WITHERING LINUS?

Years ago–when Brad Winchester left the Oilers organization–Craig MacTavish uttered the famous line “I think he needs a second opinion.”

I suspect we are at that point with Linus Omark. With the Oilers moving on to business surrounding the ‘franchise cornerstones’ Hall & Eberle, the crickets are deafening on Omark.

Jim Matheson has an item up on the two superstars-in-waiting, and at the tail end (where else) posted this on Linus:

  • The Oilers sent him a new contract proposal, likely two-way, maybe for the same $65,000 he made in Oklahoma City last year, and five per cent more than the $875,000 he made as an NHL. Omark has not signed it. “We haven’t heard that he’s signed with anybody else (in Europe),” said Olczyk.

It isn’t exactly “don’t know, don’t care” but you can see it from there.

We know the relationship between Edmonton and Omark isn’t rosy, as reflected in this tweet from Omark earlier this year: “I live to show that the “two” are wrong. But I really hope edm let me have a chance in another nhl team.”

It looks like there is no interest, at least at this time. I remain convinced that Omark has the ability to play in the NHL and hope he gets a shot down the line. I would expect his immediate future is in Europe.

My Omark ramblings are

I keep thinking someone will trade a 7th rd pick for him, keep him in North America and sign him to their own 2-way deal. That’s probably what Omark was thinking too.

I think he has an NHL future if he can find the right fit. And while it is also true that I still believe Marc Pouliot could have a future, it’s also true that Pouliot has had some chances in a few organizations now; he may not return.

I believe someone, somewhere, is curious enough about Linus Omark to give him a chance. Perhaps not this fall, when a draft pick may be required to keep him. However, when the Oilers no longer hold his rights (and at this point we could be talking days) I expect him to get another chance in the show.

He has too much talent. Even with the warts, Omark will get his 500 at-bats.

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41 Responses to "WITHERING LINUS?"

  1. Ducey says:

    What’s the deal with his rights?

    Do the Oilers lose them at some point or do they retain them even if goes to Europe? Given that he was qualified to an RFA contract do they keep his NHL rights until he plays another NHL season and then he becomes an UFA?

    If the guy was smart he would just sign the deal, come to camp, get assigned to OKC and play his ass off and get picked up on re-entry waivers by someone else.

    He’s in deep as far as wingers go with the Oilers, but he is not doing himself any favours either.

  2. Mr DeBakey says:

    I keep thinking someone will trade a 7th rd pick for him

    They don’t even have to do that.
    Just sign him to a one-way for under $1,000,000.
    I doubt the Oilers match and there’s no compensation.

    I mean, he hasn’t shown a tonne, but he’s shown something, and several teams finished last season with less GF than our Bright Future boys.

  3. Kris11 says:

    I think Omark has NHL game in him, but I doubt any team grabs him.

    It’s sort of the Souray situation all over again. Souray got sent to the AHL. He was fighting with management.

    As we now know, Souray was a solid NHL’er all along, yet nobody grabbed him And it wasn’t his contract either, Other teams could have had him for a bargain, as the Oilers subjected him to reentry. (And half his salary was a fairly big contract, but Souray is a player type that is a pretty rare and valuable commodity in the NHL, even if his game has deteriorated a bit.)

    But NHL teams, wrongly I think, really don’t want to pick these guys up. There’s a lot of reasons for this, IMO. Every team has their own propsects that they overvalue. Managers really, really don’t like any hint of a player being hard to deal with, (Wrongly, I think) That leaves some pretty decent guys on the outside of the NHL looking in. I think there may he a bit of a “code” involved in this too. Don’t try to make a reclaimation project out of player Y that manager X is punishing, because you’ll piss X off by making him look bad, and X isn’t much better than other available players.

  4. Kris11 says:

    I got X and y confused, but whatever.

  5. Brett Gee says:

    Why wouldn’t a team take a chance on him? He’s got to be worth than Schremf ever was.

    It’s still sad to me to think that Hordichuk can so easily get a job in this league while Omark is stuck on the outside.

    Has anyone crunched the numbers on Linus? Was he really that bad?

  6. Clay says:

    If Kristian Huselius can manage a 600+ game NHL career, so can Omark.

  7. Ducey says:

    Brett Gee:
    Why wouldn’t a team take a chance on him?He’s got to be worth than Schremf ever was.

    It’s still sad to me to think that Hordichuk can so easily get a job in this league while Omark is stuck on the outside.

    Has anyone crunched the numbers on Linus?Was he really that bad?

    Yes, he was. His Corsi Q of C was 31st on the team – behind Hordichuk

  8. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Yes, he was.His Corsi Q of C was 31st on the team – behind Hordichuk

    Previous season, the one with more at-bats, Omark did fine.

  9. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ducey,

    Uh, you know that measures the quality of his opponents, not his results, right?

  10. Gerta Rauss says:

    PHI and Wayne Simmonds agree to a (reported) 6 year $24M extension per TSN.

    I’m ambivalent to Omark-I would have loved to have gotten a pick for him at the draft but the market clearly isn’t there. It’s time to move on as far as I’m concered.

  11. Cactus says:

    Lowetide: Previous season, the one with more at-bats, Omark did fine.

    With respect LT, I really don’t think it’s so cut and dry. Here are Omark’s two seasons with Edmonton (min 10 games):

    2010-11: 2nd in Corsi, 3rd in CorsiREL, 14th in CorsiQoC, 6th easiest zone start, 51 GP
    2011-12: 11th in Corsi, 14th in CorsiREL, 16th in Corsi QoC, 3rd easiest zone start, 14 GP

    Those 2011-12 results aren’t just bad, they’re horrific. It’s a small sample size to be sure, but it’s not like 2010-11 was such a large and defnitive sample that it cancels out last year.

    This is a guy who had super-soft minutes both years and did well with them in 2010-11 and horrible last year. No NHL team was willing to spend even a 7th rounder on him.

    There MIGHT be a player here. But it’s no certainty. And many NHL GMs aren’t willing to bet on it.

  12. Bushed says:

    Clay,

    Absolutely. Agree completely.

    I think Omark has a broader skill set than Schremp did, so I don’t think Schremp comparisons are fair. He may not be Miro Satan redux, but then again, who knows until he is given a real chance to succeed?

    I was at the Lightning game when he did the infamous spin-o-rama shootout, and the buzz in the crowd was electric when Omark wound up for his shootout attempt. There hadn’t been that much excitement in the building for a very long time.

    Yes, Omark has “attitude”, but so does Hall. In the latter case, swearing at the coach on national TV is acceptable, but Omark, well, different standard there… I see it as competitiveness in BOTH cases. If there is an issue with what O says, tweets, or does, why can’t it be dealt with behind closed doors? Deliver your ultimatum there, and then move on. But don’t create double-standards, devalue assets, etc because of some stupid unwritten code or pissing match. Good grief.

    The Souray situation was handled very poorly, and we’re seeing it again with Omark. I’m not saying Souray was without fault, but management has to show some maturity and leadership and better judgment in handling these situations.

    With better management and coaching from another team, I agree that Omark will likely have a decent career in the NHL yet (Detroit?).

  13. Lowetide says:

    5×5 points per 60: 1.78 (4th-tie among regular forwards)
    5×4 points per 60: 3.35 (7th among regular forwards)
    Qual Comp: easiest faced among regular forwards
    Qual Team: poorest available teammates among regular forwards
    Corsi Rel: 8.2 (3rd best among regular forwards)
    Zone Start: 53.4% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
    Zone Finish: 50.6% (8th best among regular forwards)
    Shots on goal/percentage: 76/6.6% (15th among F’s but DNQ)
    Boxcars: 51gp, 5-22-27
    Plus Minus: -16 on a team that was -52

    Nice CorsiRel, and he did post the 4th best 5×5 number on the Oilers. He was one of 4 rookie wingers to arrive at the same time (Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Omark) and he’s the first off the island. That’s cool, life happens.

    But that was a season of note. I can’t tell you why he didn’t get a 7th rd pick, but Edmonton qualified him for some reason.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide:

    But that was a season of note. I can’t tell you why he didn’t get a 7th rd pick, but Edmonton qualified him for some reason.

    I think there was interest at the draft, but a deal never got done. And now we sit in the last days of the long summer with CBA uncertainty and any interest in Omark/pretty much anybody has dried up.

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    If you’re going to play the soft, you need to outscore them to be of any use.

    Flawed as it may be, plus/minus does tell a tale as to whether a player has outscored or not. Looking at the 63 Oilers skaters who have played 50+ games since the lockout, here are the poorest in minus per 82:

    Taylor Chorney -43.1
    Patrick O’Sullivan -37.4
    Joffrey Lupul -29.4
    Linus Omark -26.5
    Toby Petersen -23.1
    Ryan Potulny -21.6
    Corey Potter -21.2
    Petr Sykora -20.0
    Jim Vandermeer -19.8
    Jean-Francois Jacques -19.5

    Not exactly Murderer’s Row, is it?

    Most of those guys couldn’t leave town fast enough to satisfy most fans, this one included. Why is Linus Omark any different?

    (Corey Potter, you’re on the clock!)

  16. Bruce McCurdy says:

    P…S: I just “got” your headline. A classic! :D

  17. jp says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    That +/- number is terrible, but his PDO is also the worst on the team over the past 2 years (VERY low). That combined with his strong corsi numbers suggest the +/- doesn’t reflect his true level of play.

    Cactus: With respect LT, I really don’t think it’s so cut and dry.Here are Omark’s two seasons with Edmonton (min 10 games):

    2010-11: 2nd in Corsi, 3rd in CorsiREL, 14th in CorsiQoC, 6th easiest zone start, 51 GP
    2011-12: 11th in Corsi, 14th in CorsiREL, 16th in Corsi QoC, 3rd easiest zone start, 14 GP

    Those 2011-12 results aren’t just bad, they’re horrific.It’s a small sample size to be sure, but it’s not like 2010-11 was such a large and defnitive sample that it cancels out last year.

    This is a guy who had super-soft minutes both years and did well with them in 2010-11 and horrible last year.No NHL team was willing to spend even a 7th rounder on him.

    There MIGHT be a player here.But it’s no certainty.And many NHL GMs aren’t willing to bet on it.

    Yes, he faced 3rd/4th line competition in 10-11, but he came out well ahead shots wise. Would you prefer you’re 3rd liners not to outplay the opposition? He played with weak teammates and he put up points too. What more do you want? You can argue that you didn’t believe he could sustain it, and that the 14 GP sample from 11-12 is proof of that, but I don’t see how his 10-11 numbers can be seen as anything but strong.

    51 GP is 2/3 of a season. Not a massive sample size, but that’s a decent chunk of games. Almost 4X the sample size of 14 GP. As an impartial observer it would be pretty clear which one carried more weight.

    It doesn’t look like it will be with the Oilers, but I’d be very surprised if this guy doesn’t have an NHL career (200+ more games) somewhere.

  18. Bank Shot says:

    I believe that Omark is all hat, no cattle.

    He’s been lucky to be a prospect in Edmonton where the fans absolutely adore that type of player for some reason (Schremp).

    Sure he doesn’t look god awful by the math, then again neither did O’Sullivan or Nilsson. I think that is coaching effect.

    I really don’t see a lot to this guy’s game besides nifty hands.

  19. Lucinius says:

    One of the reasons fans liked Omark was because despite his size he was like a terrier with a tennis ball in the offensive zone. He wanted that puck and it didn’t matter if the guy he was trying to get it from (or who was trying to get it from him) had a foot, fifty pounds and murderous intentions. He wanted the puck at all costs, and he had skill to do something with the puck when he got it.

    The problem came as soon as the puck was no longer in the offensive zone. It was like he didn’t understand the system or the game the team was playing the moment that puck crossed into the defensive side of center. But he was relatively young still.

    He will have a NHL career. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time he’s flourishing on a team like Detroit. He was the wrong player at the wrong time in the wrong system for the Oilers. Its a pity, but these things happen all the time (more often here than elsewhere it seems, as a fan).

    Linus will be okay, I just wish we’d gotten a game or two of the Swede Line together.

  20. justDOit says:

    My headline would have been: Cunning Linus.

  21. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jp: Yes, he faced 3rd/4th line competition in 10-11, but he came out well ahead shots wise.

    If by “well ahead shots wise” you mean getting outshot by 29.4 to 27.4, then yes. Omark did, however, have the best ratio of missed shots for:against on the whole team. Helps the ol’ Corsi, doesn’t much help the team.

  22. jp says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hm. Well that is both surprising and very strange. Is that a skill? I wonder if that’s reproducible…. No, that doesn’t help the team a heck of a lot.

  23. Dipstick says:

    I would like to see Linus light it up at camp and become worth a second round pick. As it is we are debating his value down to a seventh round pick. Time for me to move to more important things. Not every prospect will make it no matter how much we want it.

  24. uni says:

    Lucinius: The problem came as soon as the puck was no longer in the offensive zone. It was like he didn’t understand the system or the game the team was playing the moment that puck crossed into the defensive side of center. But he was relatively young still.

    There was a sequence I remember quite clearly when the puck went behind the Oilers net and a big bruising opposition forward (can’t remember who, I guess they all look like that compared to Omark) got to it a fraction of a second before Omark. Buddy still went in there like a terrier and wouldn’t you know he got the puck on his stick, then the held it while this guy pinned him to the boards and kept hammering away at his back for what seemed like an eternity. Omark would get smashed against the boards, fall to a knee and then pop right back up holding the puck on the boards till his teammates got into position. Eventually one of the good guys came up alongside and Omark sort of hacked it to him, then a quick pass up the boards and the OIlers cleared the zone.

    Whole sequence must have been about 5-7 seconds. I don’t see why Omark can’t learn the finer points of the defensive game if given a chance and a willing coach. Man can certainly hold his own.

  25. Cactus says:

    jp,

    Perhaps we cannot agree on the numbers and how good this player is: LT, yourself and others seem to believe there’s a real player here while Bruce, myself and the rest doubt that.

    But if we cannot convince you that Omark isn’t special (at least right now), can I at least suggest that he doesn’t have a spot on this team currently? There’s no way he’s worth playing ahead of Hall, Eberle, Yakupov or Hemsky. That covers all top 6 winger spots as well as the line that’s likely to get the softest minutes. Moreover, he’s not likely to be able to penalty kill/play tougher minutes which also means Omark can’t slot ahead of Smyth and Jones.

    That leaves 2 winger spots, possibly on the 4th line. I’d rather see Paajarvi get a shot – he’s proven to have better results against tougher competition. For the last spot, the Oilers will wawnt one of Petrell, Eager or Hordichuk and even if they didn’t, Hartikainen is as deserving of a shot as Omark.

    Ultimately, this is a player that needs to start in OKC and prove himself further (if other NHL teams strongly disagreed with this, they would have traded for him).

  26. Lowetide says:

    Cactus:
    jp,

    Perhaps we cannot agree on the numbers and how good this player is: LT, yourself and others seem to believe there’s a real player here while Bruce, myself and the rest doubt that.

    But if we cannot convince you that Omark isn’t special (at least right now), can I at least suggest that he doesn’t have a spot on this team currently?

    God, yes. However, that’s not terribly indicative of anything because:

    1. Hall, Eberle and Yakupov are high picks/performers
    2. Hemsky is a quality NHL player
    3. The other available winger spots are taken by people like Ryan Smyth
    4. Paajarvi is another top 10 pick
    5. The club likes Hartikainen’s size

    Omark should have come over a year earlier. He did not. When he had a chance he showed there was talent there. I think another NHL team will be curious enough, and believe that the Oilers felt that way (or why would they put an offer in on him?).

    I do NOT think he’s going to find a job on a skill line in Edmonton. The RE series showed (imo) that the current group of wingers is very good and getting better.

    Omark missed his chance in Edmonton. That doesn’t mean the NHL has no use for him.

  27. jp says:

    Cactus,

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, I definitely also agree there’s no room for him on the Oilers. Something very bad for the team would have to happen for Omark to find a job in Edmonton in 12-13.

    As LT said though, this doesn’t suggest he’s not an NHL calibre player. I think he is, and presumbaly the Oilers also do. They qualified him because they think they can get something for him. May be there’s not enough interest around the league to get a 7th rounder for him, but I wonder if the reason he hasn’t been moved yet is because the Oilers are asking more than that.

  28. Cactus says:

    Lowetide,

    That’s reasonable, though it highlights two debates about Omark that have been going on:

    1) Whether there’s a legitimate NHL player here.
    2) Whether this is a player the Oilers should be employing.

    I remain unconvinced of the first, but can see that there’s a case to be made. For the second, many wanted him up in Edmonton last year, but he got hurt.

    Just one question: if there’s really a player here, why won’t another team step up with a minimum offer? A 7th rounder or minor leaguer would get it done I’d think. Waiting for waivers is no guarantee.

  29. russ99 says:

    Ducey:
    If the guy was smart he would just sign the deal, come to camp, get assigned to OKC and play his ass off and get picked up on re-entry waivers by someone else.

    Why would he do that? Omark got shafted by the GM and coach here last season. Just because Renney is gone doesn’t mean he won’t continue to get jerked around by Tambellini.

    This way he can play in Sweden or the KHL, kickstart his offensive play that’s been effectively snubbed by the system-heavy Renney and then when the Oil don’t qualify him next summer, sign with whatever NHL team he wants.

    Reporting to OKC would be a dumb move. The only thing he’s do there is stagnate.

    Love the kid, but he’s not going to get a chance here for whatever lame showboating, twitter or whatever stupid “makeup” reasons, so he’s gotta look after his best interests for his career.

  30. russ99 says:

    Also, gotta wonder how long it will take for the Oilers to mess with Yakupov, who has a similar “competitive” streak as Omark, and tweets 10 times a much…

  31. Cactus says:

    russ99,

    You’re treating Omark as a total victim. That’s quite a revisionist history. Not only was he hurt for a good portion of the season, effectively ruining his chances at a call-up, but he didn’t perform when he was in the NHL. He’s had some of the softest minutes the last two years and hasn’t blown the world away.

    Even if you think the Oilers are stupid, explain to me why no other NHL team is willing to offer even a late round pick on him?

  32. jp says:

    Cactus:
    russ99,

    You’re treating Omark as a total victim.That’s quite a revisionist history.Not only was he hurt for a good portion of the season, effectively ruining his chances at a call-up, but he didn’t perform when he was in the NHL. He’s had some of the softest minutes the last two years and hasn’t blown the world away.

    Even if you think the Oilers are stupid, explain to me why no other NHL team is willing to offer even a late round pick on him?

    Do we know no one is willing to offer a late round pick? All we know is he’s been offered a contract by the Oilers (twice apparently), and that he hasn’t yet been traded. As I suggested earlier, may be the Oilers are asking more than a 7th rounder for him. We don’t know, and may be no one else is interested, but him not being traded doesn’t prove there’s no interest (just like the Oilers offering him a contract doesn’t prove he’s an NHL player).

  33. Lowetide says:

    Cactus: I don’ think the Oilers are stupid, in fact imo the Omark offer shows they were using their thinking caps. I think there IS value there, and the fact the Oilers extended an offer suggests they were unwilling to give him away.

    Sound about right?

  34. Cactus says:

    jp: Do we know no one is willing to offer a late round pick? All we know is he’s been offered a contract by the Oilers (twice apparently), and that he hasn’t yet been traded. As I mentioned earlier, may be he Oilers are asking more than a 7th rounder for him. We don’t know, and may be no one else is interested, but him not being traded doesn’t prove there’s no interest (just like the Oilers offering him a contract doesn’t prove he’s an NHL player).

    It was reported during the draft that the Oilers were shopping him, but there were no takers. You are correct to point out that we don`t know for certain that the Oilers are willing to take the absolute lowest return for Omark – perhaps they`re holding out for more.

    Unless you think Edmonton is holding out for a 2nd or a 3rd (unlikely, given that they know Omark probably won`t report), it is an indication that other teams don`t see a sure-fire NHL forward, unlike some on these boards.

  35. Cactus says:

    Lowetide:
    Cactus: I don’ think the Oilers are stupid, in fact imo the Omark offer shows they were using their thinking caps. I think there IS value there, and the fact the Oilers extended an offer suggests they were unwilling to give him away.

    Sound about right?

    We are in full agreement I believe! I would love Omark to report and come to camp either to blow away the competition or get traded for something, even if it`s a bag of pucks.

  36. Bushed says:

    No one is saying Omark is a “sure-fire forward”–how could we know with the limited opportunity that has been presented for him? Even the detractors mostly admit that the sample size (ice time limited over two seasons) is small, and

    “Qual Team: poorest available teammates among regular forwards”

    Hell, Omark hasn’t had nearly the chances that JF Jacques, Nilsson and others have had.

    As some have stated above, Omark’s timing and circumstances have worked against him, and with the roster being what it is, his chances with this team seem very slim.

    Will Omark be an NHLer? Some of us think so, based on limited viewing, but none of us will really know unless he gets a legit shot somewhere. Playing limited minutes over two seasons with crappy linemates hardly qualifies as a legit shot in my books…

  37. Dalton says:

    Coach Krueger telephoned all of the Oilers within a week or two of being named coach. Has anyone seen that he called up old Linus Omark to talk about expectations?

  38. Ryan says:

    One of the few areas that I vehemently disagree with the venerable Lowetide… Nothing to see here. Next. Move on. Linus Omark is not an NHL calibre player.

    Loved the terrier with a tennis ball analogy though.

    Agree with Bruce plus.. Small player with minus foot speed and poor defensive awareness who is now 25 years old and can’t tread water in the shallow end of the pool.

    I could see him getting another kick at the can maybe, but no different than a Nillson, pouliot, schremp etc outcome in the end.

    What exactly are we worried about here? The 1/1,000,000 chance Omark turns into the next Datysuk?

  39. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jp:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hm. Well that is both surprising and very strange. Is that a skill? I wonder if that’s reproducible…. No, that doesn’t help the team a heck of a lot.

    No, it’s not repeatable, near as I can tell. Omark’s flipped the other way in 2011-12, when his Corsi also went into the tank.

    Sometimes rather than just accept Corsi as gospel, though, I like to look at the constituent elements. In my world:
    G >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> S >>> MS >>> BS

    But in Jim Corsi’s that is 1=1=1=1

  40. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: No, it’s not repeatable, near as I can tell. Omark’s flipped the other way in 2011-12, when his Corsi also went into the tank.

    Sometimes rather than just accept Corsi as gospel, though, I like to look at the constituent elements. In my world:
    G >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> S >>> MS >>> BS

    But in Jim Corsi’s that is 1=1=1=1

    Tell that to Patrick O’Sullivan who had a penchant for whipping pucks at shin pads. :)

  41. kapustin says:

    I think oilers asking pricef is to much !After his good finish 10/11 there were a lot of omark rumors (intrest) Would be surprised if no team out there give him a shot. Read in some local paper in Sweden recently that Omark taking any contract in the nhl and his last act is to sign and go to oilers camp(if he isnt traded before) and get a team true waivers. He said he isnt worried about the future he has big offers from Khl if he doesnt get a Nhl-contract, but prior is Nhl.

    I like his determinaton to play in the Nhl, he has earned peanuts in ahl last season, and many europeans in his situation had bolted long ago. He has also the confidence that i had wished prv had. About stats, I think he also draw penaltys 2 in the team after hall 10/11 30+ gp.

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