Friday, September 26, 2008

Selling Schremp Short?

If Rob Schremp was paid by the amount of opinions people have of him, he wouldn't need hockey. He would simply live on a pile of money, in a house made out of dollar bills.

Before he was drafted 25th overall by the Oilers in 2004, there was a lot of talk about him around the junior hockey world. Was he too cocky? Was he too skilled to pass up? Did he work hard enough? Did his immense skill outweigh his lack of defensive awareness? Since he was drafted, those same questions have been asked, but now it's mostly by Oilers fans and observers of the copper and blue.

Of those players drafted ahead of Schremp, 7 have played more than 150 games in the NHL. Alexander Ovechkin (245), Evgeni Malkin (160), Andrew Ladd (157), Rostislav Olesz (190), Travis Zajac (162), Wojtek Wolski (162), Andrej Meszaros (246). There are 2 players knocking the door of 150 games, and 4 players who were drafted after Schremp who have surpassed the milestone. All the while Rob Schremp has played in just 3 NHL contests.

So is the lack of NHL time the player's responsibility in this case or the team's? I think it's 90 per cent Schremp. Until this past summer he hasn't put in the time or work to become a pro player, although last summer he was recovering from a serious knee injury. The other 10 per cent is certainly on the team though. Last season in a call up from Springfield, Schremp received a paltry 2 games, playing 3:12 in one game, and 10:42 in another.

This season he has said all the right things off the ice, and tried to do all the rights things on frozen water. He still makes mistakes as young players do, and has only produced stat wise on the power play and in the shoot out, but has looked better than at any other training camp in the past. It still isn't likely to earn him a full time job with the Oilers to start the season but you have to think if he's called up, he'll play more than 13 minutes and change over two games.

I have heard various opinions about Schremp over the past few years, ranging from "he should be playing with the big club..." to "he should be playing with another club...." But do the Oilers really want another Dan Cleary on their hands? A player who scored a ton in junior, bounced around the NHL, before becoming a productive player with the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings this year, 5 years after the Oilers decided he didn't fit into their plans and they bought him out.

I'm not saying Schremp will round out his game like Cleary, but this is a contract year for him, and despite his ability to crack the Oilers line up in the 4 years since he was drafted, I still think he deserves another deal at the end of the season. If J.F. Jacques earned one, Schremp has.

ROB TYCHKOWSKI, who is the Oilers beat writer for the Edmonton Sun, made a nice potential comparison for Rob Schremp the other night in the press box. Robert Nilsson. A player the Islanders gave up on to get Ryan Smyth, who is now an exciting player with the Oilers. I agree with Ice T...Schremp has the ability to bite the Oilers in the butt with another team, if they give up on him.

(uncredited photos courtesy London Knights and the Edmonton Journal)


Bryanbryoil said...

Cool that Tychowski made the comp since I've been using it for the better part of 2 years. And IMO he will be on the team, no-one has made a bigger impression even though Schremp hasn't exactly rocked the rink yet either. It's his time, and just liek Gagner, Nilsson, etc. he needs the time to get up to NHL speed, when he does, look out.

fakedarylkatz said...

Cool that Tychowski made the comp since I've been using it for the better part of 2 years.

But isn't that the point BBO? You make these comparisons long before there is any evidence to support them and then get all offended and hurt because people question your opinions.

The similarites between Nillson and Schremp are easy. Both skilled 1st rounders who failed to live up to billing due to not being willing to adjust to a pro game. It remains to be seen if there are any other similarities.

You constantly go on and on about Schremp's skill. Everybody and their grandmother can see the skill, BBO. But it took about 15,000 posts before you reluctantly admitted that maybe he needed to get stronger in the corners and on the boards (he doesn't have Nillson's speed)and that he had to actually care about playing in his own zone. Even now you remain convinced that MacTavish has always had some weird personal vendetta against Schremp that only you have been able to identify.

Claiming that you somehow 'own' the Nillson comparison just because you started talking about it two years ago does nothing to make me think that you spotted something before anybody else, BBO. It just adds to the evidence that you think you know more about hockey than anybody else - including the senior management and coaching staff of the team.

It is an attitude, I am afraid, that makes it difficult to discuss hockey with you.

Guy Flaming said...

One time... at band camp... I drew a comparison to Joe Thornton for Brad Winchester. NOT saying he had that much potential or anything like that, only that he shielded the puck with his body in the same way and that despite being a big guy, physically he always left you hoping he'd play tougher.

Sometimes comaprisons get you in trouble. People chased me with pitch forks and torches over that one for some reason.

Schremp like Nilsson? from the standpoint that Dean pointed out - as a player who hasn't lived up to his billing yet but could in another organization... I think he's spot on. Or T-Bone is. Or BBO.


Anonymous said...

Schremp is epic fail. A has-been who never was.

Schitzo said...

If you're worried about another Dan Cleary situation your solution would be... hold onto him for 5 more years and hope one day he gets his head on straight?

Should we still be waiting on Steve Kelly too?

Lowetide said...

I knew what you were talking about Guy! Now I admit to grabbing a pitch fork and chasing you but that was only because it looked like fun.

While we're comparing:

Rob Schremp=Ron Chipperfield.

I know, no one knows who Ron Chipperfield was. He was a pretty damn good player btw.

Bryanbryoil said...


I have particuarly been using that comp for much of the last year, prior to that it was "great passers, stick handlers, but Nilsson has more speed, Schremp a better shot, etc."

The last year I have been saying that Schremp would have a similar NHL impact this year if given the chance.

Look at the stats, it matches up. And this is despite the fact that Schremp was a poor skater for much of last year. He is now quicker, and once he settles down, IMO he'll be much better.

Nilsson all but knew that it was his spot to lose last TC, Schremp doesn't have that luxury or he'd be playing muc more relaxed.

But hey, if you don't respect my opinion, that's fine.