"Lets go!!!!! #23isback"

I don’t know if Linus Omark has a snowball’s chance in Hades of working his way into the plans of the Edmonton Oilers beyond the 17 games remaining in this season, but he’ll get his first crack at it against the San Jose Sharks tonight.

As for that "Lets go!!!!!" and the accompanying hashtag, taken from a Tweet on Omark’s Twitter account this afternoon, it’s got all the pizzazz that we’ve come to expect from the unquestionably talented and creative Swedish winger – on and off the ice.

It’s that kind of flair that has a lot of fans excited at the prospect of seeing Omark back in Oilers silks again after a difficult season in Oklahoma City of the AHL, a campaign stalled by a broken ankle.

It’s that kind of flash the 25-year-old Omark first showed in YouTube clips before his arrival in Edmonton and later, sporadically, live and in-person as he tallied 5-22-27 in 51 games with the Oilers last season. The kind of stuff that has some people convinced Omark and all that brass he’s packing can make a splash with the Oilers if he only gets a prolonged chance at it.

That splash, now and down the road, is likely going to have to come while playing among Edmonton’s top-six forwards, if it’s going to come at all, alongside Taylor Hall, Ryan-Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, who accompany the other five spots.

Can Omark, pointless in five games he played with the Oilers at the start of this season, make enough of an impression in the games that remain to stay in the plans? Has that decision, spoken or otherwise, already been made? I don’t like his chances, but there’s only one way to find out — play the wheels off him in these final 17 games, starting tonight.

Like Omark said, "Lets go!!!!! #23isback"

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  • paul wodehouse

    David S writes…”Of course my fear is he’ll become our next Glencross”…whoa!

    i’m thinkin’ he’s already our last Robert Nilsson

    …didn’t watch the game but if i have to confirm any of my [dis]beliefs i have it PVR’d…RB said through 40 3shots 8+minutes…he ended up a tad over 10 minutes TOI soooo i’m thinkin’ he didn’t tear it up in the third period on what, one shift?

    …at best 23 is a ‘small’ part of a large trade in the off season so he can have a better chance [maybe] to flourish elsewhere…

    is there a midget league anywhere? he’d be the MVP

  • paul wodehouse

    …Stevezie…i solved the riddle bud!!!

    Renney knows he can’t use 23…we know it and God knows it…he’s a very small round peg trying to put himself into a square hole…he’s the glove that O.J. tried to put on…again…too small…he’s never going to be top six on this club and appears to be a token bottom six player because he’s only better than an aging goon…

    (no offense Darcy)

    …send him back down to help the Barons go deep into the playoffs…and maybe just maybe he’s big enough to hoist the Calder Cup over his head without any help…

  • Omark must have made a pass at Renney’s wife, kicked his dog, or something. There is no rationale explanation for putting Omark out with Belanger and Petrell.

    Omark needs to play with offensively talented players to be successful. I wouldn’t toss VV or House on to a top 6 line and expect him to thrive, just like Omark won’t thirve with players that can’t score.

    Successfull organizations take players like Omark, late round picks that have the ability to exceed thier draft pedigree and nuture them, put them in positions to thrive. Then, if the player is successful you have an additional asset to use or to trade at maximum value.

    Renney (and by extension Tambelini) are idiots for not putting Omark in a position to succeed. It’s poor asset management.

    Time for Renney to go, and take Tambelini with him…

  • O.C.

    Looking at the schedule, there’s lots of opportunity for Omark. Question is if he stays up and if MPS gets another call, then who is sitting?

    For the Oil…

    There’s also a lot of points to be gained. The Oil could rip off 11 wins or more out of the last 17 games.

    29th is unlikely.

  • 15w40

    Sink or swim time for Omark. But don’t tie a brick to his feet for good measure and stick him on the 4th line. Is that really his future as an NHL player? He is either playing top 6 somewhere or back in the KHL or SEL. He will not be a 4th liner anywhere. I don’t see him biding his time in the AHL at 25 or 26 year old either. If the oil don’t want him – let him showcase his talents and try and work out a trade for anything. Any asset back is better than him walking for nothing. The NHL is too full of guys who use their egos to make decisions with. Somebody has decided they don’t like this guy or how he plays and they are going to “prove” he can’t play in this league.

    • “Somebody has decided they don’t like this guy or how he plays and they are going to “prove” he can’t play in this league.”

      Do you really believe that? Why would management do that? What’s in it for the Oilers to set out to intentionally de-value a player like Omark? What’s the end-game?

      I’m not sold on Omark as a top-six forward, but if the Oilers are going to look at him for the purposes of evaluating his future, or lack of same, here, they need to put him in a position to succeed. I didn’t see that with where he played in San Jose, but it’s a quantum leap for me to think somebody is out to screw him or prove he can’t play based on “ego.”

      • Dipstick

        brownlee: for any other organization, I would say, ‘no”, but this oiler management group makes very odd decisions. I agree they need to put Omark in a position to succeed. But with Renney running the bench, I would give the odds at less than 50/50 he gets put on a line that suits his playing style.

  • Dipstick

    Even if Omark is not in their long term plans, they should give him every opportunity to suceed for the balance of the season. Otherwise, they are wasting a valuable asset. The balance of this season should be about asset development and management. I wonder if the management gets it?

  • Dipstick

    I thought Omark played a solid and effective game. Nice to see him get shifts in the third period, and it looked like he made a concerted defensive effort.

    I hope Renney doesn`t give him the MPS treatment, and utilizes his skills effectively. If not trade him to another team because the guy should not be in the AHL.

  • Lol Another wonderful play by Renney… Omark with Belanger.. really…. REALLY!!!!!!! geezuz.. oh well i thought Pecks looked pretty good considering he hasnt played in 874563486 games.. Mean, Tough…. Love it… Put Omark in the top 6 and klet see

  • Dipstick

    Renney has some hope that his career with the Oilers can be salvaged in the remaining 17 games.
    I think his ass is scorched and its over.He will
    no be here next year. In the meantime the team continues to be missmanaged,in a period where some evaluation is required.

  • 15w40

    Maybe ego is the wrong term – maybe it stubbornness or I’m not too sure. You’ve heard the term “not the coach’s type of player”. Maybe this is the case with Omark – or he doesn’t have the right draft pedigree. How many chances does Barker get if he’s not 3rd overall?? It works both ways – some guys have a real affinity for certain players that is inexplicable. Renney – Belanger, MacT – Toby Pedersen. Omark could be the next St Louis or the next Ray Whitney – who knows.

    • Skidplate

      Or the next Shremp or the next Daniel Tkaczuk, sixth overall by the Flames in 1997, or the next Rico Fata 6th overall by the Flames in 1998, or the next Brent Krahn, 9th overall by the Flames in 2000.

      • 15w40

        Totally right……….he might be the next Daniel Tkaczuk or Rico Fata but like I said, let him make the case either way. He is likely closer to Robbie Schremp than St Louis. We aren’t fighting for playoff position – our fate is sealed. Let him play with skilled players and if he is more of a liability than a benefit and he costs you a couple points in the standings, then so be it. I just don’t get the whole line of thinking that you pull up Omark from OKC and put him on the 4th line. If you have your top 6 up here already then call up someone that can play the role on the 4th line like Josh Green or Hartikainen. Surely you are not making the assertion that Omark is suited for a 4th line role???

    • Toby Petersen is a useful NHL role player.

      He’s played 396 games and just 64 of those with Edmonton, so somebody else aside from MacT likes him. He can skate, he checks well as a third-line type guy and kills penalties.

      He’s busted his ass to stay in the league, which speaks to his character. Toby is a type one diabetic and has made it to the NHL and stayed there despite having an insulin pump attached to his body at all times — yes, during games. That kind of jam and fortitude might be one reason why coaches have an “affinity” for him.

      That said, your point is taken and coaches do have preferences and blind spots when it comes to types of players they like. Most, though, aren’t going to cut off their noses to spite their faces or dismiss a player of value for the hell of it.

      There is no harm in giving Omark a good, long look for the remainder of the season, but it’s a stretch in the extreme to use him in the same sentence as St. Louis or Ray Whitney.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        and @15w40

        I think 15w40’s second stab is much closer to the mark. If Renney has less than noble motivations for giving Omark short shrift I imagine it is not because he doesn’t want Omark to succeed, but rather because he has convinced himself that Omark can’t succeed.

        And who knows (if that is indeed the case) maybe Renney is right, maybe Omark won’t succeed.

        Still, IMO, it reflects poorly on Renney that with the season already pooched, Omark up for contract, healthy and on the roster that he doesn’t put him in a position to succeed.

        A word of warning (to 15w40) though: the motivations of Renney are as impossible to suss out as the attempts to read Hemsky’s body language and will inevitably lead to bad faith actors ascribing worst possible explanations to superficial data.

        speaking of Omark and St. Louis, though, here’s an article that takes the question seriously:

        ps. human motivations are bizarre things and despite all the caveats we should offer to keep clear of “cut off their nose to spite their face” arguments… we also know that people act against their interests for strange reasons all the time… see the Comrie/Perry debacle:

      • 15w40

        Obviously Toby Pedersen has overcome some obstacles – not saying he isn’t a useful player. If memory serves me correctly, in his time spent with the Oilers, he was also used on the PP. Just using him to illustrate a point of how certain players get a leg up because they are the the coach’s type of guy. Belanger is also a useful player and serves a purpose – just sometimes it seems like their performances can be viewed through rose colored glasses where as others might be viewed with an eye patch.

  • Gitagrip

    If Linus does not fit the dynamic Dithers is envisioning for next year someone should suggest he be showcased for the next 17 games as part of an attractive prospect package that quite a few teams are looking for. Get us a proven goalie please. I don’t think they can sell hope or promise with Devan.