by Lisa McRitchie on 04/14/12 at 05:00 AM ET
When Sheldon Souray did it, it created a National stir but when Linus Omark publically requested a trade people wished him luck and gave it little thought. You see, Linus Omark seems to be at odds with the Oilers organization in this his contract year. Despite being very talented and gifted offensively he just hasn’t cracked the Oilers’ lineup on a full time basis. During some opportunities he has seemed a defencive liability, but it has been even more difficult to make an opinion of his play when he has been sitting in the pressbox night in and night out.
And so this tweet on Wednesday confirmed our suspicions that Omark is done with the Oilers:
@realoilfan I live to show that the “two” are wrong. But I really hope edm let me have a chance in another nhl team
When made his trade request it was through Sportsnet and as the Oilers were beginning their free fall. The request hurt the Oilers’ already fragile image bringing into question the credibility of not only the management but also the medical staff. Following the Souray ordeal there were several changes in the Oilers office, but that trade just never happened. In this case, Omark is an RFA and the Oilers need only extend him a qualifying offer. But that just won’t happen.
Trading Omark has been discussed on and off this season, but surely the Oilers must have tried to move him at trade deadline day. Since he is still technically an Oiler, this could be just another case of Oiler fans over valuing one of their players.
Omark should fit into someone’s lineup though. He is a speedy offensive winger who can also knock your socks off with his shootout moves. He would do well on a team and a line where he can play with at least one solid two way player, even better if he could play with someone with size.
At 24, Omark is no longer a young man by NHL standards. He needed the opportunities to earn his next contract, but due to an ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for 3 months he may not have wowed even at the AHL level.
At this time Omark has travelled home to Sweden to prepare for the Worlds and playing for his country. You have to wonder if he is also speaking with more Swedish Elite League teams. While Omark’s goal is the play in the NHL he would be foolish not to have a backup plan in place.
The twitter fans continued to show their bravery while sitting anonymously behind a keyboard and Omark answered a few of the taunts, but overall he knew that he had is fans in Edmonton. Friday’s final messages of the day were:
It is sad to see Omark part ways with the Oilers; they had been building up an impressive list of Swedish players. Now, it is down to Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi and prospect Oscar Klefbom and any one of those players could be traded as well this off-season. The least likely to move is of course Oscar Klefbom, but anything is possible.
The Oilers may need to consider this bad press a little more seriously. While this was the personal twitter feed of a player who felt he didn’t get his fair shake, it still doesn’t look good. Likely, this boils down to poor communication with Omark. When I spoke to him in January, he indicated that he hadn’t heard from the team in a very long time. At the time I brushed it off as a potential language barrier issue or miscommunication, but now I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers could have made this situation any easier for anyone by having more open communication. But, there is also the fact that this is Linus Omark, the man who speaks his mind.
At least now we know that Omark is moving on and regardless of the return, if any, it should be a little easier to start dissecting the team’s needs going forward. They will still need depth at forward as evidenced through the season’s record, but preferably they will add another strong two way player who is an NHL player, but more likely it could be an NHL ready prospect who will bounce up and down between the Oklahoma City Barons and the Oilers.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
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