After last night's performance against the Winnipeg Jets, I like many others, felt Linus Omark had played his last game as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Just after 10 am this morning, the organization confirmed exactly that, placing the talented winger on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL. That said, let's hope another NHL team puts a claim in on the young man and gives him a fresh start in another NHL city
Even the staunchest of Omark supporters knew he was in tough heading into camp and my guess is, the player saw the writing on the wall as well. When the Oilers announced they had re-signed the twenty-six year old to a two-way/one year deal back on August 27th, it was pretty obvious what was going on.
Craig MacTavish knew there was next to no chance the diminutive Swede would crack this roster out of camp but he did need to add some scoring depth to his lineup in OKC. Omark has never hid the fact that he wants no part of the American Hockey League and while he may ultimately end up in the AHL, he is hoping another team will take a chance on him and his dirt cheap $600,000 contract.
That might not happen but to his credit, he appears willing to swallow his pride and play in a league he is likely to good for, in order to get back to the show. There is no question the kid still wants to play in the National Hockey League but he will need to show much more than he did during Oilers training camp.
At this stage of the game, it could really go either way but if I were a betting man, look for at least one NHL squad to put in a claim on the Oilers #23. One would think it would be pretty difficult for offensively starved teams like the Nashville Predators or Phoenix Coyotes to not take a chance on a guy with Omark's skill set...especially when the risk is literally next to nothing.
Regardless of how things unfold tomorrow morning, it is pretty safe to say we have seen the last of Linus Omark in an Edmonton Oilers uniform.