On this day in 2013, the Edmonton Oilers trade Linus Omark to Sabres
2 months ago
On this day in 2013, the Edmonton Oilers traded 2007 fourth-round pick forward Linus Omark to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a conditional 2014 sixth-round selection in the NHL draft.
Omark would never be the saviour for the Oilers as he was drafted in the sixth round, 97th overall, back in the 2007 draft. Still, he brought a fun flair to the Oilers lineup during his short tenure with the team. After the draft, Omark returned to Lulae, Sweden, to finish his contract in the Swedish Hockey League.
In March 2009, while representing Sweden during an international tournament, Omark was chosen to deliver a shootout opportunity against Switzerland. The forward skated towards the crease and flips the puck up and over goaltender Marco Buhrer, allowing the puck to hit the crossbar and fall into the net, wowing not only fans in attendance but the entire hockey community, and his popularity status began to grow.
Omark would arive in North America later that year, starting with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, scoring 31 points in 28 games. That December, two key forward players, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff, were out due to injury and the club decided to recall Omark.
Omark made his debut on December 10th, 2010, with the Oilers against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he made sure it would be one everyone would remember. As regulation time ended and overtime saw no result, it was up to a shootout to decide the game’s fate. Omark was selected to be the final shooter for the Oilers, and jaws were dropped.
Omark performed a beautiful little spin around after acquiring the puck, only to fake a slap shot and shoot one right in between the legs of Tampa Bay netminder Dan Ellis, winning the game 4-3 for the Oilers.
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However, not everyone saw the dazzling game-winning goal as shiny as others; many became sour and believed the overconfident young forward was crossing a line.
“It was a f*cking joke,” sniffed Lightning forward Ryan Malone. “F*cking disrespectful is what it was.”
For Omark, he was just happy his debut was over. “I’m glad it is over,” he said. “I was nervous in the beginning. In the next game I won’t be. I know I can do something at this level now, so that’s good.”
He remained with the Oilers through the season, scoring five goals and 27 points, and the following season tested not only Omark but his place in the Oilers’ organization. Omark struggled to fit in the Oilers’ top-six group of forwards as a relatively smaller forward at five-foot-ten; other players were bigger and more robust and became more valuable to the lineup.
In just 14 games of the 2011-12 season, Omark recorded three goals and three points, prompting the Oilers to send him down to the Barons. A year later, after one final appearance in orange and blue, the Oilers decided to trade him to the Sabres with the condition that if he were to play 15 games with his new team, the Oilers would receive their sixth-round draft pick in 2014.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go that way. Omark played 13 games for the Sabres, recording two points, and was eventually placed on waivers to be assigned to the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Omark refused the AHL assignment, and his rights were traded back to where he began with the Lulea HF.
Omark played 79 games across three seasons in the NHL, recording eight goals and 32 points before returning to the SHL, where he still plays today.
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