Linus Omark signs


The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they had signed Linus Omark to a one-year contract.

Two-Way Contract

Bob Stauffer offers the explanation for what changed:

The Oilers likely would always have taken Omark back on a two-way deal, but the player clearly felt he’d proven he was better than the AHL. My guess is that after looking around for a new home this summer, Omark got a better idea of what his NHL stock was, and decided that a two-way contract made sense.

As for Edmonton, with the departure of Toni Rajala the Oklahoma City Barons were looking awfully light on firepower; Omark is an exceptional scorer at that level and offers the Oilers another recall option.

What I Expect

It would be something of a surprise if Omark cracked the Oilers’ roster out of training camp. While he is a good player there simply isn’t room in the top-six and he’s a bad fit for a Boyd Gordon line oriented toward defence. With the number of one-way conmtracts the Oilers are carrying, it would take something exceptional for Omark to force his way on to the roster.

But that isn’t what this is about for Omark; this is a move designed to get him into the NHL. He already saw that a fantastic year in Switzerland wasn’t enough to get the interest of NHL teams – the question isn’t his scoring ability, it’s the rest of his game. If he shows well in training camp, he might get a team interested when he’s sent down to the minors (as he needs to clear waivers). If he clears waivers but shows well in the AHL, he’s more likely to land an NHL contract next season.

The Oilers are bringing in a guy who has decided that he wants to play in the NHL more than he wants to make the easy money in Europe. This season is about Omark proving what he can bring; he’s going to be highly motivated and it’s never a bad thing to have a driven guy with real ability in the system, even if he has rubbed some people the wrong way in the past.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Justin Azevedo digs a little deeper into Matt Stajan – who breathed some life into his career with a strong performance last season – and aks if we’ve been underrating him all along:

Stajan has had three seasons where he’s been a top-6 forward by any measure and another outlying season where he was unfairly lambasted by both fans and coach alike – which is odd considering the coach is the one that positioned Stajan to fail. He might not be able to make his teammates in the top-6 better, but he can play with them to the degree necessary. He pushes play forward and scores at a good rate while costing about the average amount for his position.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

  • LinkfromHyrule

    BOLD. /thread

    On a non-GM-insulting note, I’ve always liked Omark. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not really an Oilers fit, he doesn’t “really” fit on the 3rd line, he’s not defensively sound and he’s not a big centre (because those are everywhere amirite?). But, IMO, he plays hard, he can make a pass and he has a scoring touch. Maybe he does find renewed zeal, energy and motivation here this season, OKC or Edmonton. If he does, he gets moved, maybe at the deadline, maybe with Hemsky. I’m just speculating but if we get a pick for Omark that makes this a good signing. Not bold, but good.

  • 916oiler

    This is good. The Oilers will get SOMETHING, one way or another, out of Omark instead of him dancing around in Switzlandialand with the polar bears and unicorns.

  • LinkfromHyrule

    I knew it! When that story broke a month ago about Omark close to returning to the NHL, I had a feeling it was gonna be with Edmonton. I think Mac-T just wants everyone to compete for a spot, and the remainders will be trade bait.

    I think they told him to keep quiet about it too once the news came out

  • So, let me get this straight.

    The Oilers view Omark not well enough for full time employment as a regular in the NHL.

    The Oilers let Omark walk with a see ya later attitude. The Oilers try in vain to trade Omark with no takers.

    The Oilers don’t buy-out Omark for outright release like Rajala, instead they hold onto his rights.

    The Oilers sign Omark to a 600K two way contract in hopes that his play at camp may bring some interest…

    The Oilers, will send Omark down, becoming vulnerable to the waiver wire and possible might/probably lose him for nothing anyways?

    What exactly does K.Lowe do around here?

  • Marshall Law

    The most exciting part of this transaction is that it now allows us to observe as the local media tries to explain how they never meant to say that Omark was a joke with no value.

    Clearly there remains some interest in him. Otherwise, the Oilers would have Toni Rajala-ed him a long time ago. One can only hope he gets a decent opportunity to prove himself this time around.

    Shove it up the backsides of your critics, Linus!

    • This is the most exciting part of the transaction for you? Puzzling perspective, that.

      Omark, as he and his agent clearly found out, doesn’t hold the cachet with NHL GMs he thought he did. Tearing it up in Europe didn’t get the phone ringing the way he hoped.

      Now, he’s back and saying the right things about doing what it takes to make it to the NHL. There is no downside to Omark coming back motivated to show he belongs at the NHL level. We’ll see if he does.

      • Marshall Law

        Truthfully, seeing Omark get another opportunity is what excites me the most.

        I merely find it interesting that, over the past 2 years, many members of the local media have spared no effort in ridiculing fans for believing that he deserved another shot. These same individuals now must acknowledge that Omark may hold some worth.

        I can appreciate that you, like other members of the media, have had to tolerate many unrealistic trade proposals involving Omark’s name. That would undoubtedly get irritating. However, it seems as though this has spurred many of you to respond by suggesting that Omark has no value whatsoever.

        My argument is simply that, if this were the case, they wouldn’t have bothered holding onto his rights.

  • Tikkanese

    Why do most of the media, especially the Edmonton media keep pronouncing his name wrong? You’d think they’d catch on when his teammates pronounce it correctly in their interviews. It is pronounced “Lee-Nuss”, not “Ly-Nuss” like the Charlie Brown character.

    It makes them sound like lazy morons.

    • Oilerz4life

      He shouldn’t give a rats ass. He hasn’t done enough to receive the attention he has been given.

      To the critics, show me another player who may score 35 pts this year making 600k, that electrifys a fan base like lee-nuss Omark. He wants in the NHL. He is too good for the AHL. Its time for you too “put up or shut” up leenus.

        • justDOit

          Tikkanese is not a dialect know for correct pronunciations – your position on this seems at odds with your screen name.

          Given that Linus is also a name in North America, I don’t see why it’s so strange for broadcasters to pronounce it incorrectly. Most of them are not linguistics majors!

        • Tikkanese

          It’s not there job. There job is to provide entertainment. To occupy our minds until the next commercial break. To sell us on purchasing products. The way his name is pronounced does not matter. Hell hockey players should develope personas, similiar to the competitors, on the Running Man. Or WWE.Or strip clubs.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I can’t fins the link, but you are half right… it is pronounced “Lee-nus”, but I seem to remember Omark came out a couple years ago and wanted it pronounced “Lye-nus”.

      I thought it had something to do with a Lee-nus/pee-nus association.

  • DieHard

    They have his rights, he wants to come back, does so on Oilers terms, 2-way contract… risk, all potential gain. If his AHL salary is 100,000.00, not outrageous either. Win-win.

  • Tikkanese


    Ever think of doing an article on mis-pronounced NHL names? Could be interesting. Supposedly Sakic is supposed to be pronounced as “Sack-eech”, Ciccarelli “Chick-a-relli”, Berube “Brr-Bay” and many others.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    from NBC sports june 28th.

    On Thursday, we moved one step closer to the NHL ditching the spin-o-rama in shootouts. The league’s Board of Governors gave their approval of the change, which now just needs to go through the NHLPA for one final okay.

    Spin-o-ramas can be fun to watch, but NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan argues that this is a matter of “integrity.”

    “I think that there’s some very entertaining moves that you can still do in a shootout,” Shanahan told the Sporting News. “I think when we looked at some of the spin-o-ramas, there was a lot of interference with goaltenders, there was a lot of questions as to whether the puck was still moving forward or the player was still moving forward.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I would argue that Omark’s spin was much more classy as he 360’d at the blue/high slot then faked the slapper and went 5 hole. Bit of a showboat? Sure, but if he missed the goal, he would never have heard the end of it from fans, coaches and the media.

  • Linus is no longer a Minus! Yea.

    I hope that he get a legitimate chance to prove his worth…….not playing the odd game on the fourth line. We should play him based on performance. If his offence dries up for a couple of games, he should not be benched. If he gets the puck taken away once in a while, he should not be benched. If he misses an assignment, he should not be benched.

    In other words hold him to the same standards as players like Hemsky, Jones, Horcoff, who made a living with inconsistent play!

  • Spydyr

    Smart move by Linus.He was looking to get back in the NHL now he will have to clear waivers before going down.Looks like he could of been earning more in Europe so the desire to play in the NHL is there.Hope he gets a fair shake.

  • DieHard

    MacT wants internal competition, he wants skill verses non-skill, he wants to weed out the whiners, he wants players to want to be here. Omark wants an honest chance to play in the NHL. I don’t believe he’s ever gotten one. This is do or die for Omark. This is an excellent move by MacT.

  • Rocket

    Wow the advanced stats guys are going nuts on the interweb. Over at thecopperandblue they’re practically popping champagne.

    I think it’s an interesting signing. Good for Omark and The Oilers. I wonder if he pushes Jones down to the fourth line?

    I think a third line with Gordon, Hemsky, & Omark looks tempting.

  • Tikkanese

    Omark – Gordon – Hemsky sounds interesting but I don’t know if the chemistry will work. Omark and Hemsky are both “puck hogs” and are both of the “pass first” mentality. They would be constantly cycling and almost never shooting. Driving the opposition, teammates, coaches and the fans crazy.

      • Tikkanese

        Are you sure you know? Being a puck hog and having a pass first mentality is not an oxymoron. It is perfectly logical and the perfect description for both Hemsky and Omark. They both tend to hang onto the puck too long, and when they do get rid of the puck, they tend to pass more than they shoot it.

        Having a shoot first and a pass first mentality would be an oxymoron…

        • Tikkanese

          I agree with your assessment of Hemsky………but Omark has not been given sufficient opportunity to be called a puck hog yet.

          Hemsky does pass the puck but only after he has run out of options to keep dangling…….he is the classic definition of a soloist.

  • DSF

    This is a good signing. A very cheap two-way deal that will give Omark a chance in exhibtion games to showcase his skills against NHL Players. If he is a better and more disciplined player without the puck than in his earlier stint here, than he belongs in the NHL, although the Oilers are a poor fit.

    He could possibly start the season with the big club, especially if Nuge is not ready to go immediately, which would showcase him eve more for a possible trade. If there is no deal made he will likely be sent to OKC. If he is picked up on waivers, so be it. End of story. No harm, no foul. If not, he will be excellent value in OKC and damned entertaining. In addition, if he is playing well down there he is a legitimate call up if a couple of skill forwards are out.

    I do not understand the animosity some harbor towards Omark, apart from legitimate concerns about his defensive commitment. It appears some people are offended by his independent, swashbuckling style, which I loved, while criticizing the genuine flaws in his game.

  • DSF

    If this was a university course the only grade you could give the Oiler GM-HC duo is an ‘incomplete.’
    They are both doing their particular jobs in the NHL for the first time. Unfortunately, when you are listing all 30 teams you can’t pull one out and say there is no evidence on how to grade it. I like what I have seen and heard from MacT so far and what Eakins has accomplished in the AHL, but it is the results that will tell the tale and that will take a season or two. DFS only brought this up to get people riled up. As always. It tells us nothing we don’t know already.