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.
Kyle Wellwood is reportedly calling it a career.
Nicola Berger of Swiss newspaper NLZ reports the speedy 30-year-old forward is retiring from hockey. Wellwood had been playing for EV Zug in the Swiss National League, but tells Berger he’s done saying his heart wasn’t in it anymore.
Wellwood played nine NHL seasons with four teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, and Winnipeg Jets. After not securing a NHL deal this past offseason, he headed for Switzerland where he had a goal and two assists through nine games for Zug.
While he arrived on the scene in Toronto, his career had a revival of sorts in Winnipeg in 2011-12 as he scored 18 goals and finished with a career-high 47 points. One lockout-shortened season later, he’s through with the game at 30.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m. ET
Slight clarification from Wellwood’s agent, as per Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy — Wellwood’s one-month deal with Zug has expired and he’s left Switzerland to explore potential NHL opportunities. If he cannot find any, he plans to retire.
Linus Omark has spent a year away from the NHL but now he wants to return.
A report out of Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet says (h/t David Staples) he’s left his Swiss team, EV Zug, and is ready to return to the NHL.
There’s one problem though: His rights are still owned by the Edmonton Oilers and it doesn’t sound like they want him back and they’re not close to trading him.
In Switzerland, Omark played on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner and they lit up the Swiss league. When those two headed back to the NHL after the lockout ended, Omark kept producing and led that league in assists and points.
If Omark were to return to the Oilers he’d find a player there that’s sort of in his mold already in David Perron. Omark’s agent says they’re close to a deal but unless Edmonton parts ways with his rights, he might be stuck looking for a new European team.