So. That happened.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 6, 2013
It feels like it’s been a long time coming, but the Oilers have decided to call-up Linus Omark.
The interesting item here (or at least one of them) is the timing. Ryan Smyth played last night, which went some distance toward neutralizing the Oilers’ need for a left wing. Here’s what the forward lines looked like against Florida:
- Hemsky – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
- Smyth – Gagner – Yakupov
- Jones – Gordon – Arcobello
- Gazdic – Acton – Eager
Where does Omark fit in that group, and who comes out for him?
The first task is to find him a spot in the top-nine, and that seems pretty straight-forward even if we assume no injury. The fourth line struggled badly last night, and I’d guess that Ben Eager rotates out and Ryan Jones moves down to right wing. Smyth gets bumped down to the third line with Gordon and Arcobello, and Omark slots in with Gagner and Yakupov on an all-offence line.
There are other ways to do it, but there seems at least to be a spot for him in the rotation.
The window for Omark to make an impression is narrow here: Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu and David Perron are all out of the lineup with injury, and if even one or two of them get back and Omark hasn’t done much he’ll be on his way back to the farm.
More to Come?
Rumour has it the Oilers and the New York Rangers have been talking trade, with the Rangers in bad need of a skilled winger. Could it be that there’s a trade in place for one of the Oilers’ wings?
Because that’s certainly one way to read this recall. If an Ales Hemsky (or maybe even Nail Yakupov) is heading out of town, there’s suddenly a slot on a skill line that needs filling and Omark’s the only really viable candidate for the role.
Maybe there’s nothing more to this than the coach being unhappy with his lines and deciding those guys from the farm did such a nice job injecting some scoring into the lineup that it makes sense to add one more. But it’s certainly possible that there’s another shoe left to drop.