Photo by Steven Christy.
The Swedes have done it again. They have forced us all to fire up google translate to fumble through broken English to discover that Linus Omark indeed wants out in Edmonton, and has demanded a trade. This news comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed Linus Omark as an Oiler. He has been exiled and stashed away since coming overseas, and it seems that the latest non-committal attitude from Craig MacTavish has Omark considering (and requesting) a move before Christmas rolls around.
Oklahoma City Barons General Manager, Bill Scott, told the Daily Oklahoman what you would expect – he’s ours until he isn’t.
“As far as we’re concerned, Linus Omark is a contracted player with the Edmonton Oilers,” Scott said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s been unbelievable for us. He’s never worked harder. Clearly, he’s one of our best players. As far as we’re concerned, it’s status quo.”
Even his coach continues to sing his praises, but is fully aware of the hit the team takes in his absence.
“He’s always been highly skilled, very creative. What stands out this year is he’s so much more mature,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “Defensively, he’s a lot more responsible. Our coaches have enjoyed him letting us work with him to make him a more complete hockey player.”
He would go on to discuss the number of transactions.
“We’ve already had 80 transactions. You adjust,” Nelson said. “But losing a player like Linus, if that happened, that’s a lot more than one transaction. Our fans have seen him. He’s very gifted.”
Here is the farm perspective on Omark requesting a trade – GIVE IT TO HIM. He is the most dynamic, offensively gifted player we have ever seen in Oklahoma City. You might consider his skillset to be subpar, but I think he is just lost in the parallel universe between AHL and NHL. The Oilers have a savior complex, and any new forward that enters the young/energetic/first-rounder offense, they are expected to do too much. Omark will find success, as many recent Oilers have, in other lineups. This is good news for Linus.
What’s not good news is the already clanky offense in Oklahoma City takes a major hit. Oh, they’ll continue to score, but it won’t be as dominate or as frequent as Omark. OKC will have to do something, I repeat, SOMETHING for this season to be salvageable in terms of postseason play IF that is important to the Oilers organization. If not, there are forwards to call up and add to the roster who need TOI.
This has always been an interesting story to follow, and the plot thickens.