NHL Trade Speculation: 5 Teams That Could Use Linus Omark

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NHL Trade Speculation: 5 Teams That Could Use Linus Omark
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers are so loaded at forward that they recently demoted shootout wizard Linus Omark to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City. If they can't use him in Edmonton then perhaps it'd be best for the organization to trade him to a team that could use the help on offense.

Omark wasn't shy about expressing discontent after being clipped off of the Oilers roster. He went pointless in his first five games and found himself in the press box. After five games as a healthy scratch, he was shipped to the minors—not a place where he wants to be.

The logic behind the move makes sense.

Coach Tom Renney simply wants Omark to play where he'll have the best opportunity to log ample minutes. He was quoted in the Edmonton Sun, saying “we need to get him playing, and it’s hard to play him when the team is winning.”

It's hard to argue with the results. The Oilers are currently second overall in the Western Conference, and are among the NHL's biggest surprises so far this season. That doesn't make the demotion any easier on Omark however. Watching your teammates celebrate victories from a distance can't feel very good to a professional athlete.

The length of Omark's AHL stint hasn't been made clear by the Oilers yet, but Omark has made the situation interesting enough. His contract contains a clause that would allow him to leave North America to play in Europe should a minor league stint occur, and he recently told PuckLife Magazine that "I want to play in the NHL and if no one lets me do that then I'm going to go to Europe."

The options in Edmonton are simple. Either find a way to work Omark back into the lineup, lose him to a European League or dangle him as trade bait. He's a skilled guy, and at least a few teams would come knocking.

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