rats ass. He hasn't done enough to receive the attention he has been given.

To the critics, show me another player who may score 35 pts this year making 600k, that electrifys a fan base like lee-nuss Omark. He wants in the NHL. He is too good for the AHL. Its time for you too "put up or shut" up leenus.

They should give a rat's ass. It is their job.

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#48 Tikkanese
August 27 2013, 02:25PM
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justDOit wrote:

Tikkanese is not a dialect know for correct pronunciations - your position on this seems at odds with your screen name.

Given that Linus is also a name in North America, I don't see why it's so strange for broadcasters to pronounce it incorrectly. Most of them are not linguistics majors!

The Tikkanese dialect is never wrong, just ask Esa!

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#49 tileguy
August 27 2013, 03:42PM
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I would call Omark a puck hound as he will relentlessly keep going for it.

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#50 Supernova
August 27 2013, 10:36AM
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I have to give credit where credit is due

DSF

"Vancouver Sun reports the Sedin twins are hoping to re-sign contract extensions with the #Canucks before training camp opens in two weeks"

DSF has stated this repeatedly, but also states for a lower cap hit, which is where we disagree.

DSF says lower cap number and short term

I say higher cap number and at least 4 years.

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