Linus Omark scores four goals for OKC


So judging by the highlights, it was the Linus Omark show in San Antonio last night.


Four goals, seven shots, and a bunch of chances. Omark had a slow start to the season; I didn’t think he looked impressive in the preseason and even early on in Oklahoma City. Omark is a self-described "slow starter" but told me he was happy with the chances he was getting and knew the goals were going to start coming. He has three in his last three home games, and of course now has four goals over the first two games of a three-game road trip after picking up just a single assist in the season’s first four games.

As Anton Lander said after a two-goal game by Omark earlier this season, "These kind of nights, you just watch him have fun out there… you try to be open for a one-timer or whatever but tonight he did it all by himself out there."

Quick Hits

  • After just rolling three alternates early in the year, the Barons finally committed to Anton Lander as captain. It was a tough choice because coach Todd Nelson didn’t know who he was going to have all season; Lander is obviously the Oilers’ fifth centre and he could be recalled tomorrow and stay all year. It was also a hard choice because two obvious candidates (Mark Arcobello and ex-Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton) have been in Edmonton.
  • Corey Potter played the first game of his conditioning stint last night, picking up three shots in the Barons’ 5-4 win.
  • I’ve been a loud proponent of starting Oscar Klefbom in the minors for a lot of reasons; after all, he didn’t play much last year and this is first season in North America so there are all sorts of developmental arguments for giving him AHL ice-time. But if he keeps playing the way he has, he’s going to earn a spot with the Oilers.
  • This is pure speculation, but I can’t help wondering if Martin Marincin is going to be used as trade bait by the Oilers. With high-end guys like Klefbom and Darnell Nurse in the system, it’s hard to see where he fits in over the long haul, and even in the short term players like Taylor Fedun and Brandon Davidson offer comparable NHL readiness. There is also rookie professional Martin Gernat, who has a very similar skillset but likely less trade value. Marincin is a solid prospect, but to me he just seems like a guy who would have value in a trade but doesn’t stand out enough from the group.
  • Once Potter is back, the Oilers will have eight NHL defencemen (unless they waive Potter or Grebeshkov) plus Philip Larsen, Taylor Fedun, Brandon Davidson, Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin. That is a total of 13 guys who could plausibly play NHL minutes this year before we even get to a guy like Brad Hunt who could probably step in as a one-game or two-game callup if it became necessary. Somebody has to go, right?

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • Hi JW
    I wonder if it makes more sense to dangle Klefbom as the trade bait-he has more curb appeal and could (likely) get more of a return than Marincin. I might be shopping in the young goalie aisle *cough Anaheim cough with Klefbom as the young D being offered.

    • Alsker

      Another guy trading away a propect we dont even have a true grasp on how good he may be. We’ve waited 2 years to see him on NA ice and before his feet are wet we’re trading him?? Wait for injuries to find playoff hopefuls and then move vet depth/fill-in types(Potter,N/Schultz,/Grebs) for other prospects. IMHO.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    We need to find a way to get rid of N. Schultz to make room for Oscar this year. If Nurse is pushing the pace like people say he is, He will be fighting for a spot next year too and it would be much nicer to introduce these guys to the nhl one at a time

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      That’s a “wait for the deadline” deal for multiple reasons:

      1) the market is basically closed right now and when the deadline comes around vet Ds command a lot more anyhow

      2) If Klef comes up and spends more than 40 games on the roster (even as a healthy scratch and I believe as injured… can someone check on the latter), he burns a year off his RFA status. [edit–speeds beat me to it]

      3) it simply can’t hurt to let Klef continue to impress against good, but weaker competition out of the glare of NHL pressures and let him round out his north american game.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Are you travelling with the team Willis?

    At any rate, I enjoy these OKC updates.

    Watched the game last night. I was a fun, rollicking affair. Omark is really rounding into game shape. If he had started the year playing like this it is hard to imagine him not on the NHL team (esp. considering the injuries).

    I’m not in favor of Marincin (packaged or no) as trade bait, esp. if the return is only a marginal NHL player. I think I’d package Musil first.

    Do you have any idea on the timelines for either Hamilton?

    • No, unfortunately I’m only covering OKC home games.

      I think Musil’s a better player to move than Marincin if the trade value is equal, but it isn’t. Right now (IMO), Musil’s probably a 6/7 on the standard AHL depth chart; Marincin is in the 2-3 range.

      I know Ryan Hamilton’s skating with the Oilers but don’t know anything beyond that. Todd Nelson told me that Curtis Hamilton should be back sometime in November (he’s been skating with the team for some time now) but that the exact date is fluid because it really depends on how the rehabilitation goes.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        I completely agree on the Musil/Marincin front.

        My concern isn’t so much that they trade him and he rounds into a very good D (though there is that!), but rather that they trade him for bits and pieces, esp. in the form of “situational toughness.”

        We know the team wants more meat in the lineup of forwards and Matty keeps claiming they are looking for a bottom pairing D with some edge (if that is the case, not sure why they didn’t re-sign Fistric, but so be it).

        I would be extraordinarily disappointed if the team traded Marincin to solve a bottom of the roster issue, esp. if that player isn’t pretty damn good (they’d have to be Paajarvi, Winnick, Kulemin good to even start a conversation with me).

        • I’m thinking of a guy like Reimer in Toronto.

          Is Marincin, LaBarbera and a second round draft pick fair value for a guy like that?

          Maybe it’s not enough for the Leafs because they want to have the insurance of a second starter-calibre goalie in case Bernier falters. I’d get that perspective; in the Leafs shoes that’s probably how I’d feel.

          But that’s the range of value I’m thinking with a package like that – a good NHL goalie to partner/push/potentially replace Dubnyk.

          • kawi460

            Apparently Dregger said the Leafs wouldn’t do Yakupov straight across for Reimer.

            If that’s remotely true I would hope Mac T never picks up the phone with TO

          • StHenriOilBomb

            Dreger credibility is gone. It’s like he is off his meds with his Insider knowledge. The Yak rumour if it came straight from Nonis, you just don’t write, cause you sound like a hockeybuzz writer in your momma’s basement.

            I only trust BobbieMac and occasionally LeBrun.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            I’m not convinced Reimer gets traded yet.

            Without Scrivens, the depth in net for the Leafs (after a really good 1a/1b set) is either pretty weak (MacIntyre) or too far away to tell (Sparks, Gibson, Bibeau).

            I’m not sure how it affects their decision making, but they paid a boat load for Bernier (Scrivens, Frattin, a 2nd round pick and 500K in cap)… At the time Bernier had a good but thin resume. If he pans out, that deal will look fine in a few years. Right now it looks like a lot considering how weird the goalie market is.

            Labarbera, Marincin and a 2nd looks like too much to me, but I think the Leafs take it, if they want to trade Reimer. It’s a flush offer that keeps them light on the cap and replaces Reimer adequately.

            The other thing is that Reimer has some concussion issues and MacT is on record aggressively wanting to explore moneypuck options (free agent Euros, college kids and undervalued NHLers), he recently said he liked the list of UFAs this year:


            Ironically, the one to target may have been my preferred choice last summer: Khudobin (he’s injured right now though).

  • There are CBA reasons for EDM to leave Klefbom in the AHL for over half a season – this season wouldn’t count as one of Klefbom’s 7 years towards UFA status if he were called up late enough. Maybe that’s one of the factors in the minds of management?

  • paul wodehouse

    If the Oilers have another 0 for on the PP today then the call Omark up comments will go through the roof!

    I noticed that Larsen had three primary assists on the PP. I have been wanting to call him up all season. I see him bringing more to the PP than Petry does and if we take Nick Schultz out of the lineup then we would have a balance of right and left shooting dmen. It can’t hurt, our PP stinks right now.

  • @Alsker

    Take a look at the D prospects stacked up in OKC. Both Lowetide and Willis have written recently about this issue-assuming they keep Nurse next year that will be 3 top flight prospects looking for NHL minutes next year-something has to give here.

    If the Oilers can acquire a young goalie with Marincin, great,I’m all for it. I’m just saying that Klefbom likely nets a bigger return, and it should be obvious to anybody paying attention the Oilers need a young goalie pushing for NHL minutes sooner, rather than later.

    I like Klefbom as a prospect, but when they drafted Nurse–and his subsequent showing at Training Camp–the pecking order for NHL minutes changed within our D prospects.

    • Alsker

      yes I waited 7 hours to respond simply because that second paragragh was as kLoweish as it comes. “Obvious to anyone paying attention” is as assinine as kLowes 2 tier fan crap and twice as ignorant!!! So now Im a 2nd tier ON member: Chuck you farley, really.
      !! We havent had a decent D-corps since the Rakes appearance in ’06 and then go back to early 90s, if Klefbom+Nurse mean we finally have a true D base then may you burn in hell for suggesting we trade either one of them. We need goaltending help obviously BUT first we need a real defense infront of that goalie. Trade Yak,Ebs,anyone, BUT dont you dare suggest we trade away what we have so dearly needed for more than a decade. That is all, from a 2nd tier on MEMBER!!!

  • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean


    A lot of broken plays on defense in those highlights.

    You know, when I read your prospect blogs as well as Lowetide’s I come to the conclusion that we are really in the middle to latter stages of a rebuild, not on the other side.

    That is also taking into account the roster makeup at the NHL level.

    what do you think?

  • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

    Imagine if Omark can find his game in the AHL, then why not extend this courtesy to Yakapov ?

    This is the perfect league for snipers to gain confidence…….just that little extra second to fire the puck sometimes makes all the difference.

    It seems we have a lot more skill down on the farm based on the highlights ………finally!

  • Wow, that’s a hell of a game by Omark, especially when you factor in that his screen in front of the net was likely a big factor in the only goal he DIDN’T score going in.

    And how about that 2nd (?) goal by the Rampage??? TERRIBLE D break down. Brutal play by Hunt and Larsen. Hey guys.. how about one of you takes the —-ing body. Even just one of those 2 guys, maybe??

    Anywho.. gotta figure Omark is due for a callup sometime in the near future. But he will need to clear waivers to get sent back down, since more than 30 days has passed since he cleared.

    • Rob...

      I’m not sure I’d call Omark up if the Oilers ultimately want to trade him. In OKC he’s showcasing himself as an elite AHL scorer. That might be attractive to an NHL team desperate for goals. However, if you bring him up to the big club and he doesn’t perform immediately then his value quickly erodes.

      • I’m not sure anyone would bite on a guy who hasn’t exactly been stellar at the NHL level. I actually wasn’t even considering trading Omark, when I posted my remark, because to me Omark trades ideas on forums/blogs have become so laughably unrealistic that now I don’t even consider him much of a trade asset. I think he’s going to have to prove himself to the NHL world before someone would call up MacT for him.

        But really, I would want to call him up just for our own sake, to see if he can do anything at the NHL level now. I’m not thinking trade.

  • bwar

    Tootoo for Omark is not enough [from Det] But i just dont see
    Linus ever having a role here, his value is pretty high right now.
    Philly also needs scoring as does Buffalo… But for what in return.

    I wish Omark just had a little more D to his game. Or 5 inches
    taller and 40 lbs.

  • Zarny

    The Oilers have to use some of their D prospects as trade bait. Omark too if he keeps playing like this.

    I suspect Kelfbom and Nurse are off the table unless it’s a really big name which I don’t see happening. I don’t think any of them are available.

    The Oilers play like a junior team sometimes because Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Yak and Schultz average 122 games NHL experience. That’s a whole season and half.

    You can’t throw an even younger D core of Petry, Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse and Marincin out there and expect anything but 12th place.

    The Oilers need to swap out 2 of their top 6 F for additional size and strength. Not easy to do and maintain the skill. They also need a legit shutdown D and probably a G.

    They don’t need to make those trades this year but they need to be made and a good prospect like Marincin makes it much easier.

    What would Phi need along with Marincin for Braydon Coburn?

  • Zarny

    Marincin, LaBarbera and a 2nd round draft pick for Reimer is too much for 2 reasons.

    It’s a buyers market with Miller, Reimer, Hiller, Neuvirth and Elliot all potentially available with only a few teams looking.

    I don’t think Reimer is good enough to win the Stanley Cup. Stats are no better than Dubnyk’s while playing on a better team.

    I’m not keen on Neuvirth, Reimer or Elliot because I think there are serious doubts any of them can win the Cup.

    You’re just wasting a prospect like Marincin to change the problem instead of solving it.

    I’d make a call to see what it takes to get Lehner, Allen and Gibson if Ana would even take the call. The problem with that route is more waiting.

    The Hiller, Fasth, Gibson logjam in Ana offers opportunity but if he’d come to Edm I think Ryan Miller is the best option although he’d cost the most.

    Edm is a very young locker room and pro athletes have a lot of distractions. Last year Giguere called out the Avs locker room for caring more about Vegas trips than hockey. Right now Ference and maybe Smyth are the only guys I could see having the cache to do that. Miller would be another.