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.

  • Omark has definately shown some flashes, of that there is no doubt. He has had some chemistry with Magnus PRV and would benefit from listening to PRV’s words about getting sent down to OKC to work on his game. If he really does want to play in the NHL then why not put the work in.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    The simple truth is there is no room for Omark on this roster. The Oilers still need to fit the young Paajarvi & Lander into the future with possibly another top six lottery pick this year? Just doesn’t add up! This is also the reason I think Sammy might be gone this summer as well?

    I would bet money that Petrell gets offered another contract (PK, size, gets involved consistently). Quite frankly, it’s a head scratcher to see where Smytty is going to play on this roster! Interesting decisions to be made.

    • I don’t think Sammy will be gone because of a numbers thing I think this year he needed to have a break out season and he hasn’t. Yes he had one amazing game but if you take that out fo the equation then he hasn’t improved at all in the last few seasons and the Oilers need better than that to compete for the playoffs and in the playoffs.

      I agree I think Petrell will likely get another contract but I would expect him to be sitting frequently in the Hordi role next season. It just seems that fighters have no spot anymore and Petrell is more useful than Hordi. I would almost say that Petrell is more useful than Eager as well. Has Eager done any PK this season?

      • Team lead in +/- (+8)

        Will hit for 50+ points this season (all-time high for him)

        Nudging 50% in FO’s

        ~Yeah. Hasn’t improved at all.~

        AND if you take out Hemsky’s hat trick the other night, Gagner would be leading him in that department too (see what I did there?).

        • He might break the 50 point mark but if it wasn’t for that 8 point night, which is just a freak thing in my opinion, and the empty net goals and assists he would be having the same season as the previous couple. On a team that has increased the amount of talent they have in the top 6 and has one of the top PP in the league, which he plays on, Sammy has stayed almost flat. For the amount of games he has played in the NHL he has not shown improvement.

          Here are some numbers, Last two seasons Gags has played 68 games each and had 41 and 42 points. Right now he has played 67 games and has 45 points and this includes his big 8 point game.

          • Winnie Cooper

            Empty net goals and assists are the worst! If I was in the NLH I’d be like, “Statisticians, don’t bother tallying my assists or any EN goals I get. Especially the asists. Those points are for bitches. Only my goals get recorded, by order of me.””

  • @Willis

    OKC is his team. Those are his teammates. Those are the guys he’s spent the last 5 months working with and living with on the road. He wants to play for Sweden, I bet Curtis Hamilton wants to play for Canada. Who cares?

    Now he’s waiver eligible so I doubt he goes back there, but what does it matter? He still comes off sounding like a me-first baby. What message does it send to those guys that are still down there? Omark is a goof.

    • Yeah, but Curtis Hamilton doesn’t have any sort of realistic shot at playing for Canada. Even if he were healthy.

      Omark’s only mistake here was answering a question honestly rather than couching it in double-speak. He could have said ‘Well, I’m looking forward to representing my country at the World Championships but I really wish I could go down and help the Barons to an AHL championship’ and nobody would care.

      He sounds like a guy who would rather represent his country than play minor-league hockey. That’s it.

      • He sorta did:

        From EJ – “Of course, I would like to win something down there (AHL), but I play better when I am happy and I’m more happy at the world championship.”

        Glass half-full/half-empty view, I say.

        • KatzKidsJewFro

          Yea we get it. You don’t like Omark. Last night for an undersized, slow, useless player he really seemed to have himself in and around the front of Tampa’s net which I liked.

          • I thought I made valid points in #12 and #19, but it’s understandable.

            It’s probably a natural ebb and flow in quality. That or 6 years of consistent losing has taken its toll on me and I’m currently a shell of my former self.

            That said, you might just like Omark (for reasons unknown) and it’s not the quality of my message but the content that bothers you.

            I dont know.

          • A-Mc

            #12 is just an attack on Omarks character. The few bits of probable truth (like there are defensive holes in his game) are easily countered with the notion that he hasn’t been given solid attention to help work out those kinks. As others have stated, this hole exists all over our team and is IMO the main reason we lose. If the majority of players play with Defensive holes, you can’t use that as a way to single out 1 player. The other notion that he doesn’t fit into the top 6 is again easily countered with: why does he need to be top 6? Guys of all shapes, sizes and skill levels can play on the 3rd line. Horc Smyth and Omark played well together last night.

            Paajarvi was given a fair chance. No one can argue that Paajarvi wasn’t given the opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level. Compare the way Paajarvi (A guy the team WANTS to succeed) was treated to Omark (A Guy the team has already decided has no place). It’s Night and Day.

            #19 i can get behind. I’d need to look at it more closely to commit 100%, but these 3 point games are really keeping things close. To be honest I’m not entirely sure yet that this is a bad thing either.

            To be honest i first started to notice the post quality go down once the Oilers stopped winning and started losing. I’m going to go with option #”6 years of consistent losing”. =)

  • Bryzarro World

    @ lowetide,,

    Which forwards do you think the oilers need to flush in the offseason. I feel like I read a lot of articles where you defend each of the current forwards on the roster. (hemsky,smyth,omark,gagner) if you tack on the three kids, Harti and Horcoff there’s no room on the top 9 for any new blood. Surely you can’t suggest that the oilers keep their top 9 in place? But from your articles it seems like you want to keep them all or maybe I’m missing something? Everyone seems to want to move Horcoff but as you know that’s easier said than done.

  • 1) I know Robin wasn’t trying to make a direct comparison, but it’s worth noting that Linus Omark has already scored at a better rate in the AHL than Brunnstrom did in his best season, and he’s scoring at a better clip in the NHL too. Omark’s SEL numbers also crush those of Brunnstrom.

    2) Omark would rather represent his country than play in the AHL playoffs? WHAT!! OFF WITH THE HEAD OF THAT ENTITLED SELF-IMPORTANT WHINER! NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN THE OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS!

    • In a way, I was comparing them. While both players provide sizzle, neither one provides enough steak at the bottom line — G-A-Pts — to make up for the lack of other dimensions in their games.

      For offensive players like Brunnstrom and Omark, it doesn’t matter how much much flash and dash they show, what the underlying numbers say or that the “arrows are pointing in the right direction.” Show me G-A-Pts.

      I’ll be surprised if we hear much from either one of them at the NHL level beyond the next year or two. Omark and Brunnstrom won’t wash out at the NHL level because 30 teams are stupid, they’ll fade away because they aren’t good enough at what they do to make up for what they don’t do.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    he’s too small. he can’t play defense. bladitty blah blah. yeah like we don’t have some of those already who are praised to no end. let Omark move on somewhere he will be given a chance. he may suck but you could never conclude that here the way they manage people.

    our management team has done us no justice in this city and for this hockey club. it starts with Mr. Katz and it keeps rolling from there.

    i’m sure they’d have filed for bankruptcy protection already if it wasn’t for the loyalty fans in this city have. be nice if that was reciprocated.

  • I hope Omark lights it up the final 8 games, and goes to good home in the east. He’s the kinda guy who would make the Oilers pay when we play him, and I don’t think we want to see him multiple games a year.

    Sail on Omark, make us proud.

    • O.C.

      I don’t know it just seems to me the guy thinks because he was a star in Sweden that he should be one here and get top mins no matter what and I think you see it a lot with swedish players coming to North America to play. Lack of killer instinct when things get tough and the inability to rise to the occasion. There are exceptions but generally that is what I tend to see.

  • Tha Legion

    NO phrase I hate more than natural talent, that only takes you so far unless you work at something. I’m sure you’ve read the outliers. Also I don’t see Omark having an NHL career.

  • Omark is a good player, whom may get much better in another year or two . A bonus player to have in shootouts . Considering loser points may well decide the West this year for last two playoff spots , maybe having Omark around for at least one more season would be valuable .

    Phoenix and Calgary sit poised to make playoffs with 12 and 15 loser points to their totals . Dallas and Colorado only have 5 , and San Jose 10 . I think it time to reconsider giving more points to a regulation win – perhaps one additional point .

    • Or, and I could just be crazy, but now that every game has a winner and a loser why doesnt the NHL just go to a straight W/L record. Points be damned.

      The East would stay the same, for the West Phoenix would be out and Colorado in.

      No need to add points and get crazy. There are no ties anymore. Just wins and losses.

  • 24% body fat

    While Omark has some skills, he has never really impressed me. A little more grit and a little less skill might do this team some good. Good luck to Omark…with any luck we can trade him to Calgary for their 1st round pick…they do that a lot right?

  • BaconWrapped

    I agree with Arch here.

    While we are all excited about his ability to play in the offensive zone he is terrible in the d-zone and the neutral zone.

    We cannot sacrifice defense in order to generate offense.

  • Linus Omark is woefully terrible defensively and scores at a Robert Nilssonian rate. His attitude is brutal and he’s an entitled whiner. I dont see any great loss to the club.

    He will never be as good as Eberle or Hemsky (even in a bad year), he isnt a 4th liner, and I wouldnt want him Checking my bag at the Grocery store let alone Checking one of the league’s best lines during the playoffs. Where does that leave us? The Pressbox, the Minors, or on another team.

    This offensive wizard’s talents are replicated by superior players throughout the lineup, and the Oilers could very well add another top forward prospect in this draft depending on how it all pans out. Linus Omark is destined to be sweetener in whatever deal Lowe has conjuring up that will land the Oilers an actual needed part.

  • Did Omark get every possible chance to shine with the Oilers? No, of course not. Should he be criticized for speaking his mind? No.

    That said, I suspect that, despite the flash to his game and obvious offensive creativity too many players lack, he’s destined for the Fabian Brunnstrom File no matter how many NHL teams give him a look.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Maybe if Omark worked on the things he was suppose to in the AHL he would’ve gotten more NHL chances?

      I follow quite a few guys that do post games for OKC and while Omark is producing, he makes just as many mistakes. That simply isn’t going to cut it at the NHL level.

    • I think he has been given chances maybe not the max he could have and I also think that the team was looking at him to be here all season but he didn’t do enough in training camp and the beginning of the season to give them a reason to keep him. And he hasn’t done enough this time around to wow people and gain the extra playing time on the top lines. With the current situation of the team you need to impress if you want to stay and he hasn’t. Of course the value will be down to trade him because lets face he was unable in the last two years to gain a roster spot on a team that has been 30th and 29th.

  • 24% body fat

    not an omark fan but good game by him last night.

    two things, what is going on in the shoot out. Time form Eberle to sit a few to rethink it. Dont need a two year slump like gagner. How did gagner get out of his slump to become 3rd in percentage in the nhl. also for all his flash omark is not a good nhl shoot out player right now. and smyth ahead of FNH and horcoff.

    next if we qualify omark, what are the odds of him accepting or another team signing an offer sheet. If some one will pay 1.567 for him than we get a second rounder.

  • The Farmer

    Omark is fun to watch, and I will be sad to see him go, but his biggest problem, including lack of size, is his footspeed. He is too slow to be an effective forechecker, and he has trouble keeping up to be effective scoring off the rush. I could be wrong, but for this reason I have a hard time seeing him becoming an impact player anywhere in the league. (Rob Schremp 2.0)

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Omark will play in the league somewhere and do well. His only downside is he is small and fairly slow but he has the overall skill and hockey sense to be a good second liner somewhere.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    I’m glad Omark played last night. pencilling in Hordichuk instead was boneheaded.

    I wish him the best going forward. It’s too bad he didn’t make it in Oiler silks and it will be interesting to see if he can SIUTBSOHC.

    I wouldn’t make too much of the happy quote. He wants to play for Sweden. great! Smyth wants to play for Canada.

    @Lowetide… are you sold on a decade of Pitlick and Hamilton yet? Seems a bit premature doesn’t it? a couple of those other guys might be iffy too.

    • The Soup Fascist

      “There are only 12 spots in the NHL and obviously Omark is not going to play on the bottom two lines.”

      When did this become gospel? I like my Oilers with a lot of offense – that means scoring threats up and down the lineup. Do I see Omark as a top six winger? I guess not, certainly not on the right side with Eberle and Hemsky ahead of him. I do, however, like throwing Omark out with Horcoff and Smyth (2 GP with that line and 2 G) – he’s sort of an offensive trump card on a checking line. The Oilers of the 80s were obviously stacked in the top 6, but there was talent bubbling underneath – Ken Linseman, Willy Lindstrom, Mark Napier, Kent Nilsson, Geoff Courtnall, Adam Graves, Petr Klima – imperfect players, but guys who could be a threat in a depth role. Omark’s defensive deficiencies (overstated like crazy) should be fairly well covered by his linemates there and they’ll benefit from his creativity.

      There’s been a real push from the media that Omark cannot play bottom six, but I can’t see that being in any way true. Where did it come from?

        • I know you’re not an Omark guy, but wouldn’t you agree that a degree of skill to go with the “grit” of the bottom six wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing? As an Oiler fan, wouldn’t you want to have a skilled player (or at least a productive player – ie. Jones) represented on each line?

          • Yes, it would be nice. Except that the way the coaching staff is using that Smyth/Horc line means they go up against the toughs a lot. For the most part Omark hasnt been reliable enough in his own zone for the coaches to be comfortable playing him in that spot. Overstated or not, his mistakes away from the puck have been what’s kept him out of the NHL this year.

            If the Oilers played more Power Vs Power then I could see Omark having a better chance of making the team on a full time basis.

            But really, with Jones and Eager still having time on their contracts, the bottom six jobs arent plentiful either.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

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

    NO OTHER EDMONTON MSM WERE INVOLVED. NONE.

    (Funny stuff.)

    • Yeah. It was Gregor from Jones from Millhouse from Michaels.

      @dantencer Linus Omark does not want to play for OKC in the AHL playoffs. “I play better if I’m happy and I’ll be more happy at the World’s.”
      Retweeted by Terry Jones

      @JasonGregor Go listen to the tape. I said, on air, I read it on Jones twitter

      @dantencer Just don’t want my stuff stolen. That’s it. No medal required.

      Only thing funnier than Gregor skipping over the twit behind the retweet was Millhouse whining about what other people do with 140 characters.

      Odds that either will ever actually include the other guys twitter name in a tweet? Close to zero normally.

  • John Chambers

    The Oilers treatment of Omark has been baffling. Too small to fit into your plans? Fine. At least showcase his skills during the re-build in order to enhance is market value – and gee whiz, use him as a piece to obtain that coveted defenseman.

    We’ve endured a season where Renney has decided to give the Belanger triangle ample ice time on the pp, has thrown Petrell and now Jones games on the top line, and has inserted cro magnon man, Darcy Hordichuk, into the lineup 36! times while Omark went to the farm or was benched. I don’t care if he’s Arch’s goat, he would’ve at the very least been our 6th or 7th most offensively productive player, if not better.

    Squandered. There’s no other word for it.

    • book¡e

      I fully agree. In a season where you don’t really care if you win, throw him over the boards with two of the three ‘kids’ for 20 games (a fire-hydrant could score at a 0.50 pace or better with RNH and Eberle), let him get a few more Youtube hits, talk about how skilled he is in the MSM and then trade him while telling other GMs that you are just overloaded in the small forward department.

  • Keg on Legs

    FIST, the problem with him is he thinks he should be in the every day line-up when he shouldn’t be. The Oil will never be able to keep or make him happy.