Tyler Seguin. John Tavares. Henrik Zetterberg. Joe Thornton. Patrice Bergeron. Jason Spezza. Justin Williams. Logan Couture. Rick Nash. Patrick Kane.
This is a list, in case you were wondering, of top-end NHL players that the enigmatic Linus Omark is currently outscoring in the Swiss League overseas. The 25-year-old is currently the property of the Edmonton Oilers, but all bets are that he has played his final game in a blue and orange sweater.
So who would have an interest in a journeymen forward like Omark? The guy has played in five different leagues in five years since being drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round in 2007 and struggled to find any semblance of consistency during a 14-game stint in Edmonton in 2012.
The three goals he put up weren't good enough to keep a roster spot on a team in Edmonton that boasted some of the best young talent in the league, so he was demoted to Oklahoma City, where he put up 16 points in 18 games.
This kind of story should sound very familiar to fans of the Detroit Red Wings, as they've found much success in the business of rehabilitating careers. And I think Omark could very easily join the group of misfit toys that calls Joe Louis Arena home.
Forty-three points in 29 games is nothing to scoff at in any professional hockey league—especially not one like the Swiss League that, while lagging behind the AHL and KHL in terms of average talent, still boasts plenty of gamers.
But it's Omark's linemates that should really catch your eye: none other than Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg and newly signed Damien Brunner (Brunner also happens to be the most productive NHLer playing overseas, putting up a ridiculous 50 points in 28 games).
So landing Omark certainly couldn't hurt Detroit given that his game has taken off since securing a spot on the line of Z and Brunner. The chemistry is apparently mind-numbing between the three players.
The strike against Omark is his size. Edmonton's website lists him at 5'10'', 180 pounds, but one look at the guy and you know that he doesn't weigh that soaking wet and in full hockey gear.
Aside from that the guy is absolutely dynamite in the shootout—goalies would lose sleep over having to face both Omark and Pavel Datsyuk on back-to-back attempts—he's also quite charismatic, from what I understand, and is an outspoken interviewee.
There is no reason to believe that the brass in Detroit won't at least kick some tires on Omark once the lockout ends. His contract in the Swiss League is a full one year commitment, so we probably wouldn't see him suit up until next season. Still, adding a slick and talented guy like Omark for under a million dollars might make sense for the aging Red Wings.
Sure, there need is on the blueline. But who among you wouldn't want to see these kinds of things on a weekly basis?
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