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Dynamo Moscow signs Omark and Harju
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05-30-2009, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
“Size is an issue because we have a lot of small players at his point,” Prendergast admits. “But the thing he does very well is that the size doesn’t hamper him – he plays very gritty. He plays like a bigger player. He competes in the areas. He wants the puck.”
What he lacks in size, he makes up in attitude. His 14 penalty minutes at the 2009 WCs were the most among the tournament’s top 30 scorers. Nobody else topped 10.
According to Prendergast, that intensity translates off the ice as well.
“You have to look at everything when you’re looking at prospects, and personality has a lot to do with it,” the Oilers exec explains. “A lot of times, the way they play on the ice is their personality. He’s cocky. He plays that way on the ice. He’s very sure of himself, which is always good to have in a hockey player, and his goal is to play in the NHL.”
Unfortunately for Oilers fans, Omark has decided to wait at least one more year before shooting for that goal. In April, the Overtornea native committed to the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo for 2009-10, with an option to play a second a year.
Prendergast understands – and supports – the decision.
“He had a hell of an offer to play in Russia, which is fine – we weren’t going to match it money-wise. We have a lot of small players right now so it isn’t going to hurt him to play a year in Russia. He’s going to get better there.”
As for 2010-11, Prendergast is hopeful fans in Edmonton will get to see the Swedish shootout star in person regularly. “From our standpoint, we didn’t feel it was a priority at this point to get him here, but at this time next year we would like to have him as part of the organization.”
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