Author: Joe Yerdon

Linus Omark

Missed opportunity? Sabres waive Omark


Linus Omark’s days in Buffalo and the NHL could be numbered.

The Sabres put the Swedish forward on waivers following a less-than impressive run with the team. In 13 games, Omark had no goals and two assists. He was a healthy scratch last night against Ottawa and has been scratched other times since joining the Sabres.

Buffalo acquired Omark from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade back in December hoping that a change of scenery and an opportunity to play in the NHL would help him break out.

That hasn’t happened, however, and after not being able to break out on the league’s worst team, it may be difficult for him to earn an opportunity with another NHL team. The Oilers signed Omark before the season after he had a big season playing for Zug in the Swiss National League. Perhaps Switzerland is where his game works best.

Letang suffered a stroke last week, will miss at least six weeks

Kris Letang

The mystery ailment that has affected Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been solved, and it’s frightening.

The Penguins announced Letang will miss at least the next six weeks after suffering a stroke last week.

Letang will be treated with blood thinners and it’s not believed his condition will be career-threatening. Doctors have also discovered a small hole in the wall of his heart that’s been there since he was born. Normally, the hole seals up as you grow up but it didn’t in Letang’s case and may have led to his stroke.

“Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said. “We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week.”

At the very least they’ve found out what’s kept him out of action lately and can now do what’s needed to address it. The Penguins will have to find a way to replace his production in the meantime and hope for the best for Letang.

Sakic says Olympics more helpful for players than vacation

Joe Sakic

With a number of NHL players soon headed to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, many others are getting set for a two-week vacation in the middle of the season.

You would imagine getting time to rest and heal up before the run for the playoffs would be a good thing. Colorado Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations, and former Team Canada member, Joe Sakic disagrees as he shares with Adrian Dater of The Denver Post.

“It’s better to play,” Sakic said. “I think it keeps you sharper, and the level of hockey you’re playing that whole time, that can make you better.”

It’s tough to disagree with a guy who is in the Hockey Hall of Fame and won the gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City. Ideally getting time off would seem like a helpful thing, but he’s right about staying sharp.

Perhaps teams loaded with Olympians will be set to go on a tear following the Sochi games. That would be good news for teams like the Detroit Red Wings fighting to get into the postseason.