Linus Omark Bound for Russia

Omark

According to a European newspaper, Linus Omark has agreed to join Moscow Dynamo for the 2009-10 season. A translation has been provided at HFBoards.

Many thought that they would go to the NHL. But the huge money in the Russian KHL was more appealing. Today both Johan Harju and Linus Omark signed with big club Dynamo Moscow.
– I can confirm that it is true, says player agent Patrik Aronsson.

There’s bound to be blame on both ends; some will blame Omark for not doing whatever it takes to make the NHL, while others will blame the Oilers for being unwilling to give Omark a guaranteed roster spot. There’s truth to both points of view.

There is, however, one point of view which cannot be argued. Linus Omark, one of the finest offensive talents currently outside the NHL will not be an option for the Oilers next season, and that’s undoubtedly a bad thing. By way of comparison, here’s his stats line and that of Fabian Brunnstrom:

  • Omark: 53GP – 23G – 32A – 55PTS
  • Brunnstrom: 54GP – 9G – 28A – 37PTS

When you consider that Omark was a full year younger than Brunnstrom, those totals become even more remarkable. Based on the performance of players coming from different leagues to the NHL, Gabriel Desjardins developed a projection system to give a ball-park idea of a player’s likely contribution. Here is his projection for Omark over an 82 game schedule:

  • Omark: 82GP – 28G – 39A – 67PTS

That’s hardly an iron-clad number, but it does give us an idea of what players who post Omark’s numbers in Europe typically do in the NHL. Whether Omark would have been able to achieve that or not is an open question, but one thing is for sure – after an excellent job by the European scouting department to identify a late round pick, and after years of development in Sweden, Linus Omark was a very intriguing option for the Edmonton Oilers next season. The fact that he isn’t coming over can only be regarded as a negative, and if in fact the reason for his defection was that the Oilers refused to guarantee an NHL roster spot (as has been reported), somebody should lose their job.

This is the same team that’s spent roster spots on marginal talents like Liam Reddox and Jeff Deslauriers just in this past season – there’s no reason not to guarantee Omark a spot as 14th forward. This was a low-risk, high-reward scenario, and if that was the sticking point it was a bad one.

  • Hippy

    So what are the Oilers options going forward with him? Will he be available for us to sign next year? If so, perhaps a year in another league developing instead of sitting in our press box taking up a contract is a good thing.

  • Hippy

    @ Rick:
    Ah that would make sense.

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    I guess it's only an issue when the NHL wants to poach KHL players then?

    dumb. The only way to put the NHLs tolerance for this.

  • Hippy

    Colin-FMNF wrote:

    I thought if we had his rights no other teams (including the KHL since the agreement) could sign him to a contract?
    getting really sick of this Russian League horse s**t.

    I don't think rights has anything to do with it. It's only if he is under contract that factors in.

    Which he isn't.

  • Hippy

    I thought if we had his rights no other teams (including the KHL since the agreement) could sign him to a contract?

    getting really sick of this Russian League horse s**t.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    As long as the Oilers retain his rights I don't care if he plays another year in Russia. If they lose his rights this is a completely inexcusable mistake.

  • Hippy

    One can hardly count on the clownshoes running this team to do anything remotely intelligent, so it's easy to dismiss this as yet another screw-up in the ongoing grocery list of suck.

    However, regardless of his perceived talent, I'm not convinced that adding another 5'9" smurf to our roster would fill many of our needs. Swapping him out for one of our EXISTING smurfs, though, now THAT would be decent.

  • Hippy

    Just with his upside alone, it seems that he would be more useful than Pouliot. Doesnt make much sense. Maybe more details will come to light in the next few days.

  • Hippy

    What does this mean for the Oilers with respect to Omark's rights going forward? Do the Oilers have a certain period of time to get Omark under contract before he becomes a free agent available to any NHL team?