Based on several sources it looks like Linus Omark won’t play in game 2 tomorrow night against the Minnesota Wild. Opinions vary, but most believe there are other options for HS that make more sense.
While true, the Oilers signed Darcy Hordichuk to do a job and Ryan Jones can penalty kill, so they’re in. Added to that is the fact that Lennart Petrell can PK too and has shown a willingness to drop the gloves.
And THAT is probably enough for coach Renney to go with the Finn. I don’t read much more into it, and I think we need to recall coach Renney’s comments (“Sometimes it’s a numbers game and you can’t read into it too much”) on where Omark was at practice the other day. They probably want everyone to get into a game early in the year (meaning Potter and NK should play soon too) and after that we’ll see how it goes.
But I don’t really believe Tom Renney thinks Hordichuk has more value than Omark. Perhaps if the club’s powerplay was more of a deterrent for other clubs then Hordichuk and Peckham and Sutton wouldn’t be pressed into duty tomorrow night. However, the Oilers are a team that believes in an enforcer type and that impacts Omark, Hartikainen and others. Things will get tougher for Omark when Ben Eager draws back into the lineup.
One area I do agree with is Jonathan Willis’ contention that Omark versus Ryan Jones is going to be an issue. I thought it would be Hartikainen who would offer the strongest competition for the skill minutes on the wing, but as Jon points out Jones is the first issue.
When Eager arrives, that’s another shuffle and the Finnish kid isn’t far away. Linus Omark is a very useful hockey player but I’m starting to think some GM like Ken Holland is about to swoop in and grab him.