by Lisa Brown on 11/04/11 at 11:00 PM ET
As per Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal’s tweets this evening, it seems as though left winger Linus Omark may once again be disgruntled. Omark made some memorable comments to the media after being sent to the Oklahoma City Barons and blamed politics before the season began last season.
When the team chose to send Omark to Oklahoma this season after sitting the feisty shootout sensation in the pressbox, it was done quietly and no announcement was made until Omark had joined the Barons who were currently on their road trip.
Ireland tweeted today:
There is no question that Omark holds value to the Oilers, or to any other team. The trouble seems to be, for once, too much talent up front for the Oilers. There are only so many players that can be sent down to Oklahoma, and only so many minutes in a game. Omark has sat while rookie and fellow Swede Anton Lander has played. I can’t help but wonder if Lander is one of the younger players that Omark feels the team believes more in. Lander is younger, has played far fewer games in the NHL and also has a two way contract.
That the Oilers were not playing Omark to showcase the winger in order to facilitate a trade a little easier leads me to believe that they have not given up on Omark, nor that they can’t wait to be rid of Omark. It seems as though the Oilers would like to keep Omark for themselves, they just aren’t sure where he fits in. Comments like this from Omark lead to questions once again of Omark’s happiness with the Oilers organization and overall attitude. There have been several members of the media who have mentioned Omark having a poor attitude, but with all that Omark has accomplished in Sweden, and even with his short time with the Oilers so far it seems odd.
Without seeing and speaking with Omark on a regular basis, it’s impossible to tell what it going on behind closed doors. So, comments like this are all many have to base an opinion from. Omark is known for speaking his mind and calling it like he sees it with the Swedish media. Perhaps this is nothing more than Omark speaking with emotion and while the hits to his pride are fresh.
At the same time, however, Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun reported that Omark said “I need to play games, I was made to play hockey, not watch hockey. Of course I want to stay up here, but I’m an Edmonton player, I have to listen to them. It’s not good for me to sit.” Those don’t sound like the words of someone with a bad attitude, that sounds reasonable and rational.
While with the Barons, Omark will receive a lot of ice time as well as public and media attention. This is also Omark’s final contract year with the Oilers. Should Omark elect to return to play in Sweden, he would be taking a step away from North American hockey, and it is clear that Omark wants to play in the NHL. I would also find it difficult to believe that Tambellini has not received at least a few phone calls about Omark’s status.
Omark may, or may already have asked Tambellini to trade him to another team. If that is the case, Tambellini may be in a situation where he will be able to look for a good deal for both parties, instead of the first trade he can much like Kevin Lowe and the Chris Pronger Trade.
In one game with the Barons, Omark has already netted and assist but sits at a -1 despite the Barons’ win over the Calgary Flames’ farm team the Abbotsford Heat.
Although I have more questions than answers, I believe that Omark is a skilled and talented player who seems to have all of the tools to make a successful NHL career for himself when he applies himself 100% to playing his best game. I believe that the Oilers see value in Omark and are not willing to throw him away. But I also believe that Omark is not overly happy, and now wonder if this unhappiness will lead to a better performance. Last time Omark stated his unhappiness and played for the Barons he scored five goals and a shootout goal in a single game against the Marlies.
I will hope that this
step in Omark’s development and progression in North American hockey will bring out the best in Omark’s game.
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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.
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