LINUS OMARK: POLITICS AND HONESTY

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."

NO COMMENT

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.

  • Cervantes

    As much as I like Cogs who did more on a line with Penner and Brule with Brule at centre????? Omark did. He has better hands can fight off defenders that are way bigger and come up with the puck (see Calgary game on Sunday) To me there is no doubt Omark would be here if Cogs wasn’t and didn’t have the inside track. When he played with Penner and Brule he created Brule’s goal and Penners then made a sick move to score on his own. Question why in the Calgary game when Cogs wasn’t creating anything didn’t Renney throw Omark up with Penner and Brule to see if that would change things on that Line?

  • GSC

    I think we all knew that Omark would be cut. His skill set is a duplicate of most of the skaters in the top 6/9 forwards.

    Not saying that it’s right that he wasn’t given a fair shake (and he wasn’t, playing with grinders for most of camp and the preseason), just that I’m not at all surprised that he’s been sent down.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    re: Ambassador humantorch – are you kidding me with your idiotic comments? Oilers are obviously trying not figure out what to do with Deslauriers (trade maybe), which is why we have 3 goalies at the moment. And MacIntyre is useless? Come on. Let’s see how useless he is when he beats the crap out of other team’s players after they attempt to pound Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Co. If you know hockey you would realize that this move was made because the Oilers already have enough smallish, offensive types and we need some big, tough players around to protect them.

    • Yes, Tambellini’s EXEMPLARY body of work over the last 3 years — you know, where he showed off his amazing decision-making skills — should lead anyone to know that he’s got a clear plan for the future of this team. I mean, NOTHING he’s ever done before would point towards a pattern of wallowing in indecision and an inability to act proactively, right?

      Thank you for showing me the error of my ways, O wise one.

      Also, it was really cool to see how none of the Flames players hit or ran our players at all when Mac was in the lineup. Regher knocking MPS flat on his ass was obviously a mirage.

      • D-Man

        Did you not see Big Mac run Regher in the 1-0 loss? Stauffer couldn’t stop talking about it this morning… Is Tambo a great manager? No – I think he gets a “F” for the Khabby signing… The contract was too long for a guy who is only one year younger than Roly… But I believe he has established a ‘clear plan’.

        We build through the draft… Hall/Eberle/MPS/Pitlick were all picked under his watch. Does that mean all of these young guys play in the NHL? No. Does that mean we’ll win more than 25 games this year? No.

        In short, Tambo is going to have some stupid contracts that he’s still going to have to deal with… But unless he spends $8 million/year on a Jaromir Jagr, we will slowly and painfully build through the draft and developing guys in the AHL and WHL.

        All I hope is for some patience from all Oiler fans. I don’t think we’ll be too much better than last year; but we will be more exciting to watch.

      • Cervantes

        I smell a Flames fan here…The goalies are still here because one has to be traded and not lost on waivers for nothing. Reddox was cut because he’s too small. Steve Tambellini has done a good job here so far with what he has to work with. We could win the cup for the next 10 years and so called “fans” like yourself would still bitch and moan. How about we let the decisions be made by qualified people and not an arm chair GM like yourself? And puckheads is right, this Oilers team won’t get thrown around like years past, Regher hit MPS, we fixed that by injuring 2 of their players. An eye for an eye this season.

  • Cervantes

    Congratulations, Linus Omark. You just got Schremped!

    On the bright side, he can look forward to a very productive season in Long Island next year.

    Seriously, both he and Reddox have hustle, toughness, and tenacity, and we send em down so we can keep a slower, less energetic player with a lower skillset, just because he has 2 – 3″ and 20lbs on em.

    I really, really, really hope Tambi is burning the phone lines trying to move some bodies out of here in exchange for a solid PK/FO centre. There has to be a team out there that could use a pair of young offensive wingers, we can get Stoll V2.0, and clear up some room. Because I doubt Hall will get sent down after 9 games unless he’s -20, and in a month JFJ will be ready for action and he’ll slot in for any injuries.

    Guys who I hope are on the way out… Brule (Omark is the same size with better skill and hustle), and… Gagner. There, I said it. Sam is a great kid and a good skill, and yes he’s young, but he’s not a 1/2 centre, he can’t win draws consistently, he’s not a shooter, he’s not a PKer, he’s not clutch. He’s exactly what we keep saying we want to get away from… small skill passers. He can’t keep up with MPS and Hemmer, he doesn’t have chemistry with Penner, and he’s not a 3/4 line fit. Move him to a team that needs some passing, get a good return, and call it a day.

    • Did you really just suggest that the Oilers’ future is brighter without Sam Gagner and Gilbert Brule?

      Can you please become GM of the Calgary Flames so that the entire league can fleece you Milbury-style?

      That was basically worse than any MADJAM post ever.

      Edit: That was worse than most MADJAM posts. At least the first line was funny.

    • Roadhouse

      Classic, “You got Schremped!” Pure Comedy.

      Linus is better off with the big club. Play the rookies in a rotation. Make it a competition. 3 rookies in the line-up, 1 in the presser. The guy sitting on gameday will learn more from the presser than in the minors. And he’ll be hungry to get back in the line-up.

  • Oilers4ever

    Is it just me, or does this kid sound a bit too much of the “me, me, me” stuff. I understand that this kid may feel he didn’t get his fair shake at playing with “better caliber” players.. but this is about the team, not just him. I agree last year he likely makes the team and maybe his agent does suck, but in the end, it’s up to the individual in how they handle situations and the words they choose to word. In my opinion, clearly he’s not showing the maturity needed to be up here, especially with these types of comments… I’ve been watching the Oil for 20 plus years.. the guys that usually make these self-centered type comments, especially from someone who has nothing to back himself in a “real” professional league, are usually the trouble makers… In my eyes, trade him with Souray and ship him out. These are the type of players that usually cause chaos and problems. I’m likely on my own in this opinion, but I’ve seen these types of players over the last 20 years like I mentioned…they generally cause more problems than good….

    • Cervantes

      @Oiler4ever…you’re not on your own IYO, when i heard the interview i was jaw-dropped listening. I waited for him to ‘go all Souray’ after he said “no comment”…and rockin’ the ‘politics’ line? wtf?…he didn’t show himself in a good light with his brainless answers to decent questions…cry me a river kid!

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Linus may come off as arogant, but I love his response because it shows that he cares and if I am Steve Tambellini and Tom Renney I am impressed. This kid obviously is confident in his abilities. If he handles this demotion the right way he’ll find his way back to Edmonton quickly. I can see Omark being a Jiri Hudler-type. Maybe if the Oilers deal one of Penner, Brule or Cogliano in a move to pick up a young, stud defenseman (say Colton Teubert from LA or Luke Schenn from TOR), Omark could find his way back to the Oilers. Oilers need to be careful they don’t blow it with Omark and have him become another Miroslav Satan.

  • Oilers4ever

    Thanks for the great post Robin.

    The way a lot of other blogs were discussing this story online it made Omark sound like the next Rob Schremp (thanks to some members of the media throwing loaded questions). But reading your story one can more clearly understand that the guy is frustrated at his ‘demotion’, but is going to work hard to be more than just AHL material and play at the elite level he thinks he can play at.

  • Caught him at as good a time as any for “juicy bits”, and asked him all the “right” questions to get those kinds of answers.

    He definitely had a disappointed tone to his voice, which I would expect. But, I’d love to see him called up soon and put in a better spot… whether that means Hall going back to Junior, someone like Cogs being traded, or an injury happening (not that I’m wanting an injury to happen).

    I like how Renney went to bat for him in his interview though, saying that he had no problems with the comments, etc.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    The no comment on “is this the right place” kinda gets me, but then again he did say this “It’s a lot of politics here. I just couldn’t play my game . . . hopefully, I come back.”

    Hopefully there is no long-term effects here. Any idea what the team told him?

  • Absolutely ridiculous cuts today. Tambellini just proved yet AGAIN why he has no business being an NHL GM. Sure is a good thing we’re keeping three useless goalies in the roster and useless players like Macintyre and Jones and JFJ over guys that could actually help this damn team win a few hockey games!

    So unbelievably pissed off at the idiots running this team.

    • Renney has a lot of say in that too, if not all the final say.

      As much as I like Omark, if we’re going with Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle this year in addition to our other regulars, it’s really hard to see how Omark fits in the lineup. It’s not like any of those guys you mentioned were competition for Omark. Omark isn’t going to be a 4th liner here…

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      JFJ doesn’t take up any spot as he is injuried and Macintyre seems to be something the team wanted as a whole.

      As for Jones, is he really that much worse then Reddox?

  • danjo1

    Hell of a tough break.

    Why his agent didn’t have him here last year when there were so many openings is beyond me. Not to mention a lack of media training!

    Oh well, he was good. Not great, but certainly good enough to be on this roster. He’ll see his cup of coffee this year unless Mr. Personality takes exception to his youthful disappointment being shared with the press.

  • danjo1

    I guess the question is would it have been better for him to stay in Edmonton in a 3rd line checking role (there’s just no room for him here) or go to Oklahoma and fine tune his skills to the North American game a bit more?

    I definitely understand the politics he’s talking about, but I like the decision and hope he works his ass off to earn a call up.

  • book¡e

    Hey Kid, light it up in Oklahoma and they wont have much choice but to bring you up.

    If you don’t light it up down there, then you really just aren’t that great.