Flush Pouliot?

Driving around Our Town yesterday I heard a very interesting exchange between Jason Gregor and Ryan Rishaug on Team 1260. I don’t have the exact quote so don’t want to overstate Rishaug’s words, but he did say something to the effect that he felt the Oilers’ brass wouldn’t be terribly upset to see the likes of Schremp and Brule force their way onto the roster at the expense of Marc Pouliot.

Jason Gregor met the statement with mild surprise, as Pouliot recently signed a one-way deal with the team for 2 seasons. Rishaug stated they obviously didn’t want to give him up for nothing but that the team had given him all kinds of chances and new blood might be the order of the day.

I think that’s about right, hope I’ve framed the issue properly (if not my apologies to Jason Gregor and Ryan Rishaug).

Anyway, it’s a very interesting thought and worth looking at closely. First of all, is Rishaug credible? I’d say yes, in fact even moreso because he has been at cross purposes with MacTavish at least once (a very public exchange in a scrum) which gives him all kinds of street cred (Edmonton media has a plethora of “soft tossers”) in terms of asking questions that are close to the bone. Rishaug has also been around the team long enough to get an inside scoop such as this from any number of sources.

Does it make sense? Yes, I think it does. The things Pouliot brings are not tremendously unique. He doesn’t score a goal every second game, he doesn’t play a physical style. There is some evidence that he can play effectively without the puck and the math tells us that his goals-against/60 is quite impressive. Having said that, the Oilers usually have a few guys capable of same and should the team look at an “energy” 4line one would think candidates like Brodziak, Brule and Stortini are a better fit.

Is that enough? Haven’t a clue. He’s in the mix. If what Rishaug has stated is true then Pouliot needs to come in and play at peak level during this training camp in order to make the decision go his way. Remember, both Brule and Schremp can be optioned out so in theory all Pouliot must do is “tie” his opposition at the finish line in order to make the club.

Could Marc Pouliot be traded during this TC? Certainly. We’ve discussed it before many times and although I’ve always been a fan of Pouliot’s no one can argue that he didn’t get his 500 at-bats.

Would the Oilers risk waivers on him? I don’t think so. If Pouliot comes into camp and gets outplayed the Oilers can still keep him up and work on a trade while sending down the better player for a time. Remember, the Oilers kept Jacques and sent out Stortini a year ago and often the player making the team out of training camp spends extended periods in the pressbox and loses his job to a farm hand who is shooting lights out in the AHL.

Both Marc Pouliot and Rob Schremp have been passed by other forwards (Gagner, Cogliano and Nilsson just a season ago) but this season seems to have them in something of a head to head battle. MacT’s words yesterday re:Schremp tell us this is a completely different TC (last season whenever anyone asked the coach about Schremp the word “injury” was soon to follow) for him and there is most certainly a window of opportunity.

Part of that scenario may involve Marc Pouliot moving to another NHL city.

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20 Responses to "Flush Pouliot?"

  1. DeBakey says:

    “MacT’s words yesterday re:Schremp”

    And it was Rishaug who asked the question.
    The first and longest question in that
    11-minute scrum was about a guy who may never help an NHL team win anything.
    Christ, its mind boggling.

    As for Pouliot,
    there is no doubt they like what he brings,
    when he brings it.
    And, for his sake,
    he better bring it, and bring it hard,
    starting at 11:29 this morning.

  2. Lowetide says:

    DeBakey: I think the problem for Pouliot may be in what Rishaug was hinting at yesterday. MacT has seen Pouliot for several TC’s and at some point would have drawn the conclusion he is what he is.

    So, if you’ve concluded that, and you have Schremp who was coming off surgery a year ago and Brule who was a high pick and your front office traded Torres to acquire, well that’s a lot of things in play that don’t really favor Pouliot.

    We’re counting on Rishaug to have picked up something in the hallway here, and maybe it was MacT trying to motivate (you never know) but either way this will be two TC’s in a row where Pouliot looks to be born under a bad sign.

    Last year, iirc, he was playing RW with “distant bell” linemates for much of TC. Although he did have a pretty good Joey Moss game.

  3. Ribs says:

    …to the effect that he felt the Oilers’ brass wouldn’t be terribly upset to see the likes of Schremp and Brule force their way onto the roster at the expense of Marc Pouliot.”?

    Why would they be terribly upset? Schremp and Brule have always been said to have much larger upsides than a guy like Pouliot would have. You’d think the coaching staff would be ecstatic if either of them started living up to what they were drafted for.

    Sounds like MacT just stating the obvious again.

    I can’t believe you sustained from making the Poo header, LT. Good on you. Hah.

  4. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    Pouliot has already put up a full season worth of games so he better do more than just tie Schremp.

    I think he should almost be pushing Cogliano, Gagner, Brodziak and Nilsson. Not quite there but close.

    If he isn’t clearly better than a kid who has only played 3 NHL games I think it’s time to cut bait.

    If Pouliot is smart he will drop the mitts, get shit kicked and show MAC that he is ready to go to war.

  5. Dennis says:

    I thought pretty much the same thing after I read the comments on Schremp in today’s dailies.

    MacT seems pleased that he put the work in and said he had a real chance to make the club and the last time anything that positive was said about Pouliot was at the end of the ’07 season when MacT said he’d had the club made for the ’08 season.

    Schremp’s nice and shiny and has some damn fine PP stats from the A and while that stuff normally doesn’t impress MacT — and we’ve got enough incumbants who can play those songs that it really shouldn’t impress him — 78′s also been around awhile and hasn’t really grabbed on.

    Plus, you had those rumors that MP balked at the Carbonneau comparisons and maybe that didn’t help him either.

    Finally, though his GAON/60 isn’t in the least impressive, it should be mentioned that the Oil probably think Brodziak can do the Pouliot role right now.

    Finally, I promise;), if Schremp can put up some points with the big club then at season’s end you can trade Nilsson for a good dman or Cogliano for a Really good dman.

  6. spOILer says:

    I'd be okay with Pouliot, Nilsson & Grebs for Madden, Salvador, & a good pick. Y'know, if we're going to take a run at it this year. Hamhuis or Seabrook might be obtainable.

    The goal seems to be first in the div.

    If the Oil are going to be serious about that, they'd might as well be serious about the playoffs.

    If JDD plays decently the first couple of months, we're going to see Roli dumped at the earliest opp, possibly even an attempt by waiver wire.

    I think Schremp will get his shot this year, but they might want to see if he can tear up the A for the first month or two with his newfound strength and good habits.

  7. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    Cole Horc Hemm
    Nill Gags 44
    Penn Cogs Fern
    More Brod Stor

    You have a 1st line that can play against anyone a 3rd line that could be a 1st line on some nights and probably the best 4th line in the league. You also have a 2nd line that at the very least will destroy softies.

  8. doritogrande says:

    say no to mike johnson:

    I didn’t know Sheldon Souray played wing! Awesome!

    All good ribbing aside, Schremp is now 88.

  9. Ribs says:

    Now I’m having scary thoughts of a nasty Penner Cole Souray forward line….in Mr. Regehr’s corner of the ice.

  10. Schitzo says:

    Just got back from TC. Pouliot and Schremp were both on the blue team.

    Robbie was playing RW with Cogs and Cole, had an assist and didn’t look out of place on that line. Really noticed his work protecting the puck, and didn’t notice his skating as being unusually bad.

    Pouliot was playing with… christ, some rotation of Lerg, Cornet, Eberle, Rohlfs, etc.

    He didn’t look terrible, but didn’t show a lot either. Was winning draws clean (against the O’Marras and Brules, no NHL centres on team white). Was a little bit physical, didn’t create anything but didn’t give anything back either. Low-event really is a good way to describe him (sans one fucking boneheaded giveaway at the blueline).

    I find it interesting that Schremp and Brule got the NHL linemates on their respective teams, and Pouliot got the leftovers.

  11. Schitzo says:

    One additional thought – man, is Cole a beauty. He was steamrolling people and snarling for rebounds all scrimmage. I can only imagine how he plays when it matters.

  12. Schitzo says:

    Hell, according to HFBoards, the goal I missed while chasing my brat up and down the aisles was from Schremp. I’ll upgrade him to A+ on the afternoon, now!

  13. Asiaoil says:

    Sure MAP has to perform…..but…..we have an over-abundance of small offensive center/wingers: Gagner, Cogs, Nilsson, Schremp, Brule. That’s where the competition lies IMHO and Schremp is in tough there no matter what MacT says. Schremp is the guy traded at the end of camp if Brule does anything at all to suggest that he’ll be ready to contribute after a year in the AHL. No way he’s is or ever will be better than Gags, Cogs and Nilsson – so the house is full.

    We have far fewer bigger, defensively responsible guys who can actually take a faceoff: Horcoff, MAP, Brodziak, OMarra. We cant afford to lose any of these guys except OMarra without a similar of better player coming back in return – and that still does nothing to rescue Schremp from being the 4th guy coming late to a table with 3 chairs.

  14. Traktor says:

    If Pouliot’s potential is a 3rd line C tommorow then why not just sign Smoke and have a 3rd line C today?

    Either develop Schremp or Brule or a kid with big upside or go out and sign a vet C. There is no point in developing Pouliot when we can land Pouliot 3 years from now for free or a mid round pick.

  15. trader says:

    Schitzo said: Robbie was playing RW with Cogs and Cole,

    Just being picky but Cole was on the right side with Schremp as the LW & yes Cole is a beauty.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Ribs: I thought about it. :-)

  17. Asiaoil says:

    Good to see Schremp play well – but somebody is trade bait – you simply cant play all of Gagner, Cogs, Nilsson, Schremp, Brule…plus Eberle in the pipeline. We are set up to trade some youth for an impact vet and some of these young guys going the other way: Schremp, Nilsson, Chorney, Smid, JDD.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Agreed, Asia. I think a Smid, Schremp + pick combination is a very nice deadline cluster.

    Certainly superior to Rita + Salmelainen + 1st and Lowe kicked ass with that asset group.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    Aw for the love of Jari. One goal in a scrimmage and now he’s hockey jebus again.

    Why? I don’t want to put up with this shit anymore. Please just trade sugartits and give us the peace we so desperately seek.

  20. Dennis says:

    When you think about what Glencross added to the 51-46 combo — and those guys seemed destined to start together again — then a guy like Brule almost seems like a much more highly touted version of Curtis.

    Granted, he won’t equal the GlenX ’08 shooting pct. but he crashes and bangs and runs around a little — from what I read — and that seemed to work for the Brodtini duo last year.

    Anyway, we read today that 78 was thinner and quicker than he’d been in camp’s past so this seems like a clue as to why he hasn’t always been in the good books.

    We already read that Schremp’s been playing LW so that puts him and 78 in direct comp for the last spot on the 4th line.

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