So, after a visit to one of my favorite Oilers blogs, the Oil Patch written by Lisa McRitchie I felt I had to make a small update on Linus Omark and the latest on him. Lisa have had an article translated for her and somehow it all ends up with “Omark heading back to Sweden?”. I started writing a comment on her blog but it ended up being somewhat.. too long. So I decided to post it here instead - but feel free to look at it as a reply to McRitchies “Is Omark Considering a Return to Sweden?”. I don’t blame her for ending up with “Omark might be leaving”, Swedish ain’t her native tongue (similar to me being stuck with my awful English, sorry) and sometimes there’s more too it than just a single article, especially when it comes to Swedish newspaper and perhaps even more when it comes to the NHL.
I read this article some days ago and what it basically says is that he had a meeting with the “GM” of Luleå Hockey, his former team back in Sweden in the town where he is currently staying during his recovery. What you might not consider are the fact that this is the first time Luleå Hockey have approached Omark since he crossed the pond to join the Oilers and it was basically a meeting were Luleå told Omark he is welcome to play there, should he give up on making the Oilers. The key here is to remember that this is indeed the first time Omark have heard from Luleå, it’s also important to understand that if they hadn’t met up - Luleå Hockey would have been complete and utter fools and laughed at by their competitors and yelled at by their fans. Omark was in town so why wouldn’t they see each other?
One should also see that Omark said “if I go back to Luleå, it sure ain’t because of the pay”, indicating that his salary in Luleå (specifically) wouldn’t be at all good. Omark have said over and over again that he wants to play in the NHL, he doesn’t want to give up on the dream of playing in the NHL etc and so on. Mind you that Swedes and especially Swedish media (really) despise the AHL, so you won’t EVER hear (or read about) a Swedish hockey player telling a Swedish journalist “life in the AHL is good!” (even if the player so happen to both think and say so.. who cares? AHL SUCK!! ..well no, but you get the picture). And we have at the very least one article per day stating that “Swedish NHL player X, who got sent down to the AHL will be joining SEL-team Y” (with everything ending up being pure speculation but still, this is what sells when it comes to Swedish NHL players, the former almost more than a “MPS scores two goals last night” - who cares and who’s that MPS dude?). Swedish newspaper tend to do everything to make it sound like players are returning home.. Every “GM” of any SEL-team will tell you Omark is an interesting player they would like to have in their team.
But, if you want the latest on Omark, except his cast being removed late December and that he had a meeting with Luleå? Well, here it is.. Linus Omark, freely translated by myself.
My injury was unfortunate. I felt really good (about how I was playing) before it happened while playing in the AHL. I have had talks with Edmonton the whole time but there isn’t much to do about it at this moment. They’ve told me I am a NHL-player and should play in the NHL. They want to keep me and they’re worried I might go back to Europe. I just have to get healthy and get back to playing again. I’ve been the easiest guy to move (demote) in a team who started winning with me in the press box. They wanted me to play more games and that’s why they sent me down (to Oklahoma City Barons). I haven’t even stared looking back to Europe yet. My agent have told me there are lots of teams who are interested in me, but I wanna play in the NHL (and I haven’t really thought about either one of KHL or SEL).
Even vice GM of Luleå have said “I don’t even think Linus (Omark) want to come home”. So give up on all the “Omark going back to Sweden!?”-stuff. Obviously there is always a risk the Oilers might lose him, but I very much doubt Omark will play in Europe anytime soon. Omark have even expressed he would prefer to stay with the Oilers rather than joining any other team and his gratitude towards the Oilers management for letting him stay in Sweden during his recovery. Obviously, first and foremost he just wanna play in the biggest leagues of them all so anything can happen, but that doesn’t make him Luleå-bound.