The NHL has a lot of problems, one of the biggest problems may be the amount of control players have. The most recent example Linus Omark formerly of the Buffalo Sabres; Omark was placed on waivers by Buffalo, but wouldn’t report to the Sabres AHL affiliate. That move ended Omark’s current attempt to play in the NHL. Luckily for the Sabres they only gave up a conditional sixth round pick for Linus.
As reported by several different media outlets, this is not the first time Omark’s NHL bid has fallen short. While with the Edmonton Oilers Omark ran away to Europe due to a contract dispute (Fansided.com). It seems like Omark doesn’t have the game or mental ability to hang with the big boys in the NHL.
There is nothing wrong with going home to play professional hockey; my problem is the way Omark went about it. It was immature, and childish. At 27-years-old there was little time left for Omark to leave his mark on the NHL. I say good for the Sabres for not putting up with this kind of behavior.
But, does this put pressure on other NHL teams? It could start a trend of player running for easier pastures on the bigger ice surfaces of the international leagues. What Omark did was show that if things are not working out the way you want just walk away Sure, Buffalo could have kept him under contract and fought the losing battle for what turned out to be an AHL talent. There is no denying that the Sabres did the right thing.
It really comes down to this; Omark wanted total control of his career. Player need to remember playing in the NHL is a job. You cannot always pick and choose how you will be used, and I feel that is where the NHL needs to right the ship. Players are given too much control. As the contract money goes up; so will players egos. At some point the NHL and the owners need to take some control of their game. They need to send a message to the talent, and Buffalo did just that.
The NHL is really better off without Omark in the league. Having players that cannot compete hurts the product. Maybe the NHL should thank Buffalo for showing other teams its okay to cut a play loses. It’s time for players to grow up.