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:
- “He fits one of the team’s skill packages and that’s the power play.”
- “He’s been very impressive.” “
- “He’s as good a passer as I’ve seen in a while and the play doesn’t die with him very often.”
- “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.