At this point in his NHL career, Linus Omark might want to consider leaving the pissing and moaning to opposing teams and goaltenders frustrated by his ridiculous displays of skill in shootouts.
What he need not do 33 games into his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers is take little public digs at his head coach because he’s upset about lack of playing time and other matters he doesn’t control.
That’s what it sounded like Omark was doing to me in his painful-to-watch interview with Sportsnet’s Gene Principe after his shootout goal beat Nashville 2-1 at Rexall Place Tuesday. Omark slipped in a remark about being "cold" as Principe tried to pry something out of him.
While I stand to be corrected, I read it as a gratuitous poke at Tom Renney, who saw fit to keep Omark on the bench for most of the third period and play him just 8:53 on the night as a fourth-liner alongside fellow creative giants Liam Reddox and J.F. Jacques.
I could be wrong — I’ll ask Omark, but there’s no way he’ll fess up, even if I’m right — but I think not. It’s not a big deal, but even so, Omark didn’t do himself any favours.
Yes coach . . .
NOT A FIT
I’ve got no issue with players speaking their mind. Hell, it’s great for the business I’m in. I had no problem with Omark sounding off after training camp when he made it be known he wasn’t the least bit happy with being sent to Oklahoma City. I didn’t think he got a fair shake.
Renney didn’t have any problem with it either, as he’d later say after Omark talked about "politics" playing into the decision. The call certainly wasn’t made on performance in camp and pre-season, to be sure, even if politics was a bit of a clumsy reference. Still, Omark had good reason to be disappointed and he had his say on the record.
Tuesday was a little different, in my estimation. The Oilers had just won on another dazzling Omark goal that had Pekka Rinne moaning and Principe was looking for some reaction by the guy who scored it.
I can see why Omark would be unhappy about his ice time, especially with fellow Swede Magnus Paajarvi being promoted to first-line duty while he was stuck with Reddox and Jacques — not a fit for a player with Omark’s skill-set — but that’s a conversation best held behind closed doors with Renney.
WHILE I’M AT IT . . .
— I think we’ve seen about enough of Andrew Cogliano playing between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to figure out it’s not a match, despite limited success when they were first put together.
I thought we’d see Sam Gagner between Hall and Eberle when the puck dropped against Nashville, but Renney started him with Ryan Jones and Gilbert Brule. Maybe Thursday against Columbus.
I’ve got all the time in the world, as readers here know, for Cogliano because of his try, among other things, but he slots in as a third-line centre and penalty killer, not as a pivot for the likes of Eberle and Hall.
— Hall is without a point in his last three games and, as has already been pointed out, got a little pine early against Nashville along with Eberle. Young and strong or not, Hall might have hit a bit of a wall here as far as fatigue goes. It happens with a lot of rookies who log as much ice time as he has.
— Interesting speculation by Sportsnet’s Mark Spector with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260 today about the possibility of the Oilers taking a run at pending Nashville RFA Shea Weber. Why wouldn’t Steve Tambellini make that phone call at some point? Of course, it’ll take more than magic beans to get Weber.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.