Sunday Minor League Report

Rob Schremp is beginning to have an impact in the one area he will have to dominate at the AHL level in order to become an NHL player: the scoresheet.

As of this morning’s writing, Schremp is tied for 2nd in AHL scoring (1 point behind college free agent signing Teddy Purcell and the infamous Martin St. Pierre) with 8-25-33 totals in 28gp (1.18ppg).

Schremp is tied for 1st (with Purcell) in assists and tied for 4th in powerplay assists. He’s having a good season in the “narrow view” we always talk about when discussing Schremp.

His plus minus (+1) trails several prospects, including Liam Reddox (+7), Tyler Spurgeon (+7), Fredrik Johansson (+7) and Patrick Thoresen (now with the Oilers, +5).

However, he’s ahead of some of the top minor league players in the system, including Pouliot (-2), Trukhno (-2), McDonald (-3), Jacques (-10, good grief).

We don’t have the names of the men playing “tough” minutes on the farm, but for Schremp that’s a pretty good number.

Let’s say Rob Schremp is “NHL ready” as of today. Let’s suspend reality and say there’s a series of mathematical hoops a player must jump through before he is deemed eligible for play and Schremp has satisfied Fibonacci and all the others and his pattern is glorious.

So, before Lowe and MacT can callup Sugartits they need to find room. They discuss releasing Sanderson but the coach likes some experience for that 4line and with Ethan rifles not back yet he holds out for another name. Stortini is mentioned but quickly passed over because he does offer a unique-to-the-team skill and Schremp cannot match that talent. Thoresen then becomes the subject but at that point one of them points out the obvious:

IF they’re calling up Sugartits, he needs to play. They need to identify a player who Schremp can replace as an offense first option AND they need to get Schremp his minutes.

Let’s say they identify 5 players: Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres. Schremp stepping in for one of these guys would make certain he got some good EV minutes and they might even be able to work him onto the second powerplay unit.

In terms of experience, replacing Stoll or Torres with Schremp is a bad idea. Can we agree? No matter how much they are struggling, those two guys have some other things aside from offense they bring to the table. They are also veterans and at some point should start putting pucks in the net more often. Let’s run the numbers that show EV/60mins point performance:

  1. Robert Nilsson 2.295/60
  2. Sam Gagner 2.195/60
  3. Andrew Cogliano 1.708/60
  4. Raffi Torres 1.192/60
  5. Jarret Stoll 0.896/60

Raffi’s number in this discipline a year ago was 1.94 so one would expect some recovery as the year rolls along. Stoll is completely off his pace of a year ago (2.2) and at some point we’re going to have to talk about the two beanballs he took last year and the fact he might be Dickie Thon.

So, if you’re Lowe and MacTavish who do you demote? Probably Cogliano. He’s hit a wall and his scoring totals and TOI have been cut over the last while. However, he can help in other areas and he’s a developing player too (in fact, he’s younger than Schremp by 50 full weeks).

Schremp has gained clearance from Pouliot, Jacques and others in the minor leagues and he did it by Christmas. Considering he came into camp with an injury and had an average at best training camp that’s a pretty good three months work.

The problem now is that all the slots are filled. Robert Nilsson let go the rope for a time this fall and was sent down, but it looks like he’s here to stay now. For Rob Schremp, that means injury or a trade (or continued struggles for Cogliano to the point where the organization simply has to send him out) unless the Oilers are willing to drop experience (Sanderson) or muscle (Stortini).

Rock, meet hard place.

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16 Responses to "Sunday Minor League Report"

  1. Black Dog says:

    I think they may leave him for the year unless injuries allow a move (and with Torres out now …?)

    Nothing wrong with that.

    Good for him for getting going. Good for him.

  2. HBomb says:

    Assuming Lowe doesn’t make any moves, I’d say he stays the year in the AHL, works hard on his skating over the summer, and comes to camp in the fall favored to fill the spot vacated by Sanderson being let go as a UFA.

    HOWEVER, even then, it’s a tough squeeze, because they’ll probably go and sign some other veteran depth for the 4th line.

    My guess? Schremp is currently enhancing his trade value and would be a likely candidate to be included in a quantity-for-quality trade.

    Pouliout, for kind-of backwards reasons, would be safe: his value can’t be very high right now. Furthermore, I think that his skillset as a bottom six center could be valuable, as I could see the Oilers bidding adieu to one Marty Reasoner come July 1st, and MAP might be the guy to take that spot as the 4th line center, with Horcoff-Gagner-Cogliano above him in the lineup.

    And Stoll, you ask? I get the idea he’s also a likely candidate for said “package deal”, given his impending RFA status. Roloson might be redundant if Garon keeps this off (and potentially an attractive add for any of Colorado, Pittsburgh, Tampa or even Detroit if Hasek gets hurt), and the way they’ve used Grebeshkov coupled with the depth in terms of young d-men in the organization screams “pump and dump”.

    So what COULD Stoll, Schremp, Grebeshkov and Roloson land the Oilers?

  3. MikeP says:

    If nothing else changes, same name comes to my mind as came to yours, for the same reasons. Cogs has had trouble with his hands keeping up with his feet all year, except his bobbles seem to be getting worse. He’s not hurting the team, but he’s not helping it as much as he had been and with vets stepping up now (and finally getting healthy), he’s the most obvious.

    Clearly if things change in the bigs, like Torres or Stoll finding their way out of the doghouse by way of Pittsburgh or something, then he’s maybe got a spot, but I honestly don’t see that happening. S&T were some of the core in the Cup run, and you can’t easily buy that kind of experience mixed with youth. If those guys move, I think it’s at the deadline for a vet because Lowe thinks the team can make a playoff run.

  4. breakerdog says:

    “So what COULD Stoll, Schremp, Grebeshkov and Roloson land the Oilers?”

    Rollie =
    A 37 year old with a big contract who gives up the occasional soft goal. The bryzgalov release on waivers (a younger, cheaper goalie with better stats) shows that there isn’t much value for goalies right now. he is more valuable playing the role he is with the organization than what he could bring in trade. Couple that with the fact that Garon is far from a proven commodity I cant see the logic in trading him.

    Stoll=
    He is in a contract year (RFA). He is playing poorly. He has had some injury problems. It is pretty clear that his next contract will be undervalued, if you believe that he will be a better player in the future than he is showing right now. If I am KL I would be beating his agent over the head with his stat sheet and trying hard to get him signed long term. His trade value IMO is less than what the organization thinks he is worth.

    Schremp=

    I still think his upside is so big that you can’t give up on him yet. By all accounts, he has shown tremendous improvements in work ethic and commitment. He has had a great 3 months in Springfield and I see no reason to bring him up yet barring injuries. Let him continue to improve. I think that his long term future is at centre, the oilers are jammed up in the middle and bringing him up to play 4th line winger minutes is doing him a disservice. I do think that he will be moved eventually because of the positional log jam, but I see no reason to move him now when his value looks like it will continue to go up

  5. rickibear says:

    Lt: MacT was on after hours on CBC. I key on his comments re Cogliano. To paraphrase line matching cost him ice time but he was very good tonight.

    Does not sound like a guy who is being sent down.

    I am of breakerdogs belief.

  6. Lowetide says:

    rickibear: Oh yeah, agreed. Sending down Cogliano now makes zero sense. If he continues to struggle and doesn’t respond to PB or something then it’s an option but he’s not close to being at that point yet.

  7. Asiaoil says:

    No the best thing is to let Schremp tear up the AHL and be the year-end scoring champion – that would build trade value much better than 4th line NHL minutes and the occasional seat in the PB.

    Torres is very close to trade-bait as soon as Mr Glass (Moreau) returns and proves he can stay in the lineup – Penner, Nilsson and Moreau is fine on LW. Stoll I keep as he could be an elite 3rd line guy who needs to settle into that role.

    JFJ has no toolbox and MAP’s confidence is crushed – the guy is now just a shell of the player he should be – partly his fault – party the orgs IMHO – but bad asset mgmt in any case.

  8. Mustafa Hirji says:

    If nothing else changes, same name comes to my mind as came to yours, for the same reasons. Cogs has had trouble with his hands keeping up with his feet all year, except his bobbles seem to be getting worse.

    I mentioned this before, but that’s what happened to Marchant. Scored every time he touched the puck for his first 10-15 games and was a huge offensive threat. Then never could handle his speed and his offense evaporated, but he became a valuable role player. Not predicting this is going to happen to Cogliano, but the parallels are striking.

    As for Schremp, his opening will be an injury. In the meantime, I hope he works on rounding out his game so he can compete for more spots than just the soft minutes ones next year.

  9. RiversQ says:

    I mentioned this before, but that’s what happened to Marchant.

    I don’t know. I’ve never seen the parallels really. Sure there’s the obvious superficial stuff (both smallish, really fast and pretty smart in their own end.) but I think it ends there.

    Cogliano has had some yips with the puck in his own end, but generally I’d say he’s a better passer, stickhandler and definitely more creative than Marchant’s early years. Marchant’s a heck of a player, so it would be no knock on Cogliano anyway, but I really don’t see them as terribly similar players. Especially not in the offensive zone.

    Cogliano on the PP is where the comparison really falls apart. Marchant was a fairly useful guy on the PP in his last year, but he was a shooter and he made simple passes. Cogliano’s already ahead of that I think.

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    I think Mustafa is referring to Marchant’s rookie season:

    AHL 38 22 25 47
    NHL 45 13 14 27

    He never hit that PPG mark again until his career year in 2002-2003 (60 points)

  11. jadeddog says:

    well torres is out for 3-4 weeks now…. but can schremp play LW? i thought he was playing RW in springfield?

  12. godot10 says:

    I would be shocked if Schremp is called up.

    Sanderson will get us to the Christmas break. Moreau will take over after that.

    No room for Schremp at the inn. The manger in the barn will have to do for now.

    Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Nilsson-Gagner-Pisani
    Reasoner-Stoll-Thoreson
    Moreau-Cogliano-Brodziak

    Would Doug Wilson trade us Mike Grier for Sheldon Souray?

  13. pennersmom says:

    Anyone have an idea of players who have led both their junior league and the A in scoring?

  14. Oilman says:

    pennersmom…..did some checking. As far back as 1974-75 there has been one player do do this. Bruce Boudreau lead the OHA in scoring in 74-75 with 165 points and then led the AHL in scoring in 1987-88! with 116….played 141 NHL games between chicago and toronto and had 28 goals, 70 points but was pretty much a career minor leaguer (and a good one), and looks to be a good minor league coach too. Lots of players have led their team in scoring and gone on to lead the AHL in scoring, but he’s the only one I could find to lead both leagues (13 years apart!)

  15. Bruce says:

    Nice dig oilman.

    and looks to be a good minor league coach too

    I take it you’re not too impressed with the Caps?

  16. Oilman says:

    ahhh….I completely missed that….let’s just say looks like a pretty good coach….no minor league badge required.

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