The Prodigal Son Returns…

By , August 27, 2013 4:58 pm
That would be Omark on the left and MacT on the right..

That would be Omark on the left and MacT on the right..

Wow, so Linus Omark has re-signed with the Oilers after discovering that the Swiss League teams are even bigger chumps than the chumps keeping him out of the line up here.

You know, I don’t care about the past. Some would say he squandered his opportunity. Some would say he didn’t get an opportunity. All I know is that he’s got to be damn humble now, and there SHOULD be an opportunity for him now under a new coach and with piss poor alternatives in the bottom six. He’ll start in the AHL, I’m sure, unless he busts his balls right out of camp and impresses fitness master Dallas Eakins. This seems like an unlikely scenario, but who knows. My question is… what have we got to lose?

Next question would be… would you consider him ahead of Rajala who just got tossed away to Europe? Hard to say. Omark has NHL games, Rajala does not. Omark is small, but Rajala makes Omark look like Lou Ferrigno. I was never totally sold on Omark making the NHL, but I was never completely sold on him not making it either. Actually, I’d say I figured he’d make it somewhere else, like in Detroit. So here it is, round 2… let’s see what he can do and leave the past in the past. As Oilers fans, most are going to jump all over him and remind him how humble he should be, but as far as I’m concerned, it can’t be easy crawling back to a place that cast you aside. That’s half the battle. The other half will be seen on ice, so I’ll give him the opportunity to show if he’s learned anything. I don’t consider the Swiss League to be all that top of a league, but at least he came out on top of it (#1 in points last year).

Now, say he makes the line up.. where do you see him fitting? It’s hard to really see him fitting anywhere, but I’m trying to humor the idea. Could he fit with Gordon and Hemsky? Will he be hidden on a 4th line? I am having a tough job figuring out how he fits, at least until an injury happens.

18 Responses to “The Prodigal Son Returns…”

  1. Metal&Oil says:

    Should help the Barons if he doesn’t get claimed on waivers. Beyond that I don’t see much else but ya never know. With a good camp and if Hall plays center at the beginning of the season he could find his way onto the roster.

  2. Racki says:

    I’m going to assume that if he wasn’t signed picked up at this point, he’ll clear waivers. But yah, with Nuge likely out early on, he might have his best opportunity right out of the gate.

  3. Metal&Oil says:

    I think he would get picked up by a team that is short on offense if he hits the waiver wire. Trading for a player/players rights is one thing but getting a player for nothing trough waivers might be more tempting for other teams, maybe the Oilers were just asking for too much in return.

  4. Racki says:

    I have serious doubt that this is the case.. I’m thinking there is really no market for him. He might make a market this year though. But I’m pretty sure that teams had next to no interest.

    BTW, there’s rumors out there (spread by Wanye, of Oilers Nation, so take it with a grain of salt) that Gagner will be named captain. Thoughts on that? I like it… big fan of Sammy G, and I think he’s a leader. Sure, he has flaws in his game (who doesn’t?) but I think he’s a vocal guy, very smart, and tries his hardest to lead by example. Sounds good to me. Will he get it though? I’m not as confident in that as Wanye is, but as he noted, he got Comrie’s return correctly. It’s definitely possible.

  5. Metal&Oil says:

    I love the thought of Gags for captain. I just think back to those games where the team had no fight in them and Gags would take it on himself to change the tone of the game by scrapping a guy (usually a lot bigger them Sam). Knowing when your team needs lift is a big part of leadership and Gags has that is spades.

    I too doubt that this decision has been made as logically a new coach would wait until he’s seen the lockeroom for himself to make such a decision. I think Wayne may indeed have some inside knowledge and Sam as of now maybe the favorite to land the “C” but I don’t think that this is a final decision. I doubt that a captain is named until between the final preseason game and the opening game of the reg season. If memory severs me right this is how it played out prior to Horcs being named C13.

  6. Racki says:

    Yah at this point I actually figure it’ll either be Gagner or it’ll be Ference. I thought for sure it would be Hall, but I’ve changed my mind on that. That isn’t because i think he’ll be a bad leader (I think he’ll be a fantastic leader) but rather I think he doesn’t need that added pressure.

    I kind of fear what Oil city will do with Gagner if he becomes a captain here.. that’s a lot of pressure for a player and I think both Moreau and Horcoff took a beating on their reputations here. Moreau was entirely during his captaincy. Horcoff, well .. he was a goat ever since signing the big deal, and maybe some time before that even. Hopefully Gagner breaks that recent curse.

  7. Metal&Oil says:

    I initially was thinking that Ference would make the best captain based on his experience but I’ve recently backed off from endorsing that.

    Now there is no doubt that Ference brings leadership, experience as a winner and other vital leadership tangibles to the team but lets face it. The last 2 years on his contract are not gonna be his best years. Besides this is a young mans team now and we have a rare asset in Gagner who has both youth and experience on his side.

    Our prior 2 captains were both given the “C” in the declining years of their careers. That puts them in a bad spot when things are not going well and they both took a beating from the fans and media on not only their own play but on the play of the team as a whole. ’m sure both of those guys were fine in the lockeroom but management really put them in a tough spot IMO and I don’t want that mistake repeated.

    Ference should be able provide the same leadership with an “A” on his shoulder and not have to face the same rabid fanbase that plagued both Horc’s and Moreau’s captaincy.

    I’d go with Gags as the captain, Ference as a full time assistant and then alternate the remaining “A” between Hall and Ebs(Home & Away

  8. Racki says:

    Agree 100% with that.

  9. john says:

    Like the Omark signing; great pickup for OKC if nothing else since Rajala said “see ya!” Never know, if he plays lights out on the farm for first few months then gets a shot in Edmonton again & impresses, maybe they can get something for him at the Trade Deadline. Might be a few teams in the playoff mix who need top 9 scoring due to injury & would throw the Oilers a 3rd or 4th pick for him?

  10. hemmerlady says:

    Hadn’t really considered Gags as “C” before. I’m not sure about the pressure of a leadership role for him, similar to Racki’s thought about Hall. M&O brings up a good point about the underdog-type and timing of Gags’ fights. My vote (not necessarily what I think is best, but how I think management will go) would be for Hall as captain, Ebs as “A”, Gags as “A” alternating with one of the vets such as N-Schulz continuing or Ference.

    I just think Hall has the skill, the passion, the motivation to spark the team, and the leadership and diplomacy off the ice that would make him an ideal choice IMHO. Of course I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and whether a new coach might have some fresh ideas for the captaincy.

  11. Racki says:

    Re: Gags: Oozes intellect. Basically he’s got the mind/charisma of a Horcoff, but with the skillset to match. He also holds the team and himself accountable all the time. He’s a good bridge, imho, between the vets like your Ferences, Hemskys, etc, and the young guys like Hall, Eberle, Schultz Jr, etc. He also has a work ethic that seems to be 2nd to very few players on the team, if any (I’d say Hall as I don’t think anyone can match him in that regard on such a consistent basis).

    I always liked Hall and had been lobbying him for captain up until recently, but I do know it’s a lot of pressure to captain a team in a Canadian city. The media is all over you, the fans hold you accountable for anything that goes wrong and remind you when things do go wrong… I’d prefer waiting on Hall for now and let him focus on playing his own game.

    I do think it’s important to define leaders, but I also do think that guys will lead regardless of the letter too. So Hall will do well to have an A for sure. I wouldn’t at all be upset if he bore the C though. I also wouldn’t be upset if Ference wore the C. A few superb choices between Gags, Hall and Ference.

    No other player stands out to me as C material, but I hope Eakins makes this choice (or even the players) based on what he sees in the locker room. Aside from the on-ice duties (ex. talking to refs), the C is more of a symbolic thing, but it definitely should go to that guy who pulls the team together when necessary.

  12. hemmerlady says:

    I see your point. The Luongo factor (aside from the impractibility of a goalie to confer with the refs etc. I mean). The pressure was waaay too much. E-town’s gotta be a rough fishbowl to swim in but at least we’re not merciless goalie-haters. I wouldn’t be unhappy with Gags as C. I just wonder if the pressure of his contract might turn him into goat-bait, as you mentioned.

    I think what’s cool is we have a fair bit of young , promising leaders to choose from. Here’s hoping we have one to lead us into the playoffs.

  13. Racki says:

    I’d say Vancouver is a large step ahead of Edmonton when it comes to bad fans.. but being at a lot of games live and following what people say either at work, on the LRT, in the comments sections of online articles, etc… there is definitely a lot of pressure on these guys to do well. It always pisses me off when I hear someone chirping our own team. I had to tell a guy to shut up one time because he was chirping the shit out of Hemsky. As far as I’m concerned, you’re an idiot if you do that. Chirp the other team.. some people don’t get it… it definitely can affect a player. Horcoff says he ignored it all, but I heard enough comments about him being overpaid / useless / etc. to have it really bother me… so I can easily see it getting to him.

    Anyways, Vancouver is definitely worse though from what I can tell. They seem a step above. I think they might be on par with Toronto/Montreal if not worse. Edmonton might be lagging behind due to being humbled for so long that our expectations are lower. :P But take my word for it, the “vocal majority” of fans here are terrible. It embarrasses me to be a fan of this team sometimes and that has nothing to do with missing the playoffs for 7 years straight.

  14. Metal&Oil says:

    Really I think we are at a point now where Canadian teams are all in the same boat with demanding fanbases. Some like Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal may seem to be larger fishbowls due to bigger populations and maybe Winnipeg is still in the honeymoon phase with their fans who may be a bit more forgiving of their teams struggles but I think in general the pressure of playing in a Canadian market maxes out at a certain point that all our teams easily reach that point. That’s why I have huge respect for guys like Justin Schultz and
    Ryan Smyth who both went out of their way to tackle that challenge head on. No easy task.

  15. hemmerlady says:

    Racki, M&O: That’s too bad to hear – obviously I’m not around the city anymore to witness the chirping firsthand, but it’s disappointing to hear how bad it is. In my book, you don’t slag your own team. Express frustration for sure, call a guy out a bit if his compete level is embarrassingly low, call the team out if they aren’t putting in the effort – but don’t insult your own team. I hate it when fans make goats out of players. Shouldn’t call yourself a fan if all you’re going to do is criticize a guy. I think we’re all agreed that’s a problem and I worry if a youngster (and we have those in spades) is chosen to captain and his having that cross to bear.

    Re: Internet comments: I find most times it’s best not to read ‘em. Just makes me mad. I hate hearing anyone kick the dog where my team’s concerned. Any news report I read about any non-hockey issue is invariably littered with insults, ignorance and logical fallacies, but a lot of sports ones are quite bad. That’s why I like hanging out here, because it’s not like that – rational, respectful discussions, healthy debates, and the ability to take a joke.

  16. Metal&Oil says:

    Presser 2morrow involving MacT & Hemsky. I find this very odd. I doubt it’s a trade and have gut feeling that he may be doing a Kovalchuk and heading to the KHL.

  17. hemmerlady says:

    Really. Hmm. I’d say odds are he’s injured again. /sarcasm. That’s really weird.

    Did anyone see the Spector article calling Edmonton losers again (referencing the City of Champions nickname but refusing the actual purpose of it re: disaster workers by saying “perception is reality”)? I’m so tired of reading that shit and I don’t even live in E-town anymore. Maybe he gets paid by the click and more inflammatory = more clicks…

  18. Alan-NottsUK says:

    I have to say I’ve heard little to no hockey talk in the few days I’ve been here. A few people calling Hall a douche for off ice antics but that’s about it. Curious about this presser now though

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