SELLING LOW

The Edmonton Oilers won’t get much for him, but according to reports Linus Omark has NHL teams interested based on strong play in Europe.

Omark’s season is going well in Zug, and in that report there’s a mention of possible Red Wing interest. Lyle Richardson also wrote about Omark’s season and possible future, but also says the Oilers shouldn’t expect much in return. Longtime readers of this blog will know I was onside with keeping Omark as an Oiler and its still the best plan available, but there’s no real chance of that happening. Maybe Krueger or MacT are curious about him, but beyond that Hail Mary  its a fait accompli.

The Oilers will employ Darcy Hordichuk, Lennart Petrell and Ben Eager if they play in the new year, but Omark is on the outside looking in. I hope Omark gets hired in Detroit and spends a decade there. He is a flawed player but there’s talent there.

Edmonton Oilers v Boston Bruins

He’s not the only one from the Oilers “KP era” drafts to post some good numbers during the season’s first half:

  • Jussi Markkanen 16, 2.92 .907 with Zug (Swiss)
  • Jesse Niinimaki 20, 2-9-11 with Ilves Tampere (SM-Liiga)
  • Jonas Almtorp 32, 4-5-9 with Linkoping (SEL)
  • Marc Pouliot 30, 5-22-27 with Biel (Swiss)
  • Colin McDonald 25, 4-16-20 with Bridgeport (AHL)
  • Mikhail Youkow 30, 2-7-9 with Moscow Spartak (KHL)
  • Zack Stortini 23, 0-1-1 with Hamilton (AHL)
  • Dragan Umicevic 3, 0-3-3 with Assat (SM-Liiga)
  • Mathieu Roy 27, 6-7-13 with Hamburg (Germany)
  • Rob Schremp 6, 1-9-10 with Salzberg (Austria)
  • Liam Reddox 28, 4-5-9 with Vaxjo (SEL)
  • Tyler Spurgeon 17, 6-3-9 with Klagenfurt (Austria)
  • Slava Trukhno 34, 17-18-35 with Zagreb (Austria)
  • Fredrik Pettersson 32, 6-4-10 with Donbass (KHL)
  • Cody Wild 25, 4-14-18 with Wheeling (ECHL)
  • Alexander Bumagin 33, 9-16-25 with Novukuznetsk (KHL)
  • Sam Gagner 18, 10-8-18 with Klagenfurt (Austria)
  • Riley Nash 27, 3-10-13 with Charlotte (AHL)
  • Linus Omark 29, 12-31-43 with Zug (Swiss)

That isn’t everyone but a nice reflection of Prendergast’s players and where they are now. Omark’s kicking ass, no doubt.

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42 Responses to "SELLING LOW"

  1. Cactus says:

    I remember getting into this last season (can’t remember exactly when), but Omark’s numbers (both basic and underlying) took a real dive and there was some legitimate question about whether his rookie efforts were a lucky run. I really wish we had some advanced stats for his time in the Swiss league – I’d like to know if he’s demonstrating some great talent or whether he’s just riding percentages in a lesser league.

    One last thing: while Omark’s probably gone, it’s by no means guaranteed. The Oilers still hold his rights and with a new coach, there’s always a chance at a reconciliation if Kreuger feels he’d be a valuable addition.

  2. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Oh Omark. I was interested in him since the moment the Oilers drafted him 5 long years ago, it just seems like such a waste for him to leave the organisation in this way. I will grant that the situation changed – a massive influx of talented young forwards – but like you LT, I would wager that Omark is more than capable of holding his own on a line of talented forwards.

  3. Lucinius says:

    Omark could go down as one of the most wasted assets in recent Oiler history.

    Also; sprung for the TSN World Jr. package since I won’t have access to my television for most of it.. so far the quality is pretty good, but.. for $20 I would of expected commercial free, which it isn’t.

  4. Lucinius says:

    Mmm, early powerplay for Canada. Let’s see if RNH can be a whiz-kid on it in this prelim game.

  5. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Cactus,

    Omark has had success in every single league he has played in. Pretty much the only “outlier” since he turned pro is the 14 games (tiny sample size) he spent in the NHL last year. Unless it was a 5 year long lucky streak, I would bet that actually, believe it or not, Linus Omark is a pretty talented hockey player.

    Does that mean he’s a bona fide NHLer? Of course not, we haven’t seen any kind of sustained success, and he’s only played 65 NHL games, so we don’t know either way. But logically speaking he has more going for him than against him in regards to his history.

    On a side note, and not that you’re saying this at all Cactus, I hate the notion that if someone isn’t an NHLer that means they suck at hockey. Don’t be so elitist.

  6. bookje says:

    Omark’s career stats (age included) have been very similar to Ray Whitney and Miro Satan at this stage. Now, that does not mean he goes forward with the success that those two did, its more probable that he does not, but I feel that they gave up on him far to early without finding out.

  7. dessert1111 says:

    I’d take Linus Omark over Ben Eager on any line and in any league on any day. I can’t imagine the Oilers are happy with Eager at this point, and Omark is having an extraordinary season, best of the oversea Oilers save Yakupov, perhaps. It would be foolish not to give him a shot when the NHL comes back, or at least to get good value for him. Not everyone can put up those numbers.

  8. steveb12344 says:

    I agree, Omark might surprise if he ever got a shot with skilled players. You can’t really say Renney gave him that chance.

    With these Detroit rumors, i find that interesting. Wonder how that would go over with Renney being the new assistant coach in Detroit.

  9. Max Powers says:

    It really is painfully obvious that there is a player there. Interesting that there seems to be an attitude problem, a sense of entitlement kind of, and that Detroit is seemingly interested. Although if any program can convince guys to buy in, it’s the Detroit model.

  10. spoiler says:

    LT said. “Selling Low”

    I don’t think low means what you think it means. I doubt his value has ever been higher. Perhaps one year it was, but in general not.

  11. Lucinius says:

    Subban is looking slow on the cross-crease push and picking up the puck.

    Nice pass by RNH on the second Canadian goal.

    Can’t wait for the tournament to kick off.

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    The solution to this whole mess is to insert him into the lineup straightaway whenever play resumes. He’s better than several players on the roster (and not by a little). We have a new coach who seems to realize that Ryan Jones can’t backcheck and is likely to realize that the plugs do nothing to help you win. This isn’t rocket surgery.

    As for bridges being burned and so on…this is far from unfixable. The laziness with which management and the coaching staff has approached legitimate issues and concerns from players in the past number of years is appalling. My favorite is Pitkanen being run out because he evidently doesn’t want to spend his free time getting bombed and chasing skirts. That’s sure worth tossing the best defenceman we’ve had since Pronger…

  13. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    LMHF#1,

    Enlighten me with the Pitkanen thing will you? Not living in EDM, never did hear what the reason for his being traded was.

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    LMHF#1,

    Enlighten me with the Pitkanen thing will you?Not living in EDM, never did hear what the reason for his being traded was.

    Pitkanen always gets labeled as weird because he’s not like most hockey guys in terms of going out with the drinkers and such. He also doesn’t particularly enjoy the media. So, in response, old-school types don’t like him and the media craps on him, then he is sent out of town. The Hurricanes clearly seem to be able to accommodate such a “weird” individual.

    Just seems like it is always path of least resistance rather than path of best hockey team around here. Serious lack of problem solvers when it comes to working with the players.

    You’ll get people who claim he wanted out period. I don’t buy it at all. He was here during a time when there was a lot of self-loathing among the fanbase that created the atmosphere of “no one wants to be here”. Look at Erik Cole and what the truth wound up being in that situation.

  15. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    LMHF#1,

    Hmmm interesting. I remember being pretty baffled, as well as disappointed, when they traded Joni. He wasn’t without his flaws, but he was a wonderful player, and would have been great with the current crop. Was stoked when the Oilers originally acquired him. I did notice he was pretty quiet and remember a few things being said about his lack of comfort around the media, but didn’t hear the whole drinking thing before. That’s pretty crappy, who the hell cares if he doesn’t go out getting pissed? Doesn’t make him any less part of the team.

    Hemsky strikes me as being somewhat similar to Pitkanen in terms of being shy around the media. Don’t see Hemmer as the “go wild” type with the drink either, but I may be wrong on that. I do remember reading that he went down to Cabo last year with Whitney, Gagner etc., but that’s not really proof either way.

  16. FrankenOil says:

    LMHF#1,

    What was the story with Cole? I don’t quite remember what the final story on that was.

  17. Jon K says:

    Though I’ve never been a big fan of Slava Trukhno and my posting history here will reflect that, it appears he’s having a very impressive season. This is especially so when we compare his numbers to those of Sam Gagner. (No doubt this may be seized upon by certain interested parties to comment on Gagner’s season.)

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    FrankenOil:
    LMHF#1,

    What was the story with Cole? I don’t quite remember what the final story on that was.

    Everyone assumed he hated the place and wanted to leave. He’s been strident since in declaring the opposite.

  19. ashley says:

    Niinimaa was exactly as Pitkanen has been described. Yet Niinimaa played here for years. His best years. Guys with personalities like that aren’t team builders/binders or locker room heros, but they have a lot of value nonetheless.

    Not every player has to seeth with charisma and magnanimity to be an Oiler. At least I hope not.

  20. Ducey says:

    Why is it that Oiler’s “fans” have to pick at their scabs?

    Omark is playing with Fabian Brunner who is another small Youtube sensation, age 26, whose rights are owned by the Detroit Red Wings. Brunner has 50pts in 28 games and is +21. He also has 23 goals.

    Rumours are that the Red Wings want to bring over Brunner after the lockout and have him play with Zetterberg.

    Why would the Red Wings trade anything for Omark if they already have a better version of him?

    And I am sorry, but there is no place for Omark on the Oilers. Should he get PP time ahead of Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Gagner, Hemsky, Nail, Smyth? No.

    Is he a top 6 winger on the Oilers? Ah, Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Nail might be better.

    Does he fit on the third line? I doubt it. You have Horcoff and Smyth and hopefully MPS there. If not MPS, Jones has done the job well. Omark can’t PK and is a defensive liability so any sort of protection for the kids is reduced.

    So yes, you could put him on the 4th line, (where he will go 42 1 9 10 -15) at which time Oilers “fans” will begin complaining how he is not geting a real chance – leading to the notion that he should play top 6 – which he can’t because those jobs are taken by more talented players, who are not only more productive, but younger and who require the TOI to develop.

    Brother.

  21. jake70 says:

    Omark screwed himself when the decision (assuming it was in fact his) to not come over in fall of 2009. He would have gotten max ice time that season . Then the ” a lot of politic” line came out, basically signed his ticket out of town in 2010, (especially since the Souray drama/team culture shift was front and center.) The Oilers qualified him didn’t they? But he is not on conract. But overall, I agree with the huge waste of asset sentiment.

    On Pitkanen, I didn’t get a good feeling he would stay when you would read he lived in a hotel somewhere during the year.

  22. Pete says:

    ashley,

    Niinimaa was definitely an unusual guy for a hockey player, but I don’t think he was as socially peculiar as Pitkanen, and he certainly drank. Saw him around in the late 90s everywhere from the Black Dog to Iron Horse to a Motorhead show, and he was drinking, and seemed pretty socially normal – he was actually quite approachable and pleasant. Niinimaa was just a big metalhead, and kind of a nutcase, whereas Pitkanen always seemed mildly autistic or something. Didn’t he live in a hotel with his mom?

  23. slopitch says:

    Im with Spoiler. I dont think selling Omark now would be selling low

  24. OilLeak says:

    ashley:
    Niinimaa was exactly as Pitkanen has been described.Yet Niinimaa played here for years.His best years.Guys with personalities like that aren’t team builders/binders or locker room heros, but they have a lot of value nonetheless.

    Not every player has to seeth with charisma and magnanimity to be an Oiler.At least I hope not.

    Niinimaa was always a favourite of mine, that guy bled Oiler blue.

  25. stevezie says:

    I made Niinimaa a pita once; it was a pleasant exchange.

    I’m with those woh both like Omark and don’t see a place forn hhim on the team. I was against the Eager signing and am against the continued Eager roster spot, but Omark is not my first choice as a replacement. It helps to have variety on a team and all of Omark’s skills are replicated and exceeded.

    I would think Nashville would be a good fit- some team that already has size, experience, and defence but lacks offensive flair.

  26. Cactus says:

    stevezie:
    I made Niinimaaa pita once; it was a pleasant exchange.

    I’m with those woh both like Omark and don’t see a place forn hhim on the team. I was against the Eager signing and am against the continued Eager roster spot, but Omark is not my first choice as a replacement. It helps to have variety on a team and all of Omark’s skills are replicated and exceeded.

    I would think Nashville would be a good fit- some team that already has size, experience, and defence but lacks offensive flair.

    Stevezie’s got it right. You can like Omark’s potential (and let’s be clear, even if you’re bullish, it’s still potential) but acknowledge that he doesn’t fit on the roster currently. If we’re being intelligent fans here, the choice shouldn’t be picking between Omark and Eager on the 4th line. Both are bad options, even if Omark brings a bit more. The question should be who adds more in that slot. I’d personally go with a Hartikainen or Jones there.

  27. Cactus says:

    One other thing: the NHL just cancelled games through January 14th. Isn’t that pretty much the final cancellation they can do and still get their 48-50 game season in? In other words, aren’t we basically at the 11th hour?

  28. Ducey says:

    Cactus: One other thing: the NHL just cancelled games through January 14th. Isn’t that pretty much the final cancellation they can do and still get their 48-50 game season in? In other words, aren’t we basically at the 11th hour?

    Yeah. Its the 11th hour and I don’t think they can cancel any more games after this. Unfortunately, the talk is that they could do training camp/ preseason in two weeks. So that leaves another 10 days of BS. With the Donald convinced that he won’t get the best deal until 11:59, expect it to drag out until Jan1.

    I really hope they cancel the season. I’d like to see all involved to have to eat their shorts.

  29. stevezie says:

    This isn’t the eleventh hour- it is the only hour. Neither team was going to make a deal until they were sure it was the most they could get, and they couldn’t be sure unless the brought it to the cliff. I now see that while preserving any kind of a season is a necessity, the plan on both sides was always to wait as long as possible (baring sudden capitulation by the other side).

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dammit, there goes my bet of ending the lockout on December 21, 2012.

  31. sliderule says:

    I played golf with an NHLer from the nineties today.

    His comment on the nhlpa is wtf are they thinking .

    His opinion is there are 20 players controlling the agenda.With Hargrove giving them advice thru his buddy Fehr the season is done.

  32. stevezie says:

    sliderule,

    This is pure conjecture, but I think they’re thinking that it’s already so far gone they might as well push it as far as they can. Maybe they’ll get one more concession, maybe they won’t. At this point they might as well try.

  33. DeadmanWaking says:

    Ducey: I figured we were already at five minutes to the eleventh hour when I first heard the starting point from the NHL side. 43% This after the players caved to the much-loathed cap in exchange for a blood-soaked 57% What changed for the league in between then and now–apart from substantially increased revenues–to make the negotiated figure from the last round unworkable? Nothing much. The league figures the cap concession is permanent, so they can take another gouge on percentage. If the NHLPA goes far enough down the road of total mutual annihilation, the cap structure itself becomes negotiable again. I’m practically certain that Fehr believes conceding to the cap in the first place was a colossal bargaining mistake. And I have to agree with him, seeing how the league came back to grind them on revenue share. The cap was a good solution to competitive balance and a non-solution to fiscal balance.

    The league as a whole is not losing money. If some teams are losing money, is that for the players to solve (by taking pay cuts) or the league to solve among themselves with a more equitable revenue partition?

    If the NHLPA had been offered 43% share on top of the much-loathed cap in the last round, I suspect it would have decertified in a puff of smoke then and there.

  34. DeadmanWaking says:

    Continuing the argument on another tack:

    I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’ve been reading Thinking Fast and Slow. This tome I finally finished off this morning. There’s a bit in here about aggregating loss aversion.

    The great Paul Samuelson [] famously asked a friend whether he would accept a gamble on the toss of a coin in which he would lose $100 or win $200. His friend responded, “I won’t bet because I would feel the $100 loss more than the $200 gain. But I’ll take you on if you promise to make me 100 such bets.

    Now I think his friend is an idiot for turning down a nice crisp $50 bill. But according to Kahneman, people who calculate as rationally as I do concerning expected gain (against uncertain outcomes) are fairly rare birds.

    The point, however, is that even for your average loss-averse arithmetically-indifferent individual, this proposition brightens if you consider two tosses ensemble. Now you have only a 25% chance of losing money ($200) against a 50% chance of winning $100 and a 25% chance of winning $400. Even the risk averse person is thinking: I want me some of that big pot!

    If [an abstracted version of Samuelson's loss-averse friend] encounters the offer [of a single coin flip with these payouts] on two separate occasions, he will turn it down both times. However, if he bundles the two offers together, they are jointly worth $50! [after applying his stiff loss-averse discount]

    Hereupon follows what I believe to be the book’s only sermon: Loss-averse tightwads, get a grip! If the bets are small, independent, and not dominated by long shots, take the crisp $50 bill as implied by the unbalanced payouts!

    I quoted all this for the purpose of my own sermon: If anyone thinks it’s rational for the NHLPA to accept a final position over the course of two negotiations that it would never have accepted all at once, that person is barmy about human nature where billions of dollars twist in the wind. Being leveraged under a pendulum is connected directly to the hot button.

    Interestingly, I read an account of corruption not long ago which claimed that corruption itself was a minor impediment to an economy if the corruption was a fixed and knowable cost. If every year the local gang lord hits you up for some insane random increment, most people decide to not run businesses.

    Many of the messages that negotiators exchange in the course of bargaining are attempts to communicate a reference point and provide an anchor to the other side. The messages are not always sincere.

    You don’t say.

    He’s talking about the ruse of demanding 43% at the outset of negotiation in order to make arriving at some intermediate value later more palatable to the other side. For some strange reason if you offer someone an ass-cootie, and he goes “Hell, no!” when you offer him a brass nickel ten minutes later, he thinks “well, big step up, that’s better than an ass-cootie”. Really. We’re terribly susceptible to framing effects. (My example is exaggerated. It works better if the original offer doesn’t scramble an ICBM volley.) I’m pretty sure when the league lead off with 43% the entirety of the NHLPA management and the players themselves heard Bettman offer them an ass-cootie. Nice anchor, asshole. I don’t think it worked in this instance. The previous scars were still too fresh. The anchor intended to make 50% look like a middle-ground compromise also loosened the gloves for a bigger dust-up.

    The EconTalk source I quoted a while back said that major league ownership groups consistently underestimate player’s union resolve. People don’t like being squeezed. Most people would rather fight and lose than be trampled with consent. Athletes especially worship at the church of give me W or give me death. I watched Raging Bull yesterday. LaMotta is supposed to take a dive to pave the way for his title shot, but the chump they put him up against can neither take a punch nor give one. He storms out disgusted between rounds, conceding the fight and triggering an investigation that nearly costs him his boxing license. His brother (and manager, the Joe Pesci character) confronts Jake in the kitchen. He says hold out your hands. Jake lifts his hands. Pesci falls to the floor. “There! Was that so hard!” Yes, actually. LaMotta would rather die than kiss the canvas over anything less than a mule kick. It’s not a rational stubbornness. His life ends badly. That komikaze drive to win at any price is what makes him tick. Most NHL players have a piece of that somewhere inside.

    Lowetide wrote that his view of this is that it’s a pissing match. I don’t disagree. However, I think structural problems have a tendency to degenerate into hydrostatic standoffs of nozzle flex. When more than once a billion dollars falls off the table during the mighty zipper joust, you’ve got structural problems, as well as all the liquid rainbows.

    Only the league can fix the deeper structural problem. The structural problems aren’t so vast that getting their players for free wouldn’t resolve the tension among the teams; there’s hardly any corporation so badly managed that getting their labour at half price wouldn’t make management into a rosy delight. Does that make it a good solution? For all concerned?

    My final comment from this book concerns RE.

    In particular [Craig Fox] asked [fans of professional basketball] to estimate the probability that each of the eight participating teams [at a certain round in the playoffs] would win the playoff; the victory of each team in turn was the focal event.

    The bit about “focal event” is to separate the answers so that people have less chance to add their numbers up. Guess what? The aggregated sum comes out to 240%. (After the bronze medal game, there’s a 40% scratch-and-win handed to the winning team captain for a 3rd and final league-championship trophy presentation.)

    Recently I was joking about the Spezza-NHLE of 0.90 (a robust statistic based on the broad class of 22-year-old AHL scoring leaders during a lock-out year).

    Well, the multiple orgasm RE equivalence from this study is 1.0/2.4 = 0.42. That’s a pretty heavy pair of sheep shears to lug out to the woodshed time and again.

    Bruce has a nice send-up on Cult of the TSN puff-piece on Eberle’s junior career along with a sanitized-audio video clip.

    Now I get 70.

    Kahneman calls this availability bias. Mike Meyers calls this “Yeah, baby, yeah!”

  35. Bank Shot says:

    Robert Nilsson had talent too. Didn;t make him a good option for a top sox role in the NHL. I don’t think Omark who is closer to 30 then 20 has what it takes either.

  36. Oilertown says:

    For a person with the handle of “bank shot” sure negative on Omark. Think Omark has made a few of those.

  37. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Im just glad we might get something for him. He almost walked for nothing. A mid round pick would be fine with me at this point. Were chalk full of undersize with talent. I was rooting for him though.

  38. spoiler says:

    bookje:
    Omark’s career stats (age included) have been very similar to Ray Whitney and Miro Satan at this stage.Now, that does not mean he goes forward with the success that those two did, its more probable that he does not, but I feel that they gave up on him far to early without finding out.

    He turns 26 in 6 weeks. And he’s STILL a member of the organization. There’s no way you can claim “far too early” in this situation. Nor is offense really the issue with Omark.

  39. dessert1111 says:

    I don’t think Omark is a good fit on the 4th line but my point was merely that he’s still better than a current roster player that, if we had to bet right now, will probably still be on the team when play resumes. I am only stating that I would rather Omark have that spot to see if he can keep up a good ppg for a little while, at that point he has more value in a trade OR someone decides he fits in somewhere on the roster. Injuries will happen.

    In any event if they aren’t going to give him another chance (the likely scenario) I just hope they get a pick out of him. If you can’t get anything for a player scoring at a higher clip than NHL stars, even if it’s in another league, that’s a hit on the organization because they let value slip away. He probably still doesn’t have lots of value, but I think at this point there would be teams willing to pick him up for a pick, don’t you think?

  40. russ99 says:

    spoiler,

    Why would he be ever be used for anything other than his offensive skill and puck control behind the net?

    There’s no need to force him into a defensive role – put him on the 4th line instead of one of the goons. We can live with his 5 minutes a night of defensive lapses and get some needed secondary scoring.

    Plus, there are things called injuries in the NHL, and he’d be a handy, low-cost sub if one of the top-6 guys is hurt.

    Renney’s gone, so maybe he’ll get more of a fair shake if we ever have a season again.

  41. spoiler says:

    russ99:
    spoiler,

    Why would he be ever be used for anything other than his offensive skill and puck control behind the net?

    There’s no need to force him into a defensive role – put him on the 4th line instead of one of the goons. We can live with his 5 minutes a night of defensive lapses and get some needed secondary scoring.

    You can live with it, coaches can’t. And no player is used for anything other than their offensive skill, even Hall, Nuge and Ebs realize that and do something about it–and that’s the real point with Omark he either doesn’t or won’t, and judging by the verbal it’s the latter. Maybe he’ll actually listen to the next coach, but nothing he’s shown to this point would lead one to believe that.

    Scotty Bowman would’ve chewed Omark up and spit him out long ago.

  42. Ribs says:

    DeadmanWaking: . However, I think structural problems have a tendency to degenerate into hydrostatic standoffs of nozzle flex.

    Agreed.

    I think Pitkanen called in sick one game because of ass-cooties, now that I think of it. I think he also missed a team social gathering because he was having a marathon cribbage tournament with his mother that night.

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