Is A Crack Forming?

This is Rob Schremp. If he played floor hockey he’d be Gretzky, but skating is a bugger when God gives you feet of clay and Sugartits can’t dance.

Before he was drafted, Rob Schremp was the subject of some of the most noxious publicity a prospect can get this side of legal action. Redline wrote “selfish and petulant with an attitude of entitlement” while still liking him enough to rank Schremp #20 in their 2004 draft issue. You could read 5,000 draft bio’s and not see anything as disconcerting as that little gem.

I’ve paid special attention to Rob Schremp as a prospect, mostly because he was drafted by the Oilers. However, there’s a really nice story bubbling under here in that Schremp is something of a Messiah to those who believe in him and utility sausage to those who don’t see him as being a player. There is no in-between with him, which makes Schremp compelling for fans.

He reminds me of Derek Sanderson. Not for hockey skills (Sanderson was a stunning two-way player, had the swagger of Messier, good hands and could win a faceoff and penalty kill extremely well) but for drawing attention to himself in a way that made him famous well beyond his abilities. In a time when the Bruins employed the best hockey player in history (Orr) Sanderson got just as much press as 4 and 7.

Schremp has had some exceptional reviews since being taken 25th overall in 2004. In fall 2005, a little over one year after being drafted, Schremp looked like he had a chance to make the team at 19. A few quotes from MacT that fall:

  1. “He fits one of the team’s skill packages and that’s the power play.”
  2. “He’s been very impressive.” “
  3. “He’s as good a passer as I’ve seen in a while and the play doesn’t die with him very often.”
  4. “We have three exhibition games left. We’ll see rosters that are more heavily laden with NHL players. We’ll see how he plays. There may be a game when he’s exposed and it shows that he isn’t quite ready yet.”

As it turned out Schremp wasn’t ready. Since then he’s had an average to sub AHL season and another that looks pretty good. However, coach MacT’s tone has changed:

  • “The things he needs to do to stay here long-term are not quick fixes. He needs the strength base and quickness. He’s got to be strong enough to battle at a standstill because he’s not going to outskate many guys….”

This would have to be filed under “close to fatal” in terms of quotes from the coach you’re trying to please. And yet the Hockey Jesus did not crack. No fury, No F.U., no “I’m taking my puck home with me.”

Until today. Possibly.

According to an article on a Swedish blog (I’m fairly certain it’s a blog) Schremp and his agent have had enough. Quoting HF poster Fishy Scales, the article states:

  • Rob Schremp and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau are two capable North Americans who are being shopped on the Swedish market.
  • Rob Schremp and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau could be the beginning of something else. A new trend. They are to force their way into the big North American league via the SEL.
  • Rob Schremp (the American) was the Oilers’ first choice in the 2004 NHL draft (25th overall). After that he played two straight WJCs for the USA, but he has only played a mere three NHL games.
  • Parenteau and Schremp will likely end up in Sweden.
  • The question is just which clubs that will bite on the offer.
  • The probable price tag will be in the SEK170000 per month range.

The reason I believe it’s a blog is that there is an obvious error. Devan Dubnyk was the Oilers first choice in the 2004 NHL draft and blogs are routinely less reliable in this sort of thing than actual newspapers (I wish it were false, but it’s true).

Is this credible? Maybe. Does it matter? Yes. If Rob Schremp and his agent are shopping his services to the Swedish Elite League it means the relationship between Rob Schremp and the Edmonton Oilers is over.

An organization that cast itself willingly in a bad light with badboy NHL player Mike Comrie is extremely unlikely to spend more than 90 seconds fretting over a kid who can’t make the NHL at all.

In life when you don’t have the cards the prudent thing to do is fold. It looks like Schremp and his agent have gone all in with Jack-Ass high.

My bet is the Oilers call.

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25 Responses to "Is A Crack Forming?"

  1. toqueboy says:

    wow…what’s up eklund. this looks likean LT1. if nothing else oiler fans love their drama…

  2. Oilman says:

    LT – just checked out that translation and the guy mentions the article was from a newspaper. He also said the translation was quick and dirty. My assumption would be he just missed the word “round”, as in “Schremp, the first round pick of the oilers…..”

    Anyway, interesting stuff no doubt. Flaming makes a good point that the big ice might not be Schremp’s best option – I agree.

  3. doritogrande says:

    Well fuck us. We’ll still own his rights though, won’t we?

  4. docweb says:

    LT- When I was a young teen in Lloydminster the Bruins were my favorite team and Derek Sanderson my favorite player. He had everything I could only dream of…played on a great team, smoked and drank, had a cool stache and long hair,and always had the babes. Plus he had the best hook check ever. I practised for hours trying to get that just right but it never worked as smooth as his. Great entertainer and very good player.

  5. Alice says:

    On the other hand, if he can figure out how to live without speed on the big sheet, maybe he comes back with something really good between the ears. Looking at the depth chart in front of him here, maybe they think the SEL will provide a better showcase than the A has been, obviously nobody has been compelled to offer much for him yet, else it’d be done by now.

  6. PunjabiOil says:

    It’s probably just a statement from Schremp’s part. I doubt he’s going over to the SEL and turn down the possibility of an NHL paycheque.

    He’s putting up good numbers (although clearly PP favourable), but if he doesn’t improve at EV, you’re left with Jarrett Stoll.

    At the same time, Pouliot’s numbers weren’t too good either at the AHL level, but he’s holding his fort 5 on 5 in the NHL.

  7. Ducey says:

    First of all, I would have to wonder at the credibility of a Blog in Sweden being a great source.

    In any event, thr story seems less of a concern than that recent quote regarding Schremp along the lines of ” some guys win battles in the corners, some guys lose them, Robbie doesn’t even go in the corners”.

    I really can’t see him making the top 6 on the Oil for the forseeable future. He also is never going to get any love from MacT.

    You reported in Feb that the Rangers might be interested. Regardless of whether Schremp wants out, I think the Oilers should trade him. Maybe for a second rounder this June?

  8. doritogrande says:

    ducey,

    The Rangers were interested in Pouliot. The Schremp rumor was apparently false. Also, he’s completely unproven, and as such is worth no more than a 4th rounder. I mean hell, we stole Jan Hejda for a 7th rounder.

  9. misfit says:

    “It looks like Schremp and his agent have gone all in with Jack-Ass high.”

    This could go down as the greatest thing ever written on the internet. Certainly the best I’ve come across. Well done LT.

  10. gary b says:

    great piece.

    and, with your blessing, ‘Utility Sausage’ would be a great name for a band.

  11. Oilman says:

    ^^ So would Jack-Ass High for that matter

  12. Dennis says:

    I think Reddox could be a useful player but if I’m Rob Schremp and Liam Reddox gets called up over me, then I’m pissed.

    There’s enough offense and/or offensive potential here now that not even the Schremp fanboys could get upset if he doesn’t make the big club.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Agreed, Dennis. In fact, better players than Schremp are going to be outside looking in fall ’08 unless Lowe sends away a lot of players.

    Even if Lowe re-signs only Glencross, you have:

    C
    Horcoff
    Cogliano
    Brodziak
    Stoll
    Pouliot

    L
    Penner
    Gagner
    Torres
    Moreau
    Glencross

    R
    Hemsky
    Nilsson
    Pisani
    Stortini

    Where is the room for Schremp? And if they sign Reasoner then it’s probably not likely that Pouliot makes the team.

    Either Lowe makes a trade or Schremp is sol. or both.

  14. Ribs says:

    The SEL?……HAHHahahaha…. Good one guys.

    … Pass me another beer.

  15. Ozzieoiler says:

    I would take that article with a grain of salt.

    The shit that sticks to Schremp years after is ridiculous.

    I see alot said and written about Schremp especially in Guy’s article a few weeks ago. All Schremp does is keep his mouth shut and put up points in the A on a fairly poor offensive team.

    I would think that would earn him some brownie points with the management, but seems there is something going on upstairs that we fans don’t know about.

    The comment ” some guys win battles in the corners, some guys lose them, Robbie doesn’t even go in the corners” is just a terrible thing to say about a prospect. It may be true but there is probably 1/2 dozen better ways to phrase it.

    Would it really hurt with all the young guys on this squad and our recent history with injuries just to keep him as long as we can?

    First call up next season if a skill guy goes down or if we have a massive sophmore Jinx with the kids?

    Just seems such a waste firstly to try and turn him into a checker and secondly to get rid of him for a pick in the draft.

  16. honkey says:

    I actually think Schremp could benefit from a year here in Sweden. Horcoff went here and reach another level but that was of course in the lockout year which was a bit different. But Horcoff played nearly 25 min a night and got to be the goto guy in all situations.

    I hope Oilers work out a deal an send him to Luleå so he and Omark can work together, that would be magic for my team. And easy as Oilers can track both prospect at the same time.

    I’m allowed to dream, right? :)

  17. Marc says:

    Not sure if anyone saw this Rob Schremp insight:

    http://illegalcurve.blogspot.com/2008/03/life-in-pro-hockey-with-rob-schremp.html

    Nothing too revealing, but it’s always interested to get a few quotes from this enigma.

  18. doritogrande says:

    Guy Flaming has more info on his blog. He says he’s talked to Schremp directly about it, and that the rumours are completely new to him.

  19. CrazyCoach says:

    Hej Honkey,

    What is going on in the SEL right now? How is Modo doing? I would like to make it back to O-vik one day and see the new rink. I went to Kempehallen in 2001 and got to see the whole rink, even the inside of Modo’s dressing room.

    I think Schremp would do better playing in the SEL than the AHL. He would get more ice time and I think living among the Swedes for a year would benefit him.

  20. honkey says:

    crazycoach:
    Modo had a terrible playoff and got their ass kicked by local rivals Timrå(4-1).
    Tonight they play game 3 of semi-finals. Linköping is up 2-0 against Färjestad and is looking like a lock for a place in the finals. HV71-Timrå is tied and this game is crusial for Timrå which have to win on home ice tonight to have a shot.

    Viktor Hedman will make his national team debut when Sweden face Norway in two matches next week. Former Oiler Fredrik Pettersson will also participate and a few other young interresting swedish prospect.

  21. oilerdiehard says:

    Looking at Guy’s blog. It would appear there is a crack forming.

    But what slipped through that crack was probably just another rumour that has gotten out of hand.

  22. doritogrande says:

    Either that, or both player and agent are in full-fold motion after they got a look at the River card.

  23. Dennis says:

    LT: If you’re like me, you read today’s glowing assessment of 24′s de-facto captaincy and you thought, “See, we REALLY don’t need Moreau.”;)

    I’ve love to keep the top six intact before 10′s injury and play the vets tough min, the kids the soft and a 14-78-34 with the second toughest. 14 plays well with 34 and 78 plays well with 34 so all we’d need is some 14-78 chem.

    I’d like to bring 19 back as the 13th forward; pretty much in the Sanderson role of this year.

    But is MacT able to ‘treat’ Marty in that manner?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Good point about Reasoner and MacT leaning on him. Having said that maybe it’s not such a bad idea having him on the roster and making Pouliot earn it. Marty isn’t the player he was before the injury but he’s certainly a good guy to have around as a pressbox/injury option.

  25. Dennis says:

    LT etc all: If you could sign 19 or 78 for the exact same money, who would you sign and why?

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