LINUS

Yesterday, Jason Gregor (via Terry Jones via Jack Michaels) gave us the word on what makes Linus Omark happy.  

The story is up on the EJ this morning, with Omark’s complete quote to Mr. Michaels. He’s not going to OKC–waiver eligible now–and according to Jim Matheson the team will qualify him and then look to offload the gifted Swede over the summer.

I imagine the Oilers will be content with a mid-round pick in exchange for him, giving another NHL team a wonderful opportunity to get extreme value from a long shot draft selection.

There have been times over the last 20 years when the Edmonton Oilers were so interested in sending size over the boards that small items like skill were overlooked. Without saying the names, I think most Oiler fans could list off several of these player types without much trouble.
 
Omark’s failure to win the day and find a home in the everyday lineup surely has something to do with the #1 picks, the Eberle and veteran presence. It also has something to do with making sure "size" is at least part of the equation. These are the kids likely to play most or all of a decade together in Edmonton on the top 9:
  1. Teemu Hartikainen 6.01, 215
  2. Curtis Hamilton 6.02, 206
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 6.03, 200
  4. Tyler Pitlick 6.02, 195
  5. Taylor Hall 6.01, 194
  6. Anton Lander 6.0, 194
  7. Jordan Eberle 6.0, 185
  8. Sam Gagner 5.11, 191
  9. Linus Omark 5.10, 174
  10. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 6.01, 171

There is a way to use Linus Omark–he has some nice things, including being tough along the wall and in puck battles–but the Oilers have other options and despite verbal there are no plans to roll "3 scoring lines."

I would guess Omark finds a place to play in the NHL, and would bet on him being an effective player. The Oilers have sent away a lot of kids since 2007 fall and Omark will be the latest in a long line.

I think he’s probably the most naturally talented player Edmonton has flushed in a long time. Call me crazy, but that seems to be a really bizarre thing to do.

  • A-Mc

    There are 3 silos of people here.

    1. The Omark HATERS that really aren’t making valid points for why he shouldn’t be an oiler. These people sound pretty childish imo.

    2. The Omark non-believers. These guys use valid arguments to point out holes in his game and use that to discuss why he shouldn’t be an Oiler.

    3. The Omark fans. These people see the talent and are uneasy about letting it go for peanuts.

    I’m #3 with a hit of #2. I really like the guy. I don’t sugar coat things if someone asks my opinion and i cannot help but feel that i’d say the same things Omark did if i were dicked around like the Oilers have dicked him around.

    I Understand he doesn’t fit what we need here in Edmonton, so I’m OK with moving him. But i am really not pleased with the way we’ve handled him. If Renney is the one who makes the decisions to play a guy or not, then this is a major black mark on his record IMO.

    When asked what i think about Renney staying or Going, i cannot help but feel negatively about him PURELY based on the way he has handled some players (The 3 swedes).

    • book¡e

      Yes, I agree, I still have some uncertainty about Omark – he may or may not establish himself in the NHL if given a chance on a scoring line. With that said, there is only one way to know and its not burying him on the 4th line or the pressbox.

    • A-Mc

      First off for those who are saying PRV should have been traded and Omark kept. PRV is only 20 while Omark is 25. Omark should be hitting his prime while PRV likely still needs two or three seasons to get there. Omark has not stood out at the NHL level and hasn’t seemed to improve his defensive play. PRV has played well defensively and can back up defenseman but needs to work on offense and physical play.

      So the only way Omark makes it at the NHL level is in a top 6 role which he hasn’t shown he able to do as of yet because they way he plays will not work on a 3rd or 4th line. PRV has shown that at the very least he may be a good option for a 3 or 4 line but has the potential of being able to be productive in the top 6 as well. Also the way the guy plays defense its likely he could see some PK time in his future.

      I don’t see any reason that Omark should stay and PRV should go. That is just insanity. And as far as the team right now we already have a bunch of future maybes on 2way contract and they don’t need to add another one on a 1 way contract. They need to use the contract on a player that can contribute now.

  • Truth

    Omark would have been a lot more valuable to the Oilers if Hemsky had been traded. Playing him prior to the trade deadline would only increase his re-sign price tag, plus Hemsky was still around. It would seem that playing him now that Hemsky has signed is to increase his trade value.

    I obviously don’t know if this is the logic, but it would make sense. Unfortunately, we all know Hemsky is made of glass and a skilled player available to fill in for him (or any other injured top 6) would be incredibly valuable.

    You could argue that PRV would be destined for this position once Omark is flushed. In saying that, PRV would APPEAR to be much more valuable to the Oilers because he is taller, heavier, and faster skating. Unfortunately though, he is incredibly soft IMO.

    Tough call for the Oilers, it’s too bad PRV had such an abismal performance this year or he could have been traded for a good young D and Omark kept.

  • vetinari

    Omark might end up being another Schremp, just without the draft pedigree. However, unlike Schremp, I don’t see the same degree of selfishness in his game although he can be cocky. I think that there is potential for him as a second/third liner if he can round out his game and improve his defense.

    As for the size issue, not every player on a team needs to be 6 feet tall and 215 pounds. There have been some good players around the league over the years who are all under 6 feet tall (let’s see, Theo Fleury, Pat Verbeek, Steve Sullivan, Darren Helm, Doug Weight, Kris Versteeg all come to mind) so size is not the only factor to consider.

    Omark will never replace Hemsky as some suggest, but he can be a valuable support player who could move up the roster chart from time to time, if needed.

    I would lean towards keeping him for at least another season unless another team is willing to take him as part of a package for a top 4 defenceman or a young reliable goaltender.

  • Truth

    Omark would have been a lot more valuable to the Oilers if Hemsky had been traded. Playing him prior to the trade deadline would have only increase his re-sign price tag, plus Hemsky was still around, plus he was injured. It would seem that playing him now that Hemsky has signed is to increase his trade value.

    I obviously don’t know if this is the logic, but it would make sense. Unfortunately, we all know Hemsky is made of glass and a skilled player available to fill in for him (or any other injured top 6) would be incredibly valuable.

    You could argue that PRV would be destined for this position once Omark is flushed. In saying that, PRV would appear to be much more valuable to the Oilers because he is taller, heavier, and faster skating. Unfortunately though, he is incredibly soft IMO. I sure do hope that PRV becomes a better player than Omark in the end.

    Tough call for the Oilers, it’s too bad PRV had such an abismal performance this year or he could have been traded for a good young D.

  • Douche Nietzsche

    Linus never got a fair shot with the Oilers, bottom line. Not the first guy that fell victim to the Oilers square=circle system. Good luck to him.

    Speaking of midgets waiting to develop: where is Gagner?

    I hope the Oilers unload that investment this summer. I think with the Hobbit coming out this year, Gagners value should be at an ol time high.

  • Spydyr

    This may be another Satan/Whitney mistake.IMO Gagner should go for defensive help and keep Omark.

    So tired of seeing Gagner rolling on the ice after getting the slightest bump.

    Yah yah he is 22 …..still soft as butter in July.

    The eight point night was between two future all world players and potential HOF players.

    On that line one of these things is not like the others.It was a fluke .Once in a career thing.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Certaily entitled to you opinion, but I am not prepared to agree Gagner is soft.

      If you say he can be a defensive liability or gets lost in his own end at times, fine. But I do not think of Sam as anything approaching soft.

      Not trying to be a jerk and I never played the game at a high level, but from what I know and see Sam is not a soft player. And unless you tell me you have directly experienced something approaching this level of hockey I don’t give it a lot of credence. Takes a lot of balls to do some of the stuff he does. Different on the ice than on the couch.

      • Spydyr

        Maybe I should have explained my idea of soft better.

        He is soft on the puck.Gets knocked off the puck very easily.Spends lots of time on the ice after getting knocked over.He does not play for long in the hard areas of the ice.Cannot remember him standing in front screening a goalie.He does go to the net but does not stick around in front for long.

        As for my hockey experience.Since you asked I was recruited to play senior A but at the time had enough of the game.It was a different era.It was hard seeing teammates going to the hospital almost every game.In my early 20’s I played in a league with Concordia and Kings college before they went to The ACAC.So I have some competitive hockey experience.Followed hockey from before kindergarten .May have missed 100 televised Oilers games since they came into the NHL.Still play against kids half my age.

        Gagner has heart and try.He does throw the fists once in a while but hey even Gretzky had two fights. Just not strong enough to play with the big boys.Thought that might change as he matured but he still is SOFT on the puck.Way to easy to knock off it.

        The team needs size up front or a top four d-man a small forward has to go.You have to trade something to get something.He is my choice to go.

        Again it is only my choice.Other have their choices.It is not like any of us here have a say in how things are run.I’m here for enjoyment and to read other opinions.

        • The Soup Fascist

          Fair enough. Perhaps the definition of “soft” is where we disagree. I read it to mean showing a lack of character or courage, which I obviously disagree with as a description for young Sam.

          Anyone who is willing to fight a big tough guy like Beauchemin, who could potentially end his career, in defense of his teammate has brass ones IMO.

          Physics dictates he will lose some puck battles and if that is your knock I won’t disagree. If I was being thin skinned, I apologize. While certainly everyone has their opinion, I get frustrated when people who have never played the game, question the intestinal fortitude of guys who are on the ice in these situations. For example, the guys who mocked Sortini. He was a poor fighter but it still takes guts to face a Parros or a McGratton, even if it turned into a wrestling match.

          Obviously that was not your intent. Thanks for taking the time to clarify your comments.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Soft as butter…? Wake the f@ck up he the only one in the top six with any sandpaper.

      Omark’s got a bad attitude and the team doesn’t need a squid like him acting out every time he gets sad.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Omark is obviously pretty polarizing. I see flashes in his game, for example when he blew past the defenceman along the boards (he actually looked pretty quick and brave in doing that) in the third yesterday. And he does have some battle to go with his greasiness. I just get tired of the constant walking around on egg shells around this guy.

    How will he react to being sent down to OKC? How is his pulse about sitting in the press box? Is he mad he is playing with the dog sled known as Belanger? That whole act, I am tired of. Maybe it is not even his fault as the media asks questions that they know he will answer honestly. But the guy is the very definition of high maintenance. He has not banked enough Goodwill to be high maintenance, IMO.

    Did he get a fair shot? Probably not. But there is only so much room for small skilled players. Nuge / Eberle / Gagner and Hemsky are all smallish. Hall will be a thicker player as he matures. If you want to take Omark over Gagner, I disagree – but fine. Problem is Omark is not a a center.

    Bottom line, the minute Hemsky signed, Omark’s fate was sealed. Personally, I prefer Hemsky. But I see why guys see potential in Omark. It is just that he is not a fit, given what we have. Good Luck Linus, all the best.

    • book¡e

      Just another interesting thing to add, Hemsky (28) is only three years older than Omark (25) with a better track record when healthy. I honestly don’t think any team in the league would take Omark over hemsky unless they couldn’t afford to or he had been injured again this year. Just sayin

  • The Soup Fascist

    WHY IS OMARK GONE?
    the man has talent, everybody agrees on that. He sees the ice, great along the boards and is a puckhound, defensive play can be taught. Can you imagine him playing on a third line with two coke machines, perhaps one that can stand in front of the net and the other with sweeter hands. Let him go battle along the boards fishing out the puck and finding one of the two, that would make a sweet third line.
    Throwing away Omark for a third round pick will make sending away Glencross look like a smart move. Glencross got his chance and now is a top 6. Either bundle him for AAA meat or find him line mates.

    • Bleak Winter

      By that logic, we should be able to trade Omark to the Flames straight up to get Glencross back. All they have to do is give Omark a chance, and they’ll win the trade. Plus I think they need help in the shootout, so they should jump on that one.
      I’d do that deal in a heartbeat, I wonder if the Flamers would?

  • “I made a commitment at the beginning of the season. Unlike Omark, I actually care enough to honour that commitment ;)”

    Does not take much to spin a guy like Arch who is totally committed to spinning:

    “When asked by Oilers radio announcer Jack Michaels if he was disappointed he couldn’t play in Oklahoma City”

    “Not really. I want to compete for a spot in the world championship in Sweden and I will go to the (Swedes’) camp if they (Oilers) let me.”

    Yup. Nothing spells lack of commitment like not being disappointed by team decisions and deferring to team decisions.

    • Lighten up.

      In all reality Omark isnt in the Oilers’ plans because they have better options and bigger needs that he might be able to help address in a trade.

      I’ve been having a good time with this Star/Goat business from the get-go.

      • Not exactly light piling onto a MSM torque job. 😉 But yeah, goats do need some spinning.

        More seriously, he’s got more grit than the meme. Doubt they’ll get a better option for him and the injury cut down the runway to make the call but it’s time to make it.

  • Bizarre is the word alright. Lowe and Tambellini are a toxic pair when it comes to building an NHL team. The rave reviews they have lavished on themselves has been accomplished not by the Oiler future players in development in the minors but a group of solid AHL vets. That is not progress towards the NHL product. Pitlick and Hamilton don’t seem to get it.

    The arrival of the junior drafted D are years away and I suspect they won’t get to the NHL let alone become solid contributors for years. By that time the young stars we have seen the Oilers plunge their organization to the abyss for will have long since become sickened by the incompetence at the management and ownership level and left town. So much for the rebuild.

    My lack of hope for the Oil is the surfacing of talk of the desirability of bringing back MacT and Penner. Give me a freaking break. Don’t look down your noses at Flames fans folks because the Oiler organization sucks just as badly.

  • I like Omark in the lineup but the Oilers as they stand right now don’t have a spot for him, I would not play him top 6 cuz we have Eberle and Hemsky and ideally Id like him as a 3rd line guy who can play PP and shootouts, unfortunately our 4th line is not up to snuff yet and our 3rd line with Omark isn’t a very good shutdown line.

    In a perfect world you would have your top 6 (Lines 1 and 2) Your shutdown line (Put whatever number you want on it) [Like Detroit with Maltby, Draper and Mccarty] and then your development line where guys like Omark can play and you can have guys audition on this semi scoring line.

    That is how I would like the Oilers to develop their team.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I think he’s been mismanaged. He has 3 goals in 8 games since returning from OKC and a few of those games have been played on the fourth line. I understand the need to upgrade our size in the top 9 but trading this guy for a mid-round pick seems like a waste. I hate it when we spend so much time developing players like Omark, Brodziak and Cogliano then we turn around and ship them off for next to nothing. Just another reason why we are where we are.

  • There are some things in Omark’s game that I’m not convinced we need on the team & in the locker room. I think yesterday’s game was a perfect example when he tried a few hotdog moves on our beloved ex-Oiler Roli…how beautiful was that little puck-flip and stare-down when Omark failed to pot his shootout attempt?

    Love it!!

  • Omark would rather play for his country. Good for him. Let him.Draft pick. Sure go ahead. The arguement is that he can’t even play on the 29th place team in the league. Perhaps that says something about the players on the 29th place team and not Omark. Unlike some other players who have underperformed and continued to get minutes Omark can’t be held accountable for this teams current standing in the league. I can see how Belanger has made this team better this year with his play. Same with eager. And Barker. And so forth. If I am Omark I take my talent and play in the SEL or the KHL.Size matters on this team. Talent? BTW Lowetide what do we consider a fair opportunity to showcase a person talents? 10 games 40 ? 60 ?

  • Winnie Cooper

    So which job do yu perform better at? One you like or one you don’t. Everyone is that way, why should a hockey player be different. If Omark gets more amped to play in the World’s than the AHL playoffs, good for him, he’s human and not a zombie.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Haven’t read the comments through, but just in case anybody cares, here is my take:

    I like Omark. I like his skill. I like his creativity. I like his swagger. I also agree with Archeologuy (keep in mind I haven’t read the comments).

    He is not good enough to play ….. on The Oilers. I would rather see him get a shot on another team. He is a bit slow, I see him hesitate with the puck, and above all, he just doesn’t really fit in. Ship him off to NYI.