Linus Omark, who led the Oklahoma City Barons in scoring before he was traded Thursday night, will be in the Buffalo lineup Saturday when the Sabres play the Boston Bruins. He asked the Barons' parent team, the Edmonton Oilers, to trade him to another organization with hopes of getting a better chance at making an NHL roster.
Edmonton received a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft in exchange for the Swede.
”This is what I have wanted to do for a while now. So it's great that everything worked out for the best and that I get the chance in Buffalo,” Omark told Newspaper NSD in Lulea, Sweden. ”It will be a fresh start for me. Now it's up to me if I want to stay in the NHL. I must play well and produce. A chance to do that is really the only thing I wanted to have.”
Omark, 26, failed to make the Oilers' roster out of training camp. He was called up for one NHL game this season but was returned to Oklahoma City in short time. Omark has 66 games of NHL experience over three seasons; he produced 30 points, all for the Oilers.
”The Oilers have many ... skilled players on their roster,” Omark said. ”So I knew that I had to start the season in Oklahoma, and I wanted to do my best there. And I think I did.”
Buffalo interim coach Ted Nolan told Sabres.com that Omark will ”take a spot in the lineup. I'm not 100 percent sure exactly where we'll put him yet, but he'll play (Saturday) night.”
Buffalo will go into Saturday's game with the NHL's worst record at 9-23-3.
BARONS APPROACH RECORD NUMBER OF MOVES
The trade of Omark was the 85th transaction the Barons have had to make this season. The most the Barons have ever had in one season is 96, and this season is not at the halfway mark yet.
The large number of transactions is due to a rash of injuries the Edmonton Oilers have had this season at all positions.
EWANYK NOW TOPS IN GAMES PLAYED
With the trade of Omark on Thursday, rookie Travis Ewanyk is now the only Baron to have appeared in all of the team's games this season.
NAME THAT GOALTENDER
Goaltender Chet Pickard was recalled by the Barons from ECHL Bakersfield (Calif.) on Tuesday.
When he makes his Barons debut, Pickard will be the eighth netminder to appear in a game for Oklahoma City this season.
The Barons used a total of eight goalies in their first three seasons. The AHL record for goaltenders used by a team in one season is 12, by the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in 2000-01.
BACK TO BACK
The Barons and the Texas Stars face off again Saturday at the Cox Convention Center at 7 p.m.
The game will be the Barons' annual Teddy Bear Toss night. Fans are asked to bring stuffed toy animals worthy of donation.
When the Barons score their first goal of the game, fans will be asked to throw the stuffed toy animals on the ice. They will be collected and donated to EMSA, which gives them to children with illness and injury.
Since the Stars are already in Oklahoma City, Barons' officials said there is no chance Saturday's game would be postponed because of the ice storm.