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:
- Robert Nilsson 2.295/60
- Sam Gagner 2.195/60
- Andrew Cogliano 1.708/60
- Raffi Torres 1.192/60
- 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.