Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Nobody saw this coming. I remarked that I wasn't surprised that MacT made a move but the fact that its Omark is a surprise for sure.
But it makes a ton of sense with first Hartikainen and then Rajala heading back overseas.
Omark has his warts but unlike the two Finns we know that he can play in the NHL and so the Oilers, who have dumped NHL players without replacing them for years, resulting in disaster, continue to add NHL players this summer.
And so if one of the top six wingers (as they stand now) goes down with injury or struggles, Eakins now has Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark to plug in there.
There are folks who think little of either player or think that they do not fit or whatever but without them if Hall, Eberle, Yakupov or Perron went down then next in line would be Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones and then who?
Add good players and keep them folks.
With the rise of the KHL and other European leagues NHL clubs suddenly face a new challenge, as Lowetide pointed out a few days ago. A few years ago guys like Omark, Hartikainen and Rajala who wanted to make big money had to stick it out in the minors and hope for their shot with the big club. Look at OKC's depth this coming winter and you can see that its pretty thin because now these guys (and guys like Patrick Thoresen and Leo Komorov, its not just the Oilers losing depth guys) can go back to Europe and make more money. Can you blame them? I certainly don't. Hockey careers are short and these guys are generally on one or two year deals. Play in the KHL for a few years, do well and you could set yourself up for life if you're smart.
So MacT, give him a ton of credit, looked at his roster and saw what a guy like Tambellini never could, even though a mook like you or I certainly were able to, that you can never ever have enough guys who can play. Look at the Oilers this summer. MacT has shipped out two good players in Shawn Horcoff and Magnus Paajarvi and he has added the following:
Hamilton (I saw Hamilton play a bit last year, including one game live, he can play a depth role in the NHL)
He also kept Ales Hemsky and Ryan Jones. I know some folks don't like Jones but he is an NHL player.
Some of these bets may not work out. Belanger was a good bet but he didn't work out. Hell just look at the Toronto Blue Jays to see how sometimes even what looks like a sure thing is not.
But MacT has added a ton of players and as a result guys like Whitney and Peckham and Hordichuk and Fistric are gone and Potter and Eager and Brown have been pushed down the depth chart and Klefbom isn't going to have to step in right away.
I don't know if they are a playoff team. They need to beat out Anaheim and Phoenix. But the ifs (if this goes right and this goes right and this goes right) are shrinking more and more. And that is what management's job is. Make it so if Jordan Eberle goes down for a month Ryan Jones isn't your first line RW. Make it so Nick Schultz doesn't have to play tough minutes. Make it so the coach has options. Eakins by all accounts doesn't roll set lines, he's a blender. MacT just gave him another option, a skilled and motivated player, and he looked beyond the past in doing so.
That's good work.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:41 AM