Linus Omark didn’t try to hide his disappointment and frustration at being sent to the minors by the Edmonton Oilers this morning when he spoke with reporters at Rexall Place.
The skilled 23-year-old Swede is ticketed to the AHL with Oklahoma City after failing to do enough, at least in the minds of those calling the shots, to earn a spot among the Oilers top nine forwards.
There’s a lot of people out there, me included, who saw that writing on the wall because it looked, at least from where I sit, like the diminutive winger didn’t really get an honest shot at showcasing his skills — outside of an appearance on a line with Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner.
Summoned to face obligatory questions from the media — "Linus, is it disappointing that . . .?" — Omark didn’t sugar-coat his feelings after getting the bad news.
WHAT HE SAID
"Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m going to go to Oklahoma and do my best and, hopefully, I come back," Omark said.
Omark was then asked what, if anything, the Oilers said to him regarding the reason he was being demoted. "What did they say? That they’re going to work on some stuff and they want to see me here, but I’m going to go there," he said.
Then, Omark was asked by Jim Matheson of The Journal if he thought he picked the wrong time to come to Edmonton because of all the young, skilled players the Oilers have vying for jobs. "You can see that way, but I’m a better right now than I was last year, so I don’t know," Omark said.
Dan Tencer of 630 CHED asked Omark for his impressions of participating in an NHL training camp. Omark’s response had reporters scribbling.
"It’s a little bit different," Omark said. "It’s a lot of politics here. I just couldn’t play my game . . . hopefully, I come back."
Omark was then asked if he felt that he was given a fair opportunity. "I don’t want to discuss that, but I want to play a lot, so that’s all I can say," he said.
Dave Mitchell of CTV followed up by tossing Omark a grenade, asking him if the Oilers are the best organization for him at this point in his career. To that, Omark offered: "No comment." Matheson followed up by offering Omark didn’t sound like he agreed with the decision to send him to Oklahoma City.
"I’m very disappointed, but it’s not up to me," he said. "I think I played better and better every day, but, yeh, that’s the way it works." Tencer asked if Omark was hopeful of being recalled. "I don’t know," he said. "I’m just going to do my best in Oklahoma and see what happens."
Mitchell asked if Omark thought he had the "offensive skill-set" and the quickness to play here.
"It doesn’t matter what I think," he said. "I think I showed you I can handle this game."
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.