Schremp in the "Comrie" Role?

Do you remember when Mike Comrie came to the NHL? As I recall, he was quickly ushered onto the top line (Smyth, Carter) and Doug Weight was given two new linemates as the changing of the guard was signaled maybe New Year’s 2001.


It did not work out long term. Having said that, Comrie did deliver results in what had to be among the softest landings in recent Oilers NHL rookie history. Comrie’s EV/60 number in 41 games (00-01) was 2.51, almost identical to Doug Weight’s number for the season (2.50), although I don’t remember who Weight played the second half of the season with and it’s reasonable to assume the number would have been better if he’d stayed on the same line with Ryan Smyth and Anson Carter (and if they’d kept Guerin, obviously).

Fair again?

One of the most often discussed topics at hfboards is Robbie Schremp and him getting an opportunity to play at the NHL level with good linemates and plenty of PP time. Since Comrie is the closest recent comp we have (and by comp I mean player type) let’s look and see how they compare (as best we can).

Comrie’s 00-01 season was half a season. 41 games. He averaged 9:18 at even strength in those 41 games, 2:04 on the PP and was on the ice during penalty killing situations for a total of 11 seconds (one assumes this happened when Comrie was racing from the penalty box after a 5-on-3 turned into a 5-on-4 at the end of his penalty. Seriously.) and if we extrapolate it over 82gp we get this line:

  • 16-28-44 overall, 933:52 total minutes.
  • 10-22-32 at even strength, 764:06 total minutes.
  • 6-6-12 on the powerplay, 169:46 minutes with the man advantage.
  • 0-0-0 during those 22 seconds on the penalty kill.

Let’s be clear: that’s Comrie’s 00-01 season doubled. It was dead ball era, but the Oilers did score goals, 243 of them compared to 192 last season.

For the sake of argument, let’s say Rob Schremp’s AHL season in 06-07 featured identical TOI numbers: 11:23 per game overall, 9:18 at EV and 2:04 on the PP.

Is that fair? Should we give him more TOI? Schremp was the second highest point getter among center’s in Scranton/Wilkes Barre last season. The Oilers second most often used center last season was Jarret Stoll, who averaged 18:11 on ice.

Let’s give Schremp 4:42 more at EV and double his PP time. So that makes it 14:00 at even strength and 4:00 on the PP. 18 minutes. Fair now? That’s what we’re estimating his AHL minutes were, we still have to convert back to NHL “fair number”. Cool?

Okay. Desjardins’ number for AHL to NHL conversion is .49 at age 20. Let’s use that. Just so I’m not making a mistake (and I know you’re playing along if you’ve read this far you crazy, crazy person) the math would go:

  • 28 powerplay points (9-19-28) times .49 equals 13.72 NHL points. That’s in 4 minutes a night, which we’ve agreed (or more to the point, please disagree if you think it’s wrong) is a fair number.
  • 25 even strength points (8-17-25) times .49 equals 12.25 NHL points. That’s in 14 minutes a night, if not please suggest what would be a fair number.

NOW, we need to estimate the NHL minutes a player like Schremp might get. Currently, if we give him 14 minutes a night at EV and 4 minutes a night on the PP, his approx. NHL equivalency via Desjardins’ number would be 8-18-26. However, that’s over 69 games (his AHL total), so to be fair the line should read 82gp, 10-21-31.

The minutes. Get to the minutes. Since becoming head coach in 2000-2001, MacT has given the following minutes to rookie forwards:

  1. Jarret Stoll (03-04) 945:18
  2. Patrick Thoresen (06-07) 776:33
  3. Ales Hemsky (02-03) 712:12
  4. Jason Chimera (02-03) 710:06
  5. Marc Pouliot (06-07) 600:12
  6. Dom Pittis (00-01) 506:13
  7. Brad Winchester (06-07) 476:18
  8. Mike Comrie (00-01) 466:54
  9. Shawn Horcoff (00-01) 452:12
  10. Fernando Pisani (02-03) 375:18
  11. Jean Francois Jacques (06-07) 292:44
  12. Zach Stortini (06-07) 207:27
  13. Brian Swanson (00-01) 174:38
  14. Mike Bishai (03-04) 128:18
  15. Tony Salmlelainen (03-04) 125:27
  16. Michel Riesen (00-01) 118:53
  17. Jani Rita (02-03) 114:26
  18. Kyle Brodziak (05-06) 110:20

Where would you rank Rob Schremp on that list? Let’s just make it simple and take Comrie’s number again, okay? It’s a 41-game total, and doubling it puts the number pretty much at the top. Since Schremp would be (if he won a job on a skill line, as per the hfboard dream) on the 1line at least part of the time it seems reasonable.

So that’s 9 minutes a night at EV, 2 on the powerplay. Not fair? How about 9 minutes a night and 4 on the PP? 6 on the PP?

Okay, Rob Schremp, 9 minutes a night, 6 on the powerplay, putting Shawn Horcoff or Jarret Stoll on the bench. We’ll go with a Schremp-Penner-Hemsky-Souray-Pitkanen #1 powerplay.

Fair now?

PP: 13.72 NHL points times 6 (new PP minutes #) divided by 4 (old PP number) times 82 (GP) divided by AHL GP (69). PP total: 23, let’s make it 7-16-23.

EV: 12.25 NHL points times 9 (new EV minutes #) divided by 14 (old EV minutes #) times 82 (GP) divided by AHL GO (69). EV total: 9, let’s make it 3-6-9.

So, if we give Rob Schremp all these minutes, his boxcar number could fairly be estimated to be 82gp, 10-22-32. He’s going to get 738EV minutes and deliver 9 points, a total of .731 EV points-per-game (60). Marc Pouliot did 1.17 with JF Titanic on the left wing.

On the PP, we have Schremp getting 492 minutes and delivering 23 points. That’s 2.8 PP points-per-game (60). The two players he would replace? Their PP-per-60 last season: 4.87 (Horcoff) and 4.20 (Stoll).

The minors-to-majors conversion has a long way to go, and I welcome any input you have on it. However, based on Rob Schremp’s 20-year old AHL season, even leaving aside things like skating, work ethic and how to play away from the puck, I don’t think Mike Comrie is even close to being a fair comp. It then becomes reasonable to say that given the same gift Comrie got New Year’s 2001, Schremp would not deliver similar results. Even giving him better linemates I don’t think he can get to Comrie numbers from where he is, and it’s unlikely MacT would find this to be the best option available for Penner and Hemsky.

So we’re clear, a final comparison:

  • Comrie at EV in 00-01: 2.52; Schremp estimate: 0.731
  • Comrie at PP in 00-01: 4.26; Schremp estimate: 2.8

I can adjust his TOI numbers to make it look better, but honestly think it’s a reasonable line in the sand. By any measure, the Oilers have better options for all of the important roles this fall and Schremp fans have two major problems with the dream of a Calder season for Rob Schremp:

  1. Getting a job that gets enough minutes to make a dent.
  2. Keeping that job.

Based on the numbers above, #1 is climbing Mount Everest and number two is climbing Mount Everest wearing soccer spikes for crampons.

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19 Responses to "Schremp in the "Comrie" Role?"

  1. K says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. Love your analysis LT, however I’m still learning as much as I can about the game and could not yet add anything to your fine post.

    I did want to mention that Sam Gagner has been named Assistant Captain for the Super Series. Not sure if you’ve seen that yet, here is the link:

    Check end of page 2.

    Hope we see the good things Sutter must’ve seen in the kid when the Series starts!

  2. godot10 says:

    I believe both Lowe and MacT believe they mishandled Comrie, and won’t go down that path with Schremp. A full season or half a season in the AHL being the guy under Buchberger is the best thing for Schremp.

    Schremp doesn’t get a real shot to play this year unless(until?) the Oilers are out of the playoff hunt or their are injuries.

    I think MacT had his fill of “experimentation” last year, and will be all business this year. I think the Oiler veterans had their fill of “experimentation” last year, and will be all business this year.

  3. Tyler says:

    It is amazing to me how far back on the road Schremp already is from guys who developed into offence only players who cost way more than they were worth.

  4. SweatyO says:

    LT: For the record, the Oiler top-six looked something like this in the 2nd half of 2001:

    Zholtok Weight Cleary
    Smyth Comrie Carter

    The infamous MGM line (Moreau-Marchant-Grier) combination was the 3rd line. Can’t remember who was on the fourth line with Laraque and Murray at this juncture.

    Safe to say the Oilers were using a “shutdown line” philosophy this year. Comrie and Carter on a line together would get drilled at ES in any era, and Zholtok-Weight-Cleary doesn’t strike me as a power-vs-power force.

  5. Vic Ferrari says:


    That was Horcoff on the fourth line and he was spectacular I thought, with relatively little oppottunity as well. It was a fan club of two at the time (me and Lowetide).

    Someone should have a whip through these games and see how it rolled. I’m sure that Comrie didn’t get the good linemates and the cherry icetime until he’d played a while, maybe 5 or 6 weeks, deeper in the lineup with miniscule results.

    Context is everything in this game.

    I would bet the moon that the best D pair from the other team were aimed at the Weight line and the best forwards saw a lot of MGM first and Weight’s line second. It was like a perfect storm for Comrie to get results. Not that he’s crap, just that he was never going to be as good as he seemed.

  6. theoil says:

    Safe to say the Oilers were using a “shutdown line” philosophy this year. Comrie and Carter on a line together would get drilled at ES in any era, and Zholtok-Weight-Cleary doesn’t strike me as a power-vs-power force.

    And I wouldn’t be shocked to see
    Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani employed that way this year if things start out as badly as I expect them to.

    I’m not sure I have seen much of anybody on HF predicting Schremp would play top six minutes with the Oilers this year. Comrie may be the best comp in recent Oiler history in some ways but I’m not convinced that the comparison is valid in any real sense. Schremp has an NHL quality shot – Comrie, not so much. Comrie has quickness – I don’t think Schremp has that skill. Schremp is from all reports a hard worker who is willing to be coached. i believe Comrie had a different view.

    And I could be wrong on this but I believe the Desjardin’s numbers are statistical means which means that they look for averages amongst quantity. IMO Schremp is an outlier. He will boom or bust because he has such above average skills combined with such below average skills. I believe statistical averaging has little benefit in predicting such cases.

    BTW I cannot for the life of me see any way that Robbie makes this team out of camp.

  7. IceDragoon says:

    Good day, all.

    Man, you guys are hoppin’ today.

    Tyler’s got a time machine piece going. And, it’s back to my time. :-D

    Vic sells himself short in the ‘provoking thought’ department. He’s [up and] done it again. [hillbilly inflections - just in case] ;-) Good comments, too.

    Pat got me thinking… again.

    But, Lain…

    Yours disappear faster, and I do have some perspective to add, so I’ll start here. :-)


    “Schremp in the “Comrie” role?”

    Yeah… no.

    My #1 daughter tells me… the amount of time placed between those two words is the amount of time spent in contemplation.

    Works for me. ;-D

    Even in TC ’05 when MacT was toying with the idea of keeping Schremp up from juniors, I think his path would have more closely resembled Hemsky’s easing into the line-up… with healthy doses of FCP backing his limited minutes up.

    Part of the fun of TC ’05, aside from just getting our hockey back, was watching MacT’s jaw drop… repeatedly. He put Robbie thru increasingly difficult drills and the kid was quick to grasp what coach wanted.

    He was lost in his own end, but defense can be taught to someone willing to learn. He wasn’t physically mature enough to go toe-to-toe with NHLers, but MacT seemed to think that half a year training with the big boys could turn him into something useful down the stretch.

    Again, MacT’s thinking involved a defense that was led by FCP. Last year and this? LOL… yeah… no. He’s not getting NHL icetime till MacT sees that he’s ready. And, I think MacT will be a little skittish around rookies this year.

    As I’ve said before, the kid has mad skills; a love for the game itself & not just what the game can give him; and a chip on his shoulder. He’s a quick study for something he likes and he’s reasonably intelligent. Quite a combination. If someone can push his buttons… who knows?

    btw – Who were Hemsky & co’s equivalents for Schremp in the ‘A’?



    Do you have some updated info since the MacT and Guy Flaming comments a couple of weeks ago?


  8. danny says:

    How is Zach Parise as a Schremp comparable? They posted pretty identical AHL stats at the age of 20. Each highly skilled forwards without exceptional skating. Same height, Robbie with a little more bulk.

    Parise made the NHL as a 21 year old, played 81 games, scoring 14-18-32.

    In 06-07 Parise stayed on a similiar soft minutes role as Comrie, and registered 31-31-62 as a 22 year old.

    You look at Comries two NCAA seasons and they are strikingly similar to Parises. Then Comrie, during his 20yr old season posted 2.15 PPG in the WHL. Schremps last season in the OHL was as a 19yr old and scored 2.54 PPG.

    Using the three of them gives us a neat little peek into cross developmental paths due to Comrie’s crossover from Parises to Schremps stomping grounds.

    One thing is clearerer than the rest right now, that Schremp won’t be much of a contributor for atleast another season. But I don’t think that he is way behind the game for players of his ilk either. He has had 1 pro season… I mean c’mon.

    I’ve been in a few pretty childish exchanges with the Schremp Fanboys on HF. I think s7ark has me on his ignore list in fact. So I’m not a Schremp ‘believer’… just don’t think his 20yr old AHL season can be considered that strong an indicator as to how well he stacks up against Mike Comrie and his potential as an NHLer.

    The cement is still wet on that guys path. Which is why a season in the AHL under Oiler development could make him a more meaningful player. If he could get Comries numbers, but have a bit more Cleary (present day) instilled into him, thats a pretty good thing in my books.

  9. grease trap says:


    I’ve never been big on Schremp, but it has more to do with his (perceived) attitude than anything else. With so many Oilers apparently turning into physical Spartans this off-season, and Schremp coming off his “non-serious” quad injury, he won’t have what it takes to make the club, possibly until spring (if then).

    I do want to see what he can do with a season in Springfield. If he can dominate convincingly, he may just get that cup of coffee sooner than I think.

  10. SweatyO says:

    And I wouldn’t be shocked to see
    Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani employed that way this year if things start out as badly as I expect them to.

    I sort of agree with this, but not really.

    Here’s what I see: Horcoff and Pisani as 2/3rds of a 2nd line would be a nice power-vs-power option to open up some softer matchups for a Penner-Stoll-Hemsky trip.

    If they could sign Mike Johnson for the 3RW spot to play with Moreau and Pouliot/Reasoner (probably a rotation at center), they’ve suddenly got two ES lines that can take on some tougher minutes, and it makes their likelihood for success higher (I’d like it even more if they signed Dave Scatchard for 750K to play 3C and then rotated Reasoner and Pouliot as the 4C, or dumped Marty altogether, because I think injuries have got the best of him….)

    Bookend the 4th line with Sanderson and Nilsson on the wings and feed them some of the soft parade, and suddenly you’ve got a team that looks like a lot more of a top-eight threat, all by adding one responsible RW.

    As it stands right now, it would appear they’re going to go with something like this:


    18 and 34 are enough to make that 3rd line an ES force, but the first line with Penner instead of 94 is nowhere near as capable a Power vs. Power trio, IMO.

    Bottom line, I hope to hell Lowe’s not done. There’s some decent veterans out there (I think you could add Scatchard AND Johnson for about 2 million total this season) that could make this team a hell of a lot better at forward and, by extension, a way better bet for one of the top eight spots.

  11. Dennis says:

    Hold on there now, Vicster;) I was a fan of Horc’s at the time as well. I was always a fan of Horc’s and yes he was on that 4th line and it was stacked. That was a strong Oilers team that year in terms of forwards. One of my faves overall and heading into the third period of G5 in Dal, I was sure they were gonna break that curse. But then Carter was a dummy on a line change and the rest is history.

    As far as who played with whom, Comrie’s first game came during the holidays vs the Habs on HNIC. Later on I remember him either scoring or setting up a goal vs the Blues and at that point he was on a line with BG. Back then I was doing postgames for Oilfans, RIP, and I was listing the line combos for each game so maybe I know when MacT put together the RAM line and left Weight to pivot Z and Cleary. Not sure if MJ has that in the archives and failing that, I’ve got some of those old posters on a disc somewhere.

    Failing that, if we could find some site that posted the TOI for the ’01 season, you could easily find out who was playing with who just by comparing the TOI. I know for a fact that the RAM line was rolling during the nine game winning streak but as for the exact time they came together, I’m not really sure

  12. Devin says:

    Geez, the HF thread on this post is like a creationist v. evolution debate. If there was ever an apt subject for MC’s “I want to believe” poster it’s this one for a lot of those guys.

  13. Lowetide says:

    devin: It’s a pretty divided thread over there, no doubt. Comrie isn’t a popular player for the Oilers fanbase, nor is he an especially good NHL player, but Schremp is not matching his footsteps.

    Maybe that changes this fall, but statements like “Since when has math ever made sense in the NHL, this argument by “Lowetide” is the most assinine thing I have ever read. Why don’t we do the same experiments for Alexandre Daigle… or how about this one… Reinprecht was on pace for 420 points last season after the first game or 2 i believe… or even if Phoenix wins the 1st game next year, just mulitipy that by 82, and you should have their record for the end of the season…. You can’t say someone will be a bad player based on the math when he hasn’t even been given a fair shot to play in the NHL… many NHL players say that the AHL is no different from the NHL… just more money… even robyn regehr said something along those lines… wether its true or not, i don’t know, but Schremp has talent that many players don’t have… and to not give him a fair shot based on his math numbers makes no sense…” mean that the Jesus Alou who walks among us is going to be playing for a few more years.

  14. Devin says:

    LT- nice pickup there. I couldn’t decide what ridiculous quote to grab from HF so I just gave up. The Schremp fanboys love to take potshots at you for your post, but it’s clear that they didn’t even read it (let alone understand it).

    One of the things that keeps me tuning into you, MC, IOF on a daily basis is that you guys offer opinions backed up by evidence. None of you claim to be the last word on this stuff, but at least you present some evidence instead of the usual “bbbbut, Robbie has a 50-goal shot…” I also really appreciate how you encourage discussion by leaving a lot of your conclusions open. I’ve learned a lot about hockey from you guys.

  15. oilerdiehard says:

    My opinion on Schremp was more eyeball and less stats. As I got to watch where I live (a little under an hour from Wilkes Barre) a number of his games through the year.

    What impressed me most down the stretch was not just that he was putting a lot more points on the board. It was how he was doing it by getting his nose dirty along the boards and in front of the net (diving into the scrum and poking pucks free for the odd garbage goal and the like) and he was reading the play a lot better overall.

    The first 45 games or so (mind you I only caught one game out of every 6 roughly) he was avoiding traffic, playing perimeter and not fighting for the puck or ever engaging guys along the boards. He was scratched for this reason (and the hot dog moves that did not work) as much as anything else.

    The other thing that gave me some hope down the stretch was he had significantly tightened up his defensive game (yes it was bad earlier on). He was fighting for pucks along the boards in the defensive zone and he often the last forward to leave the D zone (no not because of his skating :)).

    He has a ways to go defensively, no doubt but he was finally getting it, it seemed to me. I think Coach Richards was great for him, it took the bulk of the year but he forced him to pay attention defensively and get rid of the hotdog junior crap that was counter productive against pros who were not falling for it or allowing it and it was breaking up the flow of the rush.

  16. IceDragoon says:


    Brilliance cannot be dimmed by the prattle of the ignorant.

    Breathe… consider the source… and keep doing what you do so well… please and thank you :-D

    I have a soft spot for HF for a number of reasons. I know that you do too. High on my list, was the quality of discussion and the growing understanding by many (including me) in the chat community.

    It’s been too chaotic for me to spend more than an occasional short visit for the better part of a year now, but there are still many delightful characters conversing amid the static.

    When you started your blog, I missed your insightful topics on the forum, but I think you made the right choice… less filtering thru the noise ;-D

    So… I popped in to check out this thread of which you speak. I certainly can’t fault Cloned for craving intelligent discussion. Superficial banter and pointless noise can wear extremely thin, as you well know.

    I’m not trying to step on any toes here… just problem solving/compromising out loud. And at this point, I’m not even sure if this is an isolated occurrence; if he has linked to your blog before; or even if you view it as a problem.

    But anyway…

    Have you thought about throwing Cloned a bone once in a while? Perhaps you could ask him to PM you when he wants to take one of your topics to HF for discussion. Then… rather than him linking your blog in a discussion thread, you could start/copy & paste a thread. I would suggest that you insist on his substantial involvement in the discussion, tho. ;-D

    Of course, you would need to hang on tightly to the first statement in this post… for sanity’s sake. :-)

    Again… just thinking out loud in an attempt to assist… feel free to ignore.


  17. Black Dog says:

    oilerdiehard – that’s some good stuff

  18. Lowetide says:

    oilerdiehard: Excellent post. Good stuff there. And the blogosphere does have some Schremp supporters (Louise likes him and has seen some encouraging signs at camp, this season we’ll be watching together if she can stand the noice of me crunching on cheese doodles). :-)

    Louise: I still have a soft spot for HF too, but miss the old days.

  19. IceDragoon says:


    in a ‘distrustful’ kinda way. ;-) He’s like the bad boy who flirts and charms, but don’t you dare let him get too close, because you know he’s just going to break your heart.

    He doesn’t fit my ‘perfect hockey player’ mold… not by a long shot. But I can’t help it. Every once in a while I fall victim to a smooth talker. And, all the while I hear my logic screaming, “Girl?!? Break! Your! Heart!”

    I blame MacT. 8-)


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