In just over an hour, Sweden will face the Czech Republic to decide the other entrant in tomorrow's semi-final.
KHL star and 37 year old Czech, Jaromir Jagr, whom has been heavily sought after by the Edmonton Oilers, has a lot of respect for this Swedish squad despite its lack of NHL talent. In fact, in an article by Swedish news bureau TT, Jagr mentions a respect for young Linus Omark but thinks he should have chosen the NHL.
(NOTE: these are my rough translations from the Swedish article to English)
It too bad that he didn't opt to try his luck in the NHL, I heard he will be the
KHL. But it is his choice.
I have seen a few of the new Swedish players and heard news about Omark. I've seen his highlight reels. He is a good player, but to play in the NHL he would meet players like (Sidney) Crosby, who was only 19 when are won the scoring title.
I think Jagr meant that Omark would benefit more from competition in the NHL than he will in the unbalanced and developing KHL.
My thoughts though are what could have been. Just think, should the Oilers miraculously get Jagr under contract, and had Omark chosen Edmonton over Moscow Dynamo, they would have hypothetically been teammates. One can only dream of what potential that would have been...
In the above clip from Swedish Television, Omark himself notes that he's lost a bit of a step in the knock-out rounds of the tournament. He has lost a bit of confidence around the net and with the puck but is hopeful the scoring touch will return against the Czechs.
If Oilers GMs K.Lowe and the great tamBellini are in the stands for this one, will they be drooling over Jagr or Omark? Hard to know.
What is known, is that the winning team faces Canada... on Friday.