Shafted?

Okay, I’ve been toying with the idea of a post about Rob Schremp for a while now.  Yes, I’ve been avoiding it for various reasons.  All the while, there’s been some really great posts around the Oilgosphere about Rob Schremp.  Few if any Oilers prospects have either garnered the attention of Rob Schremp or have polarized the Oilers’ fan base as much.

Here’s the reading list:

Tyler at MC79Hockey, OHL Scoring amongst 2004 Draftees

***47/75 Points that Schremp had were from the powerplay.

Tyler:

It’s pretty obvious how weird Schremp’s year was. He was the second OHL forward drafted that year. Every player who has gone on to have a better career than him (to date, that’s Wolski, Bolland, Kennedy, Kaleta and Reddox) scored more ES points than him with the exception of Kaleta.

Lowetide, The Last Schremp on the Plate

Lowetide’s sage advice:

If he was my son I think we’d have a talk about Europe. Finland or Sweden, maybe even Russia. Head over there, get some attention and maybe the Oilers trade him for a pick in the next 12 months.

Recent Rob Schremp Quote:

“I’m hoping it’s an absolutely clean slate,” Schremp said. “Obviously it was a tarnished one before. Usually it’s a clean slate through a trade but I’m fortunate that I get a clean slate with Edmonton. I don’t have to move anywhere, I can stay in the same spot and get a chance to impress new coaches.”

“I want a fair chance,” he said. “I want to be able to play my game. You can take instruction on how to learn play-systems and traps, but I just hope that my game can stay intact . . . (and I play) the kind of hockey I played with the Knights.”

Interestingly, Jonathan Willis, over at the Copper & Blue blog, pulled up an old quote from Todd Richards who coached Schremp as a rookie pro for Wilkes Barre.  Sadly, this quote was from 2006 which suggest that Schremp has been stuck in this same hockey mindset since 2006.

“Right now, I think what he’s doing is he’s bringing his junior game. I don’t mean that in a negative way. There’s things he’s done his whole life that he’s been able to do. Now he’s playing against guys that are bigger, stronger, faster. Those plays aren’t there anymore.”

It sounds like two things are apparent from these quotes.  One, Rob Schremp still thinks he can play the type of hockey that he played in junior and still be successful at the NHL level.  If this is, in fact, the case then it’s t and one might question what if anything he’s learned over the past five years since being drafted.  Secondly, Schremp seems to be his own worst enemy.  The most recent quote about wanting to be able to play “my game” seems to indicate a lack of flexibility, adaptability, and common-sense.  It also reflects the perception that he’s self-centered and entitled.

Racki at the Putting on the Foil blog, found an excellent quote from Sam Gagner:

I was thrown in and you have to be good on both sides of the (ice) if you’re going to be successful. And that’s how you get ice time.

Reports indicate that Rob Schremp has been spending the summer training with his London Knights alumni and friend, Sam Gagner.  One might wonder how Schremp seemingly hasn’t managed to learn this basic concept from his friend.  Schremp certainly has a set of some pretty sick hands and has done things on youtube that I’ve haven’t seen done again.  He also has the potential to bring some offense, perhaps, to a second power play unit on a weaker team.

It’s possible that the recent controversy-creating quote of Rob Schremp is somehow just poorly worded.  This upcoming Oilers’ TC will shed some light on what path is down the road for the talented Rob Schremp who hasn’t developed as many have hoped.

***Update, Schremp’s recent interview with Hockey’s Future:

Very candid interview, check it out!

Some interesting Rob Schremp quotes:

It’s going to be about me having the confidence and me proving myself and my game. You know, the guys [in camp] are NHLers. They don’t doubt themselves. They carry themselves like, ‘Yeah, I’m a fucking NHL hockey player and I play here.’ That’s the confidence you have to have, and it’s hard to do that as an AHLer. Sometimes it’s like they look and say, ‘Who the fuck are you? You’re an AHL hockey player,’ but if you want to make it you have to be like, ‘Fuck you, this is who I am.'”

Schremp continues with this pretty candid interview:

“Playing in the AHL sucks and that’s enough to drive you. [Having a contract] is not a safety net at all — if you have a one-way contract, that’s a safety net. You go down, you’re going to make whatever money — that’s how it goes,” Schremp explained. “It’s not even about NHL money or AHL money. Playing in the NHL, being in the NHL is what it’s all about for me — I’m not even sure what the money is. It’s all about being there and that’s what my dream was and it gives you that drive. Coming off the season people as where you play, ‘You know, I play in the AHL’ instead of being able to say, ‘Fuck yeah, I play in Edmonton!’ It’s kind of the harsh reality, but that’s the way it is.”

Updates:  SundayAugust 30th, 2009.

Admittedly, I had not previously completed this blog post after coming across the link for the Hockey’s Future interview from a comment posted in Lowetide’s blog.  Today, I will make an attempt to complete my thoughts about Rob Schremp…  If you can’t admit that how shocking this particular was, then I certainly can.

Looking at the Edmonton Oilers roster, there’s a few things that are apparent.  Are there holes in our roster of skaters?  In short, yes!  The current roster of skaters for the Edmonton Oilers is lacking both veteran depth (legit NHLers) as well as very much strength down the middle (centermen).  Shawn Horcoff and Sam Gagner are likely a lock for the fist two center lines (1C and 2C respectively).  Pouliot and Brule are speculated to be competing for the 3c and 4C positions.  The big question mark is basically who will be filling in for the departed Brodziak for the defensive zone faceoffs that he took last year.  A quick fix would be to sign a Malhotra or Betts to provide some veteran help on the dot and on the penalty kill.  So far, this type of signing does not appear to be in the works for this organization.

Given that there’s currently holes in our roster, it theoretically means that there’s at least some opportunity for Schremp to crack the roster this year.  One problem for Schremp is that he’s not likely to crack the top 6, yet not really suited to play a bottom six role.  Further, we’ve already got a logjam of small, skilled players competing for positions on our roster this year.  Though the Springfied Falcons had an abysmal season last year, Schremp himself was one of the least effective players on that team.  He played softer opposition and still had one of the worst +/- on that particular team.  In short, last season at least, Schremp did not demonstrate improvement in the level of his 2 way play.

Schremp’s recent interview with Hockey’s Future was a departure from his previous radio interview this summer in which he made a pretty good effort to at least say the right things.  I myself don’t see how this recent interview can possibly benefit him.  At the very least, he could have left out an expletive or two.  He’s certainly expressed frustration and it sounds like something’s come unhinged.  I can certainly understand why Schremp might feel frustrated.  So far, he’s yet to achieve his goal of cracking a roster on an NHL team.

As I mentioned previously, Schremp has an incredible ability to polarize Edmonton Oilers’ fans.  Forum threads about Schremp generally have two different types of posters.  On the one hand, there’s the rabid Schremp boosters that complain that he’s better than Reddox or Nilsson and that offer vivid conspiracy theories about how MacT has shafted Rob Schremp likely because of either a personality conflict or the alternate explanation that Schremp “isn’t a plugger like MacT.”  MacT only loves pluggers right (sarcasm)?  They cite his point prodution in a small sample of games and suggest that he’s been wronged.  On the other hand, more sober minds in the Oligosphere note his poor two-way play in contrast to these players.  His Corsi and +/-  numbers suggest that he bleeds scoring chances against. They also note that Schremp has either been unable or unwilling to develop other aspects of his play since being drafted.

Who’s to blame?  Well, I would suggest that at least some of the reponsibility for Schremp’s player development has to fall on the organization itself.  At the same time, if Rob Schremp could get the wax out of his ears and start listening–not only to coaching staff, but even his friend Sam Gagner, perhaps he could learn that solid 2-way play gets you icetime.  One may hold out hope that Schremp might find some mentoring and fatherly advice this season from Coach Quinn.  It’s something that he is in dire need of.

Last year, Schremp showed up to training camp basically out of shape as he conceded.  This year if he makes the same mistake, it’s pretty much inexcusable.  For the ‘rabid’ Schremp fans who may stumble across this post.  Here’s a few thoughts…  Would I like to see Schremp round out his game, show up to camp in shape, and play a solid 2 way hockey  to get some ice time or would I rather see him end up a wasted first round draft pick?  Hey, Schremp obviously has some natural talent and great hands.  Though I don’t want to see his talent wasted, one can hope that he finally realizes that he has to learn how to play NHL hockey.

Schremp is still young and may yet find his place on a team in need of offensive talent like the New York Islanders.

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3 thoughts on “Shafted?

  1. Everyone’s a critic, lol. To be honest, for this particular article I was half way through writing my blog post when I heard about the Hockey’s Future link. I did get side tracked from completing the post. I can certainly see how this particular post appears that way and I will strive to improve my editorial quality. Jefferson, thank you for your feedback.

  2. Okay, I have to admit that part of me does feel bad for Rob Schremp. I would like to see the kid actually live up to his potential too.. It’s good to see some positive press for Rob in this recent article from Jonathan Willis. Here’s the links: http://tiny.cc/Schremp741

    Looking outside of the stats, it’s clear that Rob Schremp’s performance faced a precipitous decline year over year. One might wonder what caused this abrupt decline in point production…

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