a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

11/02/11 Where Will Omark Land?

Lowetide wrote an interesting article on OilersNation on Tuesday discussing the possible destinations for Linus Omark other than Edmonton. Both he and Jim Matheson mention the Carolina Hurricanes, but there is no way to know what that team would be willing to give up. So what would the Oilers want?

This article claims that the Hurricanes would be willing to part with a defenseman to acquire a forward. Before the season began Oilers fans were champing at the bit for an experienced rearguard, but now things have changed. Even with Whitney out the team's defense has been stout as any in the league. Still, there is always room to improve the backend, even if it simply means that the Oilers can bring their home grown defensive talent along more slowly.

Jamie McBain is probably the best target for the Oilers among Hurricanes players. The 23 year old has posted 43 points in 98 career NHL games, and is a minus-4 in that time. McBain is young enough to fit into the long term plan in Edmonton and he brings an offensive element to the blueline that was not overly abundant before Corey Potter started setting the world on fire. McBain is good insurance against a dropoff or injury from Potter, and would add some offensive depth to the defense. He is also a right-handed shot.

Further, the Hurricanes would be able to replace McBain immediately with Justin Faulk, who is also an offensive-minded defenseman. Faulk has collected 1-4-5 in 6 AHL games so far this season. In the long term, Carolina has Ryan Murphy in the fold, who amassed 26-53-79 in 63 OHL games last year before going 12th overall in the 2011 Draft.

If, during his return trip to the AHL, Linus Omark can put up numbers that are anywhere close to the 14-17-31 he posted in 28 games with OKC last year, he will once again be a hot commodity. He could be valuable enough to be used to acquire something decent, and with Hemsky and Hartikainen in the picture he'll almost certainly have to be dealt at some point.

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