ROCKIN’ CHAIR

Linus Omark remains in Oklahoma City. The Oilers have punched tickets for Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and 21-year old Tyler Pitlick, but the Swede is on the tarmac. Omark–now 26–can’t break onto the NHL roster. Why?

First of all, he didn’t impress anyone in training camp. Omark was an early cut and no one spoke about it being a tragedy (including folks like me who believe he has enough ability to warrant an NHL chance).

  • Dallas Eakins in  training camp: “There’s a number of ways we can load up our forward lines and there will be a great debate as we move forward on how we’re going to do it. Like a number of guys in his spot, he needs to go out and dance with the girl that he brought to prom. Don’t go out there and try to be something you’re not. I don’t think he’s a guy that’s going to go out there and run around and cause problems and be a real pain in the butt, checking guy. He needs to put up some numbers. He needs to be responsible defensively. He’s going to have to compete.”

He didn’t do it in pre-season, and although he leads the Barons in points (7, 3-3-6) others have been called up and Anton Lander was named captain. Omark’s biggest problem? A team with enough depth to choose Nail Yakupov as a replacement option when Taylor Hall gets injured.

Hell’s bells ladies, that’s some unfair competition. I can see Omark having an NHL career, but it isn’t here. The AHL club houses the 6′s and 7′s and 9′s, and the NHL Jacks and Kings are future giants sprinting towards greatness.

It’s a comedy, unless you’re Linus. Godspeed, young man. Godspeed.

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25 Responses to "ROCKIN’ CHAIR"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Omark can still make it.

    You’re right, here… not so much. It’s going to take more freakish injuries and the collection of bottom feeders being caught at Burger King for Eakins/MacT to give Omark another look.

    But if he continues to show well in the AHL, someone will notice. He shouldn’t give up hope.

  2. Nuckout says:

    It seems to me that Omark is Schremp 2.0. A bit of a one trick pony, a bit of attitude, and a whole lot of inconsistencies in their game. I can see Omark bolting for Europe in a year or less.

  3. VanOil says:

    It would be a shame if there is no room in the NHL for a player of Omarks skill and showmanship. The league has too much dull as dish water Jacques Lemaire hockey.

    My solution in the great 3 for 1 tradition of futility would be for N.Schultz, Omark and an Offensive D prospect to Florida for Shawn Mathias. Where we keep the difference between the Schultz and Mathias contracts.

    It would give Omark a chance to play NHL hockey and give the Oilers a LW depth chart of Hall, Perron, Mathais and Joenesuu. Which is big, skilled and nasty enough to take on the Western Conference.

  4. Brackenburied says:

    Did anyone else notice Bertuzzi emulating Omark’s slap the ice before deke move in the shoot out the other night?

  5. Gret99zky says:

    It doesn’t help that Linus has sideburns as long as your arm.

    “They’re not booing. They’re saying “side-boo-urns”

  6. Old School G says:

    I found this article pretty interesting. It compares Linus Omark to Michael Grabner. I wonder which team this ultra skilled yet smallish forward is going to wind up with? I also wonder what the return will be for him?

    http://garik16.blogspot.ca/2013/09/is-linus-omark-next-michael-grabner.html

  7. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    VanOil:
    It would be a shame if there is no room in the NHL for a player of Omarks skill and showmanship. The league has too much dull as dish water Jacques Lemaire hockey.

    My solution in the great 3 for 1 tradition of futility would be for N.Schultz, Omark and an Offensive D prospect to Florida for Shawn Mathias. Where we keep the difference between the Schultz and Mathias contracts.

    It would give Omark a chance to play NHL hockey and give the Oilers a LW depth chart of Hall, Perron, Mathais and Joenesuu. Which is big, skilled and nasty enough to take on the Western Conference.

    I doubt Florida has much interest in Schultz, Omark or an offensive D prospect.

    First of all, Matthias is a 25 year C signed for $1.75M for the next two seasons.

    Omark would slot in below Versteeg, Boyes, Upshall and Barch.

    And, of course their young offensive D list includes Kulikov, Gudbranson, Petrovic and Robak.

    I’d guess they would be interested in moving Upshall but at $3.5M, I doubt he would be a good fit.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Linus won’t bolt for Europe unless he can’t find an NHL job this summer.

    Must have been a blow when no one took him on waivers.

    The thing about a player like Linus is that he takes a spot usually reserved for players an organization is trying to grow from within. The secondary scoring line winger.

    He’s not a power vs. power guy, so he can’t play there.

    He’s not good enough defensively for NHL coaches to want on their 3rd line.

    I might put him on a 4th line, but my 4th line looks more like Anaheims (Etem-Bonino-Palmeiri)

    Many can scream “But he’s better than X right now” and be right some of the time.

    But NHL teams are trying to grow their young guys into very good players and the place they grow is on the secondary scoring line.

    Look at a few secondary scoring lines teams that are rebuilding (who would presumably have room for Omark)

    Dallas: Whintney-Eakin-Chiasson Old man holding the kids hands. Good kids too.

    Colorado: – Well forget it, deeper F than that Oilers

    Buffalo: Busy trying to break in Girgensons, Grigorenko and Flynn

    Florida: If they dumped Upshall (who would take him?) they might have room but RW is pretty full with Versteeg, Kopecky, Boyes and Upshall.

    Tampa: Breaking in Johnson and Palat.

    etc, etc.

    Every time a team has a secondary soft scoring line slot open they have 10 of their own kids trying to get it.

    Hell, look at how long it took for Brunner to find work this summer.

    Its not that he’s not good, its that organizations slot their own kids into those spots.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Ford (Stretch, Fedun) Barons down 3-1 in the third period, it all started with a Musil giveaway.

  10. VanOil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    I chose Florida as target market for Linus for the following reasons;

    Shawn Mathias is a hobbie horse trade suggestion of mine. (I may as well own it)

    In a non traditional hockey market seeing some one with Omarks skills and showmanship might put bums in seats.

    Florida is rumored to be having a fire sale which might open up roster spots and while they do have defensive prospects I have seen it suggested none of them are showing high end offensive chops so they might be looking for a future PP point man.

    But WG is right though no team really needs unproven secondary scoring when they have there own prospects waiting to prove themselves. Much like I would like to have N.Schultz sail on so we can see if Fedun can earn the #6 job.

  11. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    VanOil:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    I chose Florida as target market for Linus for the following reasons;

    Shawn Mathias is a hobbie horse trade suggestion of mine. (I may as well own it)

    In a non traditional hockey market seeing some one with Omarks skills and showmanship might put bums in seats.

    Florida is rumored to be having a fire sale which might open up roster spots and while they do have defensive prospects I have seen it suggested non of them are showing high end offensive chops so they might be looking for a future PP point man.

    But WG is right though no team really needs unproven secondary scoring when they have there own prospects waiting to prove themselves. Much like I would like to have N.Schultz sail on so we can see if Fedun can earn the #6 job.

    Florida has Huberdeau and Barkov to put bums in seats.

    If you want something from their bargain bin, Versteeg, Upshall, Campbell and Jovanovski would be the most likely available.

    Not much of a bargain for any.

  12. Young Oil says:

    In Nurse’s last three games in SSM, his team has outscored the opposition 21-15 (13-12 ES), but Nurse has only 3 assists and was -2 in each game. He is the top scoring Dman on the team, but is 4th last in +/- on his team for players playing 5 or more games. I’m definitely not saying he’s in trouble, or we should be worried (+/- stats aren’t a great representation of play after all), but that’s not the kind of all around domination at the junior level we’d want/expect to see. Maybe the rest of his team is terrible defensively, I haven’t seen any games, he could be doing great still, but his stats could be better, and will hopefully improve.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Young Oil:
    In Nurse’s last three games in SSM, his team has outscored the opposition 21-15 (13-12 ES), but Nurse has only 3 assists and was -2 in each game. He is the top scoring Dman on the team, but is 4th last in +/- on his team for players playing 5 or more games. I’m definitely not saying he’s in trouble, or we should be worried (+/- stats aren’t a great representation of play after all), but that’s not the kind of all around domination at the junior level we’d want/expect to see. Maybe the rest of his team is terrible defensively, I haven’t seen any games, he could be doing great still, but his stats could be better, and will hopefully improve.

    Likely facing toughest opposition, SSM does that sort of thing. A week ago Oiler scouts were in the crowd (apparently) and called him dominant.

  14. DeadmanWaking says:

    Woodguy: Its not that he’s not good, its that organizations slot their own kids into those spots.

    Omark is system limited, whereas Moroz is self-limited. If Moroz can actually play, he’ll find no shortage of berths.

    Yet this attribute doesn’t get much air time on draft day.

    If the rate limit is talent, then BPA is the obvious heuristic.

    If a logjam at this secondary soft scoring slot is a career-bender, then a smart team adopts modified BPA on some rungs of the draft ladder.

    I figure if talent itself is about 75% of the rate limit (that would be my estimate) then I’d forgive a team for one inspired walk-about in the second or third round, or a couple walk-abouts deep, for the simple expedient of aligning your bucks to bunks.

    BPA all the way down suggests to me that a team isn’t thinking enough. Then again, when I drew up my most recent brew plan, I ran the table with a single vendor’s product line which just happened to cover all the styles and durations I had in mind. That won’t happen every year.

    ***

    Here’s a little piece of Sabermetrics I have lying around in a neglected tab which cries out for comment: Why women moan during sex

    The researchers found that many of the women did make noise, but not necessarily while they were having an orgasm. Instead, 66% said that they moaned to speed up their partner’s climax, and 87% stated that they vocalized during sex to boost his self-esteem.

    I don’t think there’s any way to slice up that Venn diagram without squeezing half of all men into the Need for Speed crescent. Either there’s a serious discrepancy in bedsheet perceptions, or every second male in the younger generation is now a thoroughly desensitized porn addict, huffing and puffing “I think I can” during the real thing while flexible women adapt.

    I mean, moaning isn’t a recent thing, is it? I thought moaning went further back than that.

    The article mentions the fairly recent book How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You. The outtake boils down to cuddles, consideration, and communication. As seen on Oprah. Six bucks, please.

    From sex educator and author, Logan Levkoff, Ph.D. comes a book (no, make that a “man-ifesto” for understanding women) that is ballsy, honest and proves the point that at least when it comes to sex, “happy wife, happy life.”

    The cover girl is a blond with teased coils almost down to her breasts, dressed in a charcoal grey pinstripe suit with diving lapels, pencil and pad at the ready (this chick is apparently the author if one trusts visual conjunction). Not ballsy.

    Ballsy is the woman who pays six bucks to download this filth onto your Kindle which she then leaves under your pillow–without even scissoring out that horrible blurb–nay, even rusty scissors would be too kind. “Honey, fetch the Veet.”

    Some fellow commenting on Amazon has convinced himself–based on his considerable wheel of experience (of which he is the common hub)–that every women over the age of forty has kissed her libido goodbye. I’ve heard otherwise.

    The world is a mad, crazy, wonderful place.

  15. Reg Dunlop says:

    A couple of things; Omark is exactly where he should be. So is Pitlick and Mark Arc. The Omark sideshow would play better in a non-hockey market such as… anywhere in the USA.

    The best sideburns EVER had to be Jim Dorey with the Leafs.

    Richard Manuel had the most soulful voice, on ‘Tears of Rage’ and ‘I Shall be Released’ it can still bring me to tears. He must have been an Oiler fan, when he vacated his Malibu home over 2000 empty Grand Marnier bottles were collected.

  16. Racki says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never really been a big Omark guy. I thought he’d come out flying this year though, and in pre-season he didn’t impress.

    The Oilers aren’t lacking showy talent right now. They’re lacking battle, and guys that can defend. I think Omark can battle at times… but he’s definitely a guy who is more of a battler when the puck is nearby or on his stick. His play without the puck is probably more of a concern, especially when they’ve got Yakupov out there already. I haven’t followed the Barons, so I can’t speak of his defensive commitment there.. but I think the Oilers need a different breed of player up here right now to balance out the skill set.

    I would not be at all upset if the Oil lost Omark for free in some fashion. I just don’t see him as a part of this org in the long run, and I don’t really see anyone lining up to acquire his services either. We can question whether they are missing out or not though.

  17. Hammers says:

    Right now we have enough problems fitting in who we have. 8 top 6 for 6 spots except injuries seem to follow this team . RNH , Hall , Eberle , Yak , Hemsky , Arcobello, Gagne , Perron .If healthy the only way I see Omark getting a shot is with a 4th line that has real potential . If all healthy Arco @ center with Joensuu & Omark . Hemsky to 3rd with Smyth & Gordon . Problem is neither McT or Eakins thinks that way but it would scare the shit out of some teams .Seems we once had a 4th line that could fly and all moved up after a year or so.

  18. stevezie says:

    Omark doesn’t need to worry, all he needs to do is be too good for the AHL for a long time. I know this is a tall order, but making the NHL isn’t supposed to be easy.

  19. spoiler says:

    If they are thinking of putting Gagner on the 4th line for a couple of games to bring him back up to game speed, I would be okay with them bringing Omark up to play alongside him and send Eager back down. Neither Eager nor Gazdic would help Gag’s timing out. Keep Pitlick for the other wing.

    But generally, there are already better examples of his skills on the roster with more defensive conscience. I’d rather Pitlick get his chance; he’s younger and brings a different skillset. MacT praised Eager at his press conference… they’re happy with the dedication and fitness he has shown. Plus it’s salesmanship.

    These guys, like Brown, are all really trade bait anyways. Oilers have a lot of assets that are borderline and MacT knows this. The Browns and the Eagers are easier to move and get the showcasing before Omark. His time may come yet.

  20. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki: especially when they’ve got Yakupov out there already

    Yeah, I think that’s who “blocking” him too.

    spoiler,
    Agreed. I like Omark, but I’d like to see him stay down in OKC for some time. Having him come up and not succeed would be the end of the line. He didn’t play well in preseason, so let him get a bunch of games and bring him up later. At the very least someone might claim him on his way back down if he has played well in the AHL.

  21. russ99 says:

    Eakins said it himself. All the call-ups so far were for bottom-six roles.

    If we lose another forward in the top 6 (hope not) then Omark will get called up.

  22. GATO BANDIDO says:

    I will never be convinced that Gazdic and Eager contribute more than Omark. The fourth line is, once again, a complete disaster in possession. Omark can at least keep the puck on his stick.

    Besides, Omark is a LW and Yakupov is lost on the port side.

  23. Colonel Obvious says:

    GATO BANDIDO:
    I will never be convinced that Gazdic and Eager contribute more than Omark. The fourth line is, once again, a complete disaster in possession. Omark can at least keep the puck on his stick.

    This is, of course, absolutely true. NHL teams cause themselves all sorts of problems with the misguided idea that different lines have different roles. Everybody’s job is the same. Play the best 12 guys. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

    “Top 6″ are the dumbest two words in the hockey lexicon.

  24. GriffCity says:

    In my opinion you can never have too much skill on your roster. Sure you need some grit as well but you can always apply your skill players during a hockey game. Omark did show really poorly in camp and pre-season but so did Ryan Jones. I think the Oilers right now are calling playes up based on immediate need and not necessarily by order of who is the better offensive player. Eager looks to be finished as an Oiler and possibly as an nhl’er. He will likely draw in again tonight against the Caps and barring a spectacular performance this could mark the end of his days in Edmonton.

    That said, Omark could receive a call up in the near future especially if he continues to score in the ahl. I for one, have liked what Omark can bring to the table but recognize his deficits as well. If they call him up, use him on the PP, use him in a couple 5 on 5 situations and thats it. I know they have tried this experiment before but it isnt like he has totally crapped his pants as an Oiler, he has put up a few points despite early in his career playing with the likes of JS Jaques and plugs like that.

    If he does get another call though, it will be a final chance kind of how I see Eager in his audition right now. If Omark does get the call and fails to produce anything over a couple of games then I think once and for all it will be curtains for Linus.

  25. FastOil says:

    Referring to a skilled bottom half Strudwick mentioned this once in a blog. Part of the issue I think comes down to ice time. The cap also has a part to play.

    All players want TOI. The better the player, the more I think they typically think they deserve. Again this is from Strudwick not me and he’s been there. Coaches like role players that will do what they are told and not sour the room griping. Omark is not this.

    His other problem is he isn’t a world class skill player. He’s small. He’s sports a bit of ‘tude and doesn’t like defense. Eakins summed it – if he scores a lot he’ll play. .5 PPG probably makes it a stretch still. Yak is a way better player and he’s not getting away with self directed play.

    Then there is the cap. Offense costs money. I don’t know how easy it is to keep a skilled bottom half over time. You’d have to keep cycling players through and trading guys away as there wasn’t cap space to pay for raises. Yes the cap goes up but so do salaries soon after. The Hawks have had to do this, the Bruins too. They also seem to have better than average GM’s.

    Perhaps teams would rather have stability and predictability at a lower cost for lesser players. I do think there might be an unspoken desire masked under “soften up” to cause injuries to opponents by hitting. It has won a few play off series for teams in taking out a good player. Bigger and more aggressive players should do that better than small skill guys.

    Maybe teams are just dumb.

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