He doesn’t need a soapbox this time, just hand Linus Omark his stick.
The Edmonton Oilers forward is back with the club to fill in for the injured Ales Hemsky after being recalled from the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.
Before being sent down at the end of the preseason, Omark blamed the demotion on politics before realizing he might as well make the best of his situation.
“I’m excited to play my first (NHL) game. I had worked on lots of things down there,” said the 23-year-old Swedish winger, who wears the same numbered sweater.
But it wasn’t easy taking a step backward.
“The first game was tough to play mentally,” Omark said. “I was sent down and I was angry on the ice all the time.”
The anger was directed not at the NHL club who sent him down because he wasn’t good enough, but at himself for not playing the way he can.
“After five or six games, I came in and said enough of that, I’ve got to play good,” said Omark, who led the Barons with 13 goals and 13 assists to average a point in each of his 26 games.
“When I get something like that against me, I try to prove to everybody that I can be better, so I tried to do that,” Omark said of his time on the farm team. “Some games I think I did OK, but here it’s going to happen.
“If I just play my game and do my stuff, then hopefully they like what they see.”
His “stuff” is straight off a highlight reel.
But whether Oilers fans can expect to see the same sort of moves on the ice as in the videos that appear while searching his name online, Omark simply shrugged.
“I’ve got to always try to play my game. I don’t do it for (the sake of) doing it,” he said. “When I feel good and I’ve got confidence, I do it.”
Confidence isn’t the only thing a trip back up to Edmonton has Omark feeling.
“Pressure? Yes, sort of,” Omark said. “The most pressure is from myself, but I want to show my best, for sure.
“I will take one day at a time, so we’ll see. But I’ve got to do my best to stay here the whole season.”