The Fantasy Impact of the Buffalo Sabres acquiring Linus Omark
Fantasy Impact: The Buffalo Sabres have acquired Linus Omark from the Edmonton Oilers for a late draft pick.
The Sabres get: A diminutive scorer who has put up point-per-game numbers at every level except the NHL. Omark last appeared in the NHL on a full-time basis back in 2010-11 when he scored 27 points in 51 games for the Oilers.
With all the young talent the Oilers had drafted over the years Omark simply could not earn a regular spot in the lineup but at 26 years old he couldn’t be more ready to make an impact.
The Sabres are dying for offense having shipped out the likes of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville over the past couple of years. They now sit dead last in scoring finding the twine less than two times per game.
Sabres head coach Ted Nolan seems optimistic about Omark’s prospects in Buffalo:
"It could be a good time for him," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said after a 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins. "He’s a very talented young man. Maybe it’s the perfect time.
Considering the dearth of scoring in Buffalo, Omark should make his way to the big club right away and get a shot on a scoring line.
The irony is that where Omark may help the Sabres most – the shootout – is also where they seem to excel, with a 4-0 record so far this season.
The Oilers get: A conditional sixth round selection, which basically amounts to a shot in the dark. To be fair, Omark was himself a fifth rounder so it’s kind of a lateral move.
Ultimately the Oilers were simply never going to use Omark. They’ve spent too heavily on offensive talent to give him a fair shake. By moving on they can save face, while also earning a reputation for doing right by their players even though it took them three years and a return to Europe before they did so.
It’s a wonder if we don’t see a similar type of deal go down whenever Teemu Hartikainen decides to return from the KHL, even though he’s a player the Oilers could definitely use.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Obviously Omark is the big winner here. He goes from a team that couldn’t even give him a spot in the lineup when they were decimated by injuries to a team so hurting for offense that I’m surprised they haven’t brought Team President Pat LaFontaine out of retirement.
If Omark does prove to be a spark for the Sabres then their power play, which currently sits 27th in efficiency could receive a real boost. That would help the likes of Matt Moulson, Cody Hodgson, Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Ennis, who currently lead the team in power play ice time. But that assumes that:
A) Omark gets top unit power play time.
B) His presence doesn’t knock any of those four off the top power play.
He will also have an impact at five-on-five but it remains to be seen who he will knock down a spot, if he knocks anyone down at all. My assumption is that he will find a spot in the top six though.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
Other Sabres fighting for power play scraps