What’s Going On?

The player on the left (#88 in white) is believed to be Robert Schremp, a hockey player from Syracuse, New York.

Schremp is the current “Jani Rita”, which is to say he is a young player who has divided the Edmonton Oiler fanbase into two equal parts: the nuts and the naysayers.

It’s too bad really, because the truth (as always) probably lies somewhere in the middle. Schremp is not Jesus Christ as a hockey player, but he is also not a complete waste of skin.

Rob Schremp had surgery in the summer, worked like a bugger to recover, experienced a setback with a groin tweak (leave it alone) and found his way back to the NHL in the early days of the season. On October 13th he played in his first game of the season, playing well and getting some chances in 13 shifts and 10:42TOI. Last night he had an early chance and then had his ass stapled to the bench (6 shifts, 3:12TOI). Those are Jani Rita numbers, with the only humiliation left for Schremp a Scott Ferguson on the other wing scenario and a MacT speech that goes something like “well the organization must see something in him.”

I don’t think that’s the case at all. I believe the Oilers have decided that since Gagner jumped ahead and there are about 5 kids vying for 3 jobs they’ll just rotate them and see who ripens quickest.

The Oilers sent Schremp out today so he won’t be rusty and they recalled Jacques. If all goes according to plan Pouliot would probably draw in on Saturday over Schremp and possibly another kid coming out for Jacques (although both Stortini and Brodziak played well last night).

Eventually the Oilers will have to make a decision on these fellows and trade the guys they feel aren’t right for the organization. The names I would pick are Rob Schremp, Zack Stortini and Robert Nilsson. The problem is that the talents I’d keep (Pouliot, Jacques, Brodziak) have little or no clearance over the guys I’d send away.

Which is why the organization can’t make up their minds. Truth is, they all might be nothing much.

Cogliano and Gagner have already eaten their lunch and are now flirting with their girls. Life’s a bitch.

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12 Responses to "What’s Going On?"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Well, the problem for Schremp and Nilsson is that Cogliano and Gagner, a first year pro and an 18 year old, have already shown that they can play. Cogliano is likely a guy who will be able to do everything – ie/ play without the puck, play special teams and score – and Gagner looks to be a guy who can score and based on early returns is a guy who I think will also be, at some point soon, soemone who can handle other responsibilities. With Hemsky, Penner and Stoll and a few vets who we hope stick around who can do plenty of things (score and play without the puck that is) and a kid like Trukhno who seems to be of that type as well, there isn’t much room for a couple of one dimensional guys. Nilsson and Schremp’s claim to fame is putting up points and Cogliano and Gagner look to be head of them in that regard.

    As for Stortini he’s a fourth liner no better and I admire the guy for getting to where he has but what else can he give?

    So your scorers are there but you’re going to need guys to replace Pisani and Moreau and that’s where Pouliot and Brodziak and maybe Jacques come in. Guys who won’t score as much as Schremp and Nilsson but they’ll put in a few and that’s Cogliano and Gagner’s gig anyway and they’ll be the guys who may do the heavy lifting. Something Schremp and Nilsson will never do.

  2. IceDragoon says:

    Ain’t it, tho?

    Good evening.

    The NHL game is too fast for Schremp, and he has bad habits to overcome. After a rocky start last year, he has put the effort into his game and conditioning. Is Robbie ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’? I think he probably is, and if he commits to getting faster, the game will slow down enough for him to become the streaky, opportunistic, PP specialist he was meant to be…

    … somewhere else. As an Oiler he’s dateless. The kids just had to smile and Miss America swooned.

    If only Jacques could find a controlled crazy in his game, I don’t think MacTavish would let him go anywhere.

    What he sees in Stortini is almost unholy. I mean… WTH??? I don’t think Zack can effectively sustain the role of punching-bag/huggy-bear/agitator, but I’ve been wrong before.

    With Cogliano and Gagner kicking out the jambs, I think MacT will keep the guys he thinks will help him win games by being responsible… and… who can put home some opportunities. To me, that’s Pouliot and Brodziak. But then… you knew that, Lain. ;-D


    Do you think Gagner may have a PB view tomorrow night?


  3. Lowetide says:

    Louise: At a guess I’ll say Gagner plays. They need him to be effective on the road too and the Flames are a team that is struggling a little too. If Gagner is one of the 12 best forwards (and I think he is) then he needs to dress in an important (even though it’s early) divisional game.

  4. IceDragoon says:

    Yeah, well…
    I’m feeling motherly. ;-p

    Sam’s playing RW.

    Phaneuf plays LD.

  5. Andy Grabia says:

    I find it interesting that we see these kids so differently, LT. I have little time for Pouliot, Jacques or Brodziak. Of course Stortini and Nilsson don’t do it for me, either. I’m not actually as in love with Schremp as my BoA persona pretends to be, but I see more flashes of “NHL player” in him than I do in the others. I know the goofing around/lacrosse stuff drives you mad, but I see it as a positive indicator of the man’s creativity. And I love creativity. If I was a scout, the flash would be my blindside. Gagner and Cogliano made the most of their time, and therefore got more. In the MacT system, that’s what you need to do, and they succeeded. But I wonder if Schremp is playing against a stacked deck. I don’t think he’s the kind of player MacT the GM would draft, and therefore I don’t think he’s the kind of player who will get a chance to succeed in MacT the Coach’s system. So the question to me then is, why the heck is he still an Oiler?

  6. Asiaoil says:

    We have FIVE very similar players – smaller, offensive types – in Cogs, Gagner, Schremp, Nilsson and Thoreson. Three of these have shown some semblance of brains in their own end (Cogs, Thoresen, Gagner) and two also have some offensive upside(Cogs and Gagner)

    In my mind Schremp and Nilsson are history and we need to peddle these guys off for a draft pick or short-term veteran players to help develop the remaining kids. You can add Grebeshkov to that list as well since he is the least appealing of the young dmen.

    The only kids I am really interested in developing at the NHl level this season are Cogs, Pouliot and Brodziak for forwards – and Smid, Gilbert and Greene on defense. Schremp, Nilsson, Grebeshkov and Roy can be dealt any time – JFJ and Thoresen can spend another year in the AHL with Trukhno and O’Marra. Gagner can go back to junior as soon as the WJC camp opens.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Andy: I think you’re right, he isn’t the kind of player MacT the GM would draft. imo MacT elevates one dimensional players whose skills are so strong he can live with the mistakes until they learn the trade on the job. He’s done that with Comrie (who still hasn’t learned), Hemsky (a surprisingly good pupil), Cogliano (a natural) and Gagner (Hemsky 2.0) and those players spent a total of zero games in the AHL.

    Schremp has played 73 games in the AHL and is down there for more. Whatever the criteria in MacT’s mind for the skill slots, clearly Schremp is not the best option in the coach’s mind. He’s in the Jani Rita family of MacT prospects imo, all hat and no cattle.

    I don’t think there’s any sin in being Robbie Schremp, but I also don’t think it’s a tragedy that he gets passed over by more talented players.

    As for Pouliot, Brodziak and Jacques, they all bring more elements to their game and thus have a chance to make the grade.

    Some people play first base and bat cleanup and others play first, third and catch a little to make themselves useful.

    Hemsky might be Tim Raines, Pouliot might be Mitch Webster, and Rob Schremp might be Mike Stenhouse. Or Dave Hostetler.

    If we’re lucky? Ken Phelps.

  8. Rube Foster says:

    LT, If Pouliot can be Mitch Webster I’d be thrilled. I hope you’re right about him.
    Not to be a stickler but I see Shremp as more of a Terry Francona. One dimensional and just not well rounded enough to get 500 ab’s. He could help you if used right though.
    Schremp needs to go down to the farm work his tail off and put up some big numbers, if he can do that he’ll find a place somewhere in the show.

  9. Slipper says:

    I think I’m opposite Grabia in that I see enough in Nillson’s offensive zone game to grant him an NHL career. In NHL action, I’ve yet to glimpse it in Schremp’s play though.

    I’m a big believer in the idea that there are atleast two different types of successful even strength players. Well, actually three. Players that are efficient in their own end, players who can sustain possession and pressure in the offensive end, and then there are the players who are good at both.

    From my limited point of view, Brodziak, Nillson and (atleast in the one game where he was lined with Torres and Stoll) JFJ qualify atleast one of the above.

    On a better team than the Oilers, all three of these guys would probably have a greater chance at getting the ice time to prove thaqt they qualify.

  10. Devin says:

    In the MacT system, that’s what you need to do

    Correction: In the NHL, that’s what you need to do.

    Seriously, you’re down on Brodziak? The guy is considered a “two-way” player and outscored Schremp in the AHL and now the NHL. He’s consider a poor skater yet he’s much fleeter of foot than 88. Schremp’s career isn’t about MacT’s systems or anything other than his abilities compared to the competition. At this time he doesn’t stack up.

  11. NBOilerFan says:

    Well… Schemp certainly doesn’t look ready for the NHL yet. Whether its his injury or the fact that Cogs and Gags passed him on the depth chart, or whatever, he just doesn’t seem to be ready mentally.

    As far as who should stay and who should go, I take:

    And send out;

    But there is not much value for those 3 players.

    I certainly don’t get the love in some of you have for Jacques…. he sucks and how he every got the nickname “crazy train”is beyond me.

    I take Nilsson as a one dimensional player over one-dimensional Jacques any day.

  12. Dennis says:

    With all these guys who are battling for spots, and BTW Pat made some excellent points off the hop over who eventually replaces 18-34 and the roles therein, you’ve got three catergories:

    The Comrie: Gags-Nilsson-Schremp

    This is the guy that you’d like to play tough min but you don’t mind if he turns out to murder the soft opp, either. Gags is way ahead of the curve when it comes to this role and the other two guys are battling to catch up, even though they’re much older and have time in the A. There’s ‘probably’ room for either of Nilsson or Schremp but Penner’s presence complicates manners as well becuase the Oilers probably end up giving him soft min with Gagner years down the road. As long as Horc’s an Oiler, he’s carrying the mail and the same will go for Cogs. That probably leaves Cogs-Penner as the basis for the ’09 and beyond soft min line.

    The Horcoff: Cogs-Pouliot-Brodziak

    This is the guy who receives responsbility and has to be a certain type of player. Cogs seems to be on his way to being this guy and Pouliot’s shown some aptitude for this as well. Brodziak’s been playing some tough top six min and when he layed off a little, MacT didn’t spare the rod and 51 wound up in the pressbox. This type of player doesn’t have to be typecast as a fellow who can’t score, per se, because Cogs could break that mold and MP put up some nice numbers in the A in his second season, but it’s more that MacT has his heart set on them playing tough min.

    The Ruffian: Stortini-Jacques

    I couldn’t come up with an Oiler comp for this role because we haven’t had one in awhile. Jacques doesn’t seem to want this role and I don’t think MacT gives him a chance to fit in any other slot. Stortini tries to fill this role but the kid just can’t fight and he can’t play much either. But, what I think these guys have in common, just like the Comrie models, is they won’t get a chance to play in any other role but this one. If someone came out of the blue that could play tough min, for example, then MacT could valut Cogs into a soft min role. But versitility isn’t an option for The Ruffian.

    One last note, here. I didn’t include Thor in this list because I still don’t know what his status is on the waiver wire. He’s not a ruffian so he’s probably in a class to himself, ie the “energy” player even though I hate that term. He won’t be expected to rough around but he’ll be expected to grind and muck and hold serve, ie low-event, until the top nine comes to town. he might also be a shutdown guy someday as well but if he has to pass through waivers to come back up, then we won’t see him this year so I didn’t think to list him

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