Nevermore

Lots of rage amongst certain corners of Oiler nation this evening as a quote before tonight’s game has caused outrage of epic proportions.

To begin, we quote MacT:

“I guess every time we call somebody up we’ve got to explain why it’s not Robbie, but the bottom line is it’s up to Robbie to be a decent player down there. We all know what he can do, he’s got decent hands, he can work a powerplay okay, but he’s slow, he’s not a physical player, he’s soft at this level. There are a lot of things in his game he needs to address before he becomes that player who gets called up. It’s getting to the point where you’ve gotta be honest: he’s not helping them particularly down there right now and there’s no reason to think he’ll be able to come up here and help us.

In his last 13 AHL games, Schremp is 2-3-5 and minus 9. I don’t know many who suggested that Schremp would be an obvious callup when Stortini went down with an injury.

I also want to make note of Redline Report and their draft day call on Schremp:

Huge talent level, probably the best of any North American in this draft. Tremendous hands and magic with the puck. Average skating keeps him from being a truly special offensive player, yet still can be explosive. Unfortunately that usually only happens when he gets lots of ice to work with. Solid leg strength and low centre of gravity make him difficult to separate from the puck. Can make good d-men look stupid 1-on-1. Selfish and petulant with an attitude of entitlement; difficult teammate. Always looks to be focus of attention, but wants to make things happen and many times does. Unafraid of traffic. Lacks defensive intensity and off-ice issues are a concern, but abilities are first rate. If you can get past the baggage, he’s your man. Projection: Top flight playmaker or total bust.

It should be noted that while Redline was not a fan they ranked him as the 19th best prospect available to NHL teams for 2004.

After he was drafted, Schremp set about working on his areas of weakness and advancing his cause with the big club. You could make the case he was closest to making the Oilers in his first two TC (before turning pro). His skating and compete level are still at issue, leading us to ask what is the future for Rob Schremp? It’s clear that with each passing month there are fewer who care and most important those in a position to advance his career have little concern about his frame of mind or mincing words. This is either a giant kick in the ass or epic indifference. Either way (quoting Redline in another article on Schremp) it ain’t good.

Finally, I’d like to put two quotes from Craig MacTavish back to back, one from today about Schremp and another from a few years ago about another first rounder (Jani Rita). They are very close in spirit.

  • MacT on Rita: “He’s seemingly been at the same state here the last couple or three years. You keep expecting him to progress to the point where he’s established himself as an NHL player. Time’s running out for him, and the organization as well, in terms of us having to give him a shot, having to give him a look. We have to make a decision on him.”
  • MacT on Schremp: “There are a lot of things in his game he needs to address before he becomes that player who gets called up. It’s getting to the point where you’ve gotta be honest: he’s not helping them particularly down there right now and there’s no reason to think he’ll be able to come up here and help us.”

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170 Responses to "Nevermore"

  1. HBomb says:

    My position on this is simple: what was said by MacT about Rob Schremp might very well be true. But, if the guy isn’t in the org’s long term plans (which he clearly isn’t), why say that and torpedo whatever trade value he might have?

    Makes zero sense. Let sleeping dogs lie, as they say.

  2. RiversQ says:

    I have lots of issues with that line of questioning, Hbomb.

    1) Do you want straight answers or not?

    2) I doubt it, but they could be holding out for Schremp turning it around and therefore they’re giving him another kick in the pants.

    3) Torpedo nothing. I highly doubt anyone is trading for Rob Schremp without at least seeing game tape of his NHL games this year and at least a handful of AHL games. They will know what Schremp is and they’ll either agree with MacT or not.

  3. bookie says:

    My position on this is simple: what was said by MacT about Rob Schremp might very well be true. But, if the guy isn’t in the org’s long term plans (which he clearly isn’t), why say that and torpedo whatever trade value he might have?

    So, essentially, either MacT is an idiot OR he is in the long term plans and the goal is to call him out just like Penner (worked for 2 weeks) and Nilson (worked for a bit as well).

  4. quain says:

    My guess is MacT isn’t an idiot AND he doesn’t give a damn about Schremp’s trade value. It’s not like Lowe/Tambs are making use of the trade route to send him any help, anyways.

    And I’m with RiversQ here, the straight answers are nice and I highly doubt there was some GM ready to ship us a second rounder until a hardworking young intern came running in, shouting that he had to read the latest wires and what MacT said about Schremp.

  5. RiversQ says:

    Bookie:

    There is a third option…

    …it doesn’t matter.

  6. bookie says:

    When he was last brought up, MacT said “We are going to give him a good long opportunity here” (or something like that).

    Schemp played 2 really good games doing everything he was asked. On his third game, he backed off a little from the corners, etc. In game four, he acted like a superstar, but forgot to bring the talent.

    He went down and has sulked. MacT said they sent him down because they needed grit players for the 3rd and 4th line, but that as soon as they needed some top two line skill that they would call him up. I think MacT meant that, BUT Schremp went back to the AHL and pouted and has not the job down there.

    I think Schremp believes his fans and is blaming the Oilers for his being in the AHL. Reality, on the other hand, suggests that he would get little else from another team.

  7. bookie says:

    Rivers Q – good point, it probably doesn’t matter (I hadn’t read your post when I had written mine)

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    HB – trade value has little to do with what a coach says about a player. If that were the case, Pavel Bure should have been waived by Brian Burke, and Fleury should retire given what the coach in Pittsburgh has said about him.

  9. Vic Ferrari says:

    I didn’t catch the game tomight, but did catch Stauffer on CHED after the game.

    Apparently Truitt (sp?) is a defense-first coach who stifles offensive talent.

    It’s those effin’ coaches again, damnit (I’m punching my fist right now, every bit as pissed as Stauffer!). Jesus, it’s like they don’t even play video games or somethin’.

  10. misfit says:

    I’ve got to agree with Rivers here. I can’t imagine anybody has been asking about Robbie.

    Potulny has been playing well and was obviously the best choice to be called up. MacT’s comments seem more like frustration on having to defend calling someone up over Schremp every time than anything, and frankly I don’t blame him.

    It would almost be worth letting him go for whatever return possible (future considerations) just to have everyone stop talking about him.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    Mac sent Horcoff out for the final two shifts of the game. On those shifts, Reddox made three plays that Schremp wouldn’t have even considered making, let alone actually making them. That speaks volumes – the red-headed stepchild with little skill but big effort is playing on the first line at the end of a one goal NHL game. Captain American and his thong can’t be bothered with effort in the A.

  12. quain says:

    Rob Schremp would be a better player and Edmonton would be tied in the standings with San Jose if Craig MacTavish knew how many ties Billy Moores owned. Time to fire the coach.

    I really hate Crystal Leriger.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    It would almost be worth letting him go for whatever return possible (future considerations) just to have everyone stop talking about him.

    I’ve been asking for this for two years and made it the only thing on my Christmas list this year.

    Santa sucks.

  14. Coach pb9617 says:

    It might be worth mentioning that Wild-Peckham has now become the regular pairing at Springfield. Chorney is still buried.

  15. RiversQ says:

    As an aside, I just had a look at Fisher’s underlying numbers. You’d definitely be buying low, but it doesn’t look entirely sustainable IMO.

    He’s pushing the puck the right way according to the faceoffs and he’s got a PDO number of .964 at ES to go with a personal shooting percentage way below his career average. He also seems to be shooting at a decent rate based on his career numbers. The fly in the ointment is that his Corsi is pretty crummy at -46 on a team that is -57.

    So, I’d call him a good bet to bounce back but to what exactly? He doesn’t seem like a guy that’s worth a $4.2MM cap hit to me. His best years are pretty mediocre – definitely not really close to Horcoff by any stretch as some have suggested.

  16. Peter says:

    MacT didn’t say anything that was not readily visible.

    Gagner passed Schremp for a roster spot.

    As did Cogliano.

    As did Nilsson (PR concerning the Smyth trade may or may not have something to do with that).

    Brule – arguably – has passed him.

    Potulny has passed him.

    All five in a more or less offensive role. That leaves out Reddox, who doesn’t project to be a scorer.

    What does that tell the casual observer? That Schremp’s as stagnant as a billabong in the dry season. And the crocs a circling – crikey!

  17. Lord Bob says:

    The point isn’t whether or not MacTavish is wrong. The problem is that what MacTavish did was utterly classless, utterly useless, and possibly counterproductive. For gods’ sake, he’s ragging in players who he doesn’t even play.

  18. Paul says:

    Also, with all the chances the kids have had since Sept 06, why is it that Schremp gets sent down after a bad game and isn’t given another chance? Frankly, I’d probably sulk too, especially given the way he played in his first two games. Surely there is a better way to send the message than a one-way trip to Springfield.

    Also, one of MacTavish’s strengths is apparently being able to push the right buttons to motivate players, so why is it that he didn’t realize that a guy like Rob Schremp would sulk after being sent back down to the AHL? I mean, If you were predicting what Rob Schremp’s reaction would be (not what you’d like it to be or even what it should be, but just, based on what we know about the guy, what his most likely reaction would be), wouldn’t you assume that he’d go into pout-mode?

  19. Oiler Mag says:

    I would be nice if we could fill a need by trading Robbie.
    Do you think Sutter would do:
    Schremp + Moreau for GlenX?

  20. Yeti says:

    I believe it was Gregor a little while back that stated in his blog that Schremp had not been asked about by any other GMs. Seems that others don’t exactly rate him, which gives some credence to the MacT line. After all, if another GM really thought he was the deal, they could probably have acquired him for relatively minor assets.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Sutter sent Tanguay away, so Schremp doesn’t get to back the car out of the driveway on a Sutter team.

    As Coach mentioned, the progress of Reddox is way more interesting. I have no idea if he’ll make it but the guy is fighting for the chance to play and to my mind didn’t leave a lot on the table after his shift tonight. He’s not showing up enough offensively but the Oilers have devoted quite a few ab’s to him this season.

    I think he might just be a useful player someday.

  22. quain says:

    I guess we should send MacT to remedial prospect handling lessons with Kevin Pendergast.

    “Golly, Schremp is playing poorly and the Falcons can’t win a game, but we’re really excited about his style, he plays bigger than he is, his compete is 110%, and we fully expect him to at least rival Wayne Gretzky, if not completely obliterate all of his records by the time he’s 26. We’re actually in the process of expanding the trophy case right now, given all the Stanley Cups that are about to fall into our lap. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the other stupid organizations for not drafting a world-class talent and letting him fall to us. Way to completely blow that draft year, guys, I hope you’re ready for the Oilers Dynasty Part 2.”

    If we could just get MacT to spew some shit like that I bet we could get Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar from the Kings.

  23. digger says:

    At least he was up here long enough to let the fans know that Fruity Pebbles is his favourite cereal. For all of his failings, you can’t take that away from him.

  24. HBomb says:

    I’m with Lord Bob here – what’s the point of saying it if it “doesn’t matter”?

    I don’t get why the media even asked the question of “what about Schremp?” (those guys probably should have figured it out by now that Captain America is NOT in the long term plans), and I do not get why MacT wouldn’t give a more cookie cutter answer.

    Even if all you could land for Schremp before yesterday was a 4th round pick, it’s better than the pile of beans you’d get for him today. You’d be lucky to fetch a 20 game Marty Reasoner rental for him now….

  25. Steve says:

    You’d be lucky to fetch a 20 game Marty Reasoner rental for him now….

    Wow – that’s Sergei Samsonov circa 2006 bad!

  26. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think MacT’s comments have an impact on Schremp’s TV. He is worth what Rita was worth spring 2006. Probably a little more.

  27. HBomb says:

    I don’t think MacT’s comments have an impact on Schremp’s TV. He is worth what Rita was worth spring 2006. Probably a little more.

    I hope that Dick Tarnstrom 2009 plays like Kurt Sauer, and that Cory Cross is played by Steve Staios.

  28. Tyler says:

    The point isn’t whether or not MacTavish is wrong. The problem is that what MacTavish did was utterly classless, utterly useless, and possibly counterproductive. For gods’ sake, he’s ragging in players who he doesn’t even play.

    I suspect that MacT gets asked about Schremp a lot more than we hear about. We probably hear the times in which he says something interesting. The times in which he does give the cookie cutter answer probably fall off the radar pretty quickly.

    Even if all you could land for Schremp before yesterday was a 4th round pick, it’s better than the pile of beans you’d get for him today. You’d be lucky to fetch a 20 game Marty Reasoner rental for him now….

    I think that there’s some onus on you to back this up H. The guy looks for all the world like a pretty good offensive player in the A who lacks the speed and the size to do it in the NHL. Have those guys traditionally drawn a lot of return? I can’t believe anyone is going to give a shit what MacT said about him.

    Also, with all the chances the kids have had since Sept 06, why is it that Schremp gets sent down after a bad game and isn’t given another chance?

    Those kids who can do more than just one thing are going to get more chances. A lot of them can fill different roles than Schremp. Here’s the list of guys in their first to third seasons, who were under the age of 25 for the Oilers since 2006-07. I don’t know who you can realistically complain got Schremp’s shot without having a skill set that’s obviously different.

  29. Scott says:

    HBomb,

    Do you really think that this significantly diminishes his trade value?

    In any trade, you’re giving something up in order to get something that you perceive is of more value. If the Oilers management has any conversation with another team that involves bartering over a fourth or fifth round pick for a prospect, this means that management thinks he’s pretty worthless.

    MacT’s comments jive with what he’s said and done in the past. Any other team knows that MacT thinks Robbie is a bad player. They’d only take him if they thought differently.

    But let’s say his commentary does effect the opinion of others. If anything, MacT’s commentary gives Robbie an excuse for sucking. Now, instead of playing poorly in Springfield, he’s been sulking because of the mean coach. MacT has provided an alternative narrative to “he sucks” which is probably a net plus for trade value.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    In light of the ‘outstanding’ management skills coming from Kevin Pendergrast, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish, which so many of us gush over in our collective desire to toe the line set out by this awesome collection of multiple cup winners…

    I would like to show my support for everything they have done for us grateful fans over the past years by being the first to say that Jordan Eberle already shows that he doesn’t have what it takes to succeed in the NHL. Too small, not enough desire, bad defensive skills, whatever.

    Now, all I need to do is wait 2-3 years and collect my OIlers Krusty the Klowe Koolaid badge, serial number 000001.

  31. Swabbubba says:

    oh my, Lets see Schremp gets called up looks not bad. Gets a couple points we need a grit player so see ya in a bit Robbie.
    He goes down craps the the bed is flinging crap at anything that moves. Has shown no leadership or drive to be a better person. Can U trade AHL players to Europe?

    I think this is to clear up any confusion for Robbie. The only person keeping Rob from the NHL is Rob. Light it up… or go to Europe they like soft players there
    But if we are going to do something we need 2 way players. This was a gamble by the Oilers and it looks like they are close to losing

  32. goldenchild says:

    hahahahahaha I missed all of this yesterday in my NFL Euphoria but lets just say these comments are the cherry on my Eagles NFC Championship Sunday. This fucker must have some PR team how is this a national story on TSN?
    Good on macT if this is the last stand go out on your terms.
    As far as his trade value I’m sure he is aware of what they have been offered for him and I doubt he has cost them anything here.

  33. Coach pb9617 says:

    Well, Jagr won’t be saving the bacon. He’ll come back to the league for the league minimum, but only for the Penguins. “I miss Mario and I owe Mario so much.”

  34. Kris says:

    MacT states: “There are a lot of things in his game he needs to address before he becomes that player who gets called up… he’s not helping them particularly down there right now and there’s no reason to think he’ll be able to come up here and help us.”

    Lord Bob Responds: “what MacTavish did was utterly classless, utterly useless, and possibly counterproductive”

    Ouch, LB. A bit hyperbolic, no?

    —–

    Meanwhile in springfield…

    Schremp: I iz score three goles. I iz gud!

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    He’s not showing up enough offensively but the Oilers have devoted quite a few ab’s to him this season.

    I think he might just be a useful player someday.

    Fernie only put up .37 PPG in his first half-season. Reddox is down at .21, but let’s see where he ends it.

  36. doritogrande says:

    Do we get any compensation if we don’t qualify Schremp as an RFA this coming offseason? Because he’s about to get passed on the offensive depth chart by both Jordan Eberle and Linus Omark.

    I’m with HBomb here, take whatever we can get for him and cut our losses. Seems to have worked pretty good for us regarding his long-time teammate Dan (Spengler sensation) Syvret.

  37. Black Dog says:

    Agreed on Reddox, LT. Its early early in his career but I think he’s Fernando redux. Really.

    As for Schremp, consider that Potulny is probably a better player and he netted Danny Syvret for the Flyers.

    My guess is low pick or another failed prospect would be the return.

  38. HBomb says:

    mc79 and Scott: I think my point is simply this – whatever Schremp fetches in a trade today is less than it would have fetched 3 days ago.

    And yes, it probably wouldn’t have been much. Saturday, I’d guess it’s a 3rd rounder, today, I’d say 5th rounder, if that. Finding a taker would also be more difficult.

    I’m not a Schremp apologist here either. I’ve been skeptical about his upside and where he fits in for quite awhile, and suggested the Oilers move him at several points in the past to help the team now because a) his value may have peaked and b) we had a glut of other guys coming along. Might be a simple case of a guy “dying on the vine”, even if he wasn’t the biggest and reddest tomato in the bunch.

    I still fail to see the point of a public crucifixition of the Hockey Jesus, no matter how true the comments MacT may be. Something like “we felt Potulny deserved a shot” or “Robbie’s not the type of player we need for our lineup right now” would probably have been sufficient.

    Right now, I’m a bit torqued at some idiot Bruins fan who called into 1260 this morning around 7:30am and was talking about how terrible the Oilers drafting has been since 2001. I’m pretty sure Lowetide was probably slamming his head into the steering wheel if he was listening at that time.

  39. CrazyCoach says:

    Digger your Fruity Pebbles line still has me laughing.

    I just sense that MacT may be a little frustrated by not only Schremp, but probably some antics behind the scenes from an agent who is seeing his meal ticket slowly melting away.

    Like pushy parents in minor hockey, agents somehow manage to find their ways into places they don’t belong, such as talking to a head coach. MacT might have had to deal with this since the call up and subsequent return to Springfield, and he’s now lashing out and sending a warning shot across the bow to Schremp and Co.

    What Schremp needs to realize is that his success/failure is directly tied to his effort and attitude. Perhaps a visit to a sports psychologist would do him wonders. He needs to realize that there might be maybe 5 teams interested in him, not 30.

  40. Ribs says:

    I always enjoy checking on Syvret when his name gets mentioned. He’s 25th in AHL scoring right now with 5 goals and 30 assists.

    Poor Robbie sits in 99th spot with 2 less goals and 10 less assists.

    Danny’s played 9 more games than Robbie, but c’mon. Schremp plays on the first line and runs the powerplay in Springfield.

  41. godot10 says:

    MacT gave Shremp a public positive review when he send Schremp down. All that positive reinforcemnt got was Schremp sulking in Springfield.

    He did it the “critics” way, and it didn’t work.

    Blasting him might make Schremp play better in Springfield out of spite, which might raise his trade value.

  42. Kris says:

    HBomb:

    “mc79 and Scott: I think my point is simply this – whatever Schremp fetches in a trade today is less than it would have fetched 3 days ago.”

    It’s an interesting point, and well stated, but why should we believe it’s true?

    Do other GM’s ever base their evaluations of players around the league on comments from other teams’ coaches? Do such comments have weight? Are there examples of this occuring? Could Mact and Lowellini improve Schremp’s value with public comments designed to “fool” other GM’s. (I doubt this is true, but could be convinced you’re right with some evidence.)

  43. Traktor says:

    Yet if a player said to the media “MacTavish hasn’t had any success as a coach besides the cup run. He’s never had success on the PP, he’s mishandled players like Cole, Penner and Pisani, and he continually makes unorthodox decisions that had a adverse affect on the standings.” I guarantee everyone would be up in arms calling this player a classless bastard (regardlezz if iz tha truthz!!!!)

  44. hunter1909 says:

    When over several years a fairly long succession of players and draft picks are first mishandled, and then run out of town on the proverbial oily rail, no one in their right mind is going to want to play for this team.

    The Oilers have just made it official: This is a bush league franchise.

  45. bookie says:

    In many ways, the real question here is if another approach (from day 1) or another set of individuals (different coaches in the A, different management, etc) would have got something more from Robbie Schremp.

    My bet is that Robbie Schremp believes that is the case and that somehow he has been buried under a group of people that stifle his enthusiasm and his talent.

    It is impossible to know I would guess, but I suspect that the outcome would be similar in many organizations. Perhaps with a slower team, he may have looked better and gotten 10-15 games on a second or third line after which maybe he gets some veteran advice and starts to figure it out.

    Or maybe some of the posters are correct and MacT and co. are only able to develop certain kinds of talent while totally messing up other kinds (Schremp, Garon, etc.). While every system/coach will work better for some players than others, I think those with real drive and talent will push through.

  46. bookie says:

    When over several years a fairly long succession of players and draft picks are first mishandled, and then run out of town on the proverbial oily rail, no one in their right mind is going to want to play for this team.

    Hunter – just for fun why don’t you provide us with a list of mishandled players and draft picks.

  47. Traktor says:

    Kyle Wellwood is on pace for close to 30 goals this year. Does anyone even bother to suggest he would do the same playing under MacT? Not a chance.

  48. quain says:

    Dustin Penner would be on pace for 30 goals if he had Kyle Wellwood’s shooting percentage, so I’m not sure what you’re suggesting.

    Do you want him to trade for the Sedins, and then have Penner stand at the side of the net for tap-ins on the powerplay?

  49. Kris says:

    Traktor: I wouldn’t call Schremp “classless” if he publically criticized MacT’s coaching. I might call him “suicidal”, though, given that MacT has final say over whether he plays. (This is why players don’t answer and don’t get asked questions about their coaches, I suppose.)

    Listen, MacT answered a question about Schremp truthfully. (3 goals in 30 games, BTW) Sure, he could have been more euphemistic, e.g. “Schremp’s doing great, but his all around defensive game at the AHL level needs improvement if he’s going to play here.” But it’s not like he threw the kid under the bus.

    The only thing MacT said that came close to crossing the line was “he’s not helping his AHL team.” But given Schremp’s craptacular play as of late, I’d say that ‘not helping the team win’ is more of a light kick in the pants than a hard slap in the face.

  50. Yeti says:

    Traktor – Kyle Wellwood is on pace for close to 30 goals this year. Does anyone even bother to suggest he would do the same playing under MacT? Not a chance.

    IIRC, Wellwood was dispatched to the minors early in the season and no team poached him off of waivers because his value was so low. He was only recalled by Vancouver out of the desperation of injuries. Since then he has done well. However, that hardly smacks of a loving and caring approach – rather isn’t something that would fit well with the MacT approach?

    I think there’s little doubt that Schremp would have once again been called up for Nilsson’s spot if he hadn’t been so woeful this last while in Sprinfield.

  51. CrazyCoach says:

    Wellwood plays softer minutes than his belly during training camp.

    I’m not a huge fan of MacT, but he has every right to call out players who are not performing. That is his job. No one would ever credit MacT when Schremp got his first NHL point, but he sure takes the blame when Capt. America misses his defensive assignment in the neutral zone. That is the tough part of coaching.

    There is something more to this story than simply MacT calling out an underachiever.

  52. Traktor says:

    JDD is 1-4 in Springfield. I’m surprised he didn’t get called out for not helping the Falcons win games.

  53. Lord Bob says:

    If Dustin Penner and Kyle Wellwood had a hot-dog eating contest, Dustin would not win.

    Moreover, Wellwood’s got a lot of goals – and we always knew he had great hands – but his peripheral numbers are Macintyreian. It’s good times now for the Dys, but next year when Wellwood has one goal and three assists through thirty-five games, I will sit back and smile.

  54. Traktor says:

    I agree that Wellwood is a shit player.

    My point was more Alain Vigneault is a wonderful coach that is getting something out of nothing.

    Wellwood would never have that success under MacT and we all know it.

  55. Traktor says:

    “Do you want him to trade for the Sedins, and then have Penner stand at the side of the net for tap-ins on the powerplay?”

    I already have Horcoff for that role.

  56. quain says:

    Yeah, LB, except it has been scientifically proven and clinically tested that being nice to fat, lazy hockey players causes their shooting percentage to go way up. As long as AV knows that, Kyle Wellwood should be Ted Williams for the next decade.

    Wellwood for the Triple Crown in 2014. Book it.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    bookie – It wouldn’t be fun for me to rehash the workings of this sad, sick franchise.

    What’s my idea of fun, would to be see Katz simply fire the entire front office, then invite them to re-apply for their old jobs.

    Enjoy the rest of the season, though.

  58. Kyle says:

    I’m wondering what type of person was sitting on their couch thinking ‘the Oilers have a lot of problems, but I think probably the best solution at this juncture is Rob Schremp.’

    I mean seriously, what is the logic going on there?

  59. Kris says:

    Given that this seems to be the final chapter in the novel that is Schremp, I think it’s apt to make a quick remark about why Schremp has garnered so much love and attention. (After all, he’s now played 178 games, and has proven that he is one of many 20 goal guys in the AHL. But he still is constantly discussed!)

    I think pathological Schremp-love is best explained by what psychologists call identification, and transference.

    Many men will subconsciously identify with Schremp -or the public idea of Schremp- easily: “he’s a raw talent who can do great things but most people don’t see that,” “he hasn’t succeeded, but it’s because he hasn’t been given the opportunity to succeed, but if he were, he’d be great.” “I’m just like Schremp in a way” That is, I would guess that most people afflicted with Schremp-love have high self-esteem and fantasies of greatness, but they feel underappreciated and/or held back from succeeding.

    But this sort of identification is common enough; what’s really interesting is the transferrence.

    Transferrence occurs when you have an interpersonal problem, with someone close to you, which affects your self esteem, which you can’t get over, often because the person has died, left, is emotionally distant, etc. So, you find someone who will play that person’s role and you “transfer” your old feelings onto this new person.

    Well, Schremp has a conflict with MacT that mirrors a lot of issues people have with their parents, fathers especially:: “MacT, i.e. Dad, doesn’t appreciate me. MacT wants me to be a defensive player, even though he knows that’s not what I’m suited for; i.e., Dad wants me to be a plumber even though he knows I should be a guitarist.”

    Thus, people hope for Schremp to show MacT up, to prove that he was wrong, and that their fathers were wrong, thereby helping them to feel better about not having shown their own fathers up.

    It’s all transferrence. Seriously.

    And don’t say it’s all psychobabble; the rest of you are probably identifying with MacT and transferring problems onto Schremp. :)

  60. Kris says:

    BTW, that last post is supposed to be fun. Please don’t take it too seriousy.

  61. hunter1909 says:

    Kris: That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, and contains a lot of truth.

  62. oilerdago says:

    Rarely does something getting Oilfans stoked as Schremp.

    Traktor – am guessing you’re sarcastic about JDD. He had one bad game (got pulled after 4 goals in 2 periods) but otherwise was solid.

    A little perspective. Schremp has as many goals at this point in the season as Trukno, McDonald and Chorney and nobody is suggesting any of those guys are ready for the NHL.

    It’s a coaches job to find the right buttons to push for each player – understanding that each one is different. If fans can’t figure that one out, they are the ones with the problem, not the coach.

    I’m not here to defend MacT (as much as it looks like it). There is plenty to criticize him over. But this is not it. He’s tried other things to no avail, might as well use the last bullet in the gun and see what happens.

  63. PDO says:

    I’m wondering what type of person was sitting on their couch thinking ‘the Oilers have a lot of problems, but I think probably the best solution at this juncture is Rob Schremp.’

    I mean seriously, what is the logic going on there?

    I’d guess they’re the same people that think trading Gilbert and Horcoff for Spezza would solve all our problems.

  64. hunter1909 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the anti-Schremp=pro MacT brigade are on or near enough to being on the wrong side of 40, with teenagers starting to question their authority.

    If we therefore ‘transfer’ Kris’s logic from sons with father issues, into fathers with teenaged son+daughter issues we might be able to catch everyone.

  65. Lord Bob says:

    “The Oilers are boring. Say what you will about Rob Schremp, but he is not boring. The Oilers should recall Rob Schremp.”

    That’s my logic and I’m sticking to it.

  66. Traktor says:

    Edmonton fans witnessed that JFJ sucks. They witnessed that Pouliot sucks. All the Schremp fans want is to watch Schremp fail rather than take the coaches word for it. That’s basically it. I don’t even know a single Schremp fan but I know a couple dozen fans who’re curious and don’t take the coaches word as gospel. Nobody thinks the kid is anything special they just want to see that he sucks with their own eyes.

  67. George B says:

    I am so on the fence with this kid.

    It would be so much easier if it was all his doing and not partially the org’s handling of him.

    Robbie Schremp is good enough to play 10-20 games in the NHL on the top two lines. He is more qualified to play on the first line in the NHL than Liam Reddox.

    Robbie Schremp accounted himself well in his brief call up. For the coach to publicly call him out when he is in the minors is ridiculous.

    I can’t see why this team will give all sorts of leeway to average players that have decent positioning but about the same talent level.

    Pouliot, Moreau, Pisani, Reddox, Brodziak, etc etc etc….

    As long as they are “trying” to check the guy in the defensive zone when the guy is putting one shelf on Roli, then their spot is assured.

    If the Oilers are “mildy” interested in Spezza, I wonder how long he is a healthy scratch for not meeting his defensive obligations.

    In 1984 if MacT is coach, half the team would be jettisoned so the Craig Ramseys and Doug Jarvis’ of the world could work their defensive magic.

    I am tired of this coach and administration.

  68. Kris says:

    “they just want to see that he sucks with their own eyes.”

    3 goals

  69. Traktor says:

    “A little perspective. Schremp has as many goals at this point in the season as Trukno, McDonald and Chorney”

    Mike Grier has the same amount of goals as Joe Thornton.

  70. Master Lok says:

    Wow Kris, you’ve described BBO to a “T”. It all makes sense now.

  71. Tyler says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the anti-Schremp=pro MacT brigade are on or near enough to being on the wrong side of 40, with teenagers starting to question their authority.

    I’ve been around here longer than you and know as a fact that this isn’t true – tons of the guys who aren’t wild about him haven’t been wild about him since he was drafted, and for the same reasons. I wasn’t even 25 when I first looked at him and went “Meh”.

    I thought that Kris’ post was hilarious but I’m not sure that it’s accurate. I think that a lot of the anti-Schremp contingent, here at least, could give two shits about his attitude. For me, Sean Avery is about where I draw the line on athletes being a pain in the ass – if you can play, I’m not going to worry too much if you’re a pain in the ass.

    It’s a sliding scale of course – the better you play, the more of a pain in the ass you can be. Schremp just does not, IMO, play well enough to be a pain in the ass. I’m not even saying that he’s a pain in the ass to coach; he’s probably just a pain in the ass because 80% of Edmonton seems to have never heard of Corey Locke and the hundreds of players just like him.

  72. Master Lok says:

    I suspect it went something along the way like this.

    Day 1 Media: So Robbie didn’t make the team again, why is that?
    MacT: Well, MacIntyre showed a lot of fight, and we’ve needed more toughness…

    Day 37 Media: Pisani is hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Day 46 Media: MacIntyre got hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Day 59 Media: Gagner got hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Day 61 Media: Nilsson got hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Day 64 Media: So you called up Robbie – what did you think of his play?
    Mact: Well, he showed some real compete, and played the best…

    Day 78 Media: So you’re sending down Robbie, what happened?
    Mact: He show that he can play well and if there’s room in the top 6…

    Day 98 Media: So Hemsky got hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Day 110 Media: So Nilsson got hurt, are you calling up Robbie?

    Mact: FFS! ******

  73. CrazyCoach says:

    I know as a coach you allow some leeway with your players when they are playing well. An extra trip to McD’s on the bus ride home does wonders for team morale.

    Individual players need some space and some leeway, but like it was said above, IF you produce and are worth the headache. Schremp doesn’t produce enough to even warrant a trip into the 7-11.

  74. Jonathan says:

    Kris: That’s a great post.

    I’m not strictly anti-Schremp, but I’m pretty vanilla on the guy. He’s a good example of the suspect/prospect type player that sometimes works out in the end because he fills a team need or he transforms his game (btw Hunter, I’m 22).

    I prefer it when a coach lies about a player but his actions make it clear what he really thinks ;)

  75. Black Dog says:

    We’re talking millions of words typed about this guy now, no?

    He’s got terrific hands, yes, and he had a nice couple of games when he came up and then a tough one against SJ, much like his whole team, and then he stank out the joint in game #4.

    I guess if you’re a guy who has been trying ot make the club for years and you have a chance and you know you have a lot of competition for the job why would you have such a tough time realizing that that fourth game was an important one for you, esp. after you have just come off a tough game.

    I think its all moot now anyways – who has jumped past him now? Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Brule, Potulny. Too many guys to get by.

    And of course the same old bugaboo – he has such a narrow slot to fit into – soft minutes offence. That’s all.

    They’ll move him at the deadline and we’ll see what happens. I suspect he will get a chance somewhere.

    He may succeed and he may fail but I suspect he’s a dime a dozen type guy. Hell look at Potulny, 2 assists last night in his first game. Will he be around in a week?

  76. CrazyCoach says:

    Jonathan as a coach you are always honest with your players, and they know it. The only dishonesty occurs when coaches speak to media for fear of destroying the team.

  77. Jonathan says:

    Incidentally, I don’t think an argument can be made that Schremp isn’t an impact player offensively in the AHL; he’s in the middle of an ugly slump, but his numbers last year and pre-callup show that he can get the job done offensively at the AHL level.

    In my mind, he’s the mirror-image of Tim Sestito; Sestito plays nasty AHL minutes, but he makes Sami Pahlsson look like a dynamic offensive player. Schremp scores, but he’s playing super-soft minutes.

    One of the big perception problems with this organization is that they do cheat to defense; there’s the odd exception (Carter, Bergeron) but that’s how they feel, which is why they don’t rate Schremp. Fans, on the other hand, cheat lopsidedly to offense (he’s -35, but he scored 30!) and as a result it’s no wonder fans and the organization are on a different page. It’s also why Liam Reddox won’t ever be recognized for what he is; a lower-tier prospect with a good shot at an NHL career in a bottom-six role. The org loves him (he’s responsible!) while fans hate him (first line – I’m a better option!)

    Of course, I’m overstating it, but I really think that’s the basic case. And it’s hardly unique to this market. It’s a bloody good thing that Benoit Pouliot wasn’t an Oilers’ pick.

  78. hunter1909 says:

    I’m a big picture kind of a guy.

    The big picture of the Oilers is one of a team that got gang banged 20 years ago, and has never recovered.

    The current coach and front office have produced essentially the same crap team as I’ve been puking over since the Messier trade.

  79. Jonathan says:

    CrazyCoach: Sorry, I should have been clearer. I don’t mind a coach lying to the media.

    I’d like a coach who sounds like Prendergast with the media but acted in a sane fashion on the ice and behind the scenes.

  80. Traktor says:

    OK so Reddox might be a useful player one day (I called him a lock to be an NHLer in LT’s prospect thread). That’s great. But what’s the kids upside?

    To me he has bottom 6 player written all over him.

    What I don’t understand is why would an organization waste time and resources developing Reddox when they could pick up Reddox 5 years from now tomorrow for a 3rd or 4th round pick?

    That makes zero sense to me.

    There is absolutely nothing unique about Reddox. At least Poo has size.

  81. Traktor says:

    We have an soft and undersized top 6 yet here we are moving mountains to develop a 5’10 grinder that can’t scrap.

    You know no matter what (unless we move some of Gagner, Nilsson, Cogliano) that we’re going to have to make some moves and add size in the bottom 6. Therefor developing Reddox is the opposite of playing with house money. Even if he keeps climbing the latter he will eventually be moved to address the lack of balance on the team.

    This team would be much smarter putting their marbles in Guillaume Lefebvre’s basket. At least if he pans out he has potential to offset some weaknesses in the organization. Reddox is will be an NHL player but just further unbalances the pendulum.

    This organization has absolutely zero foresight.

  82. DeBakey says:

    “every time we call somebody up we’ve got to explain why it’s not Robbie”

    The quote is incorrect.
    But it’s better than the one that was in the Journal this morning, which completely changed the impetus of MacT’s words:

    “Every time we call somebody up, we have a tendency to wonder why it’s not Robbie,”

    What MacT actually said is:

    “Every time we call somebody up, we gotta defend it why it’s not Robbie”

    A much stronger statement – it identifies the problem; the “Wha’ about Robbie crowd”.

    And for them
    his response laid out in no uncertain terms where Schremp stands with the organization.

  83. bookie says:

    I’m wondering what type of person was sitting on their couch thinking ‘the Oilers have a lot of problems, but I think probably the best solution at this juncture is Rob Schremp.’

    I don’t think many are suggesting that, but rather they are suggesting that this organization caters to certain types of players in development and actually harms others. Those making this arguement (and just to note, I don’t quite fully buy it) feel that this is a a Lowe/Buchberger/MacT kind of team that prioritizes a certain ‘style’ of play and a certain attitude.

    Now, we have all grown up watching loads of movies where ‘try’ and the right attitude overcomes everything else (See all of the Rocky movies for a perfect example). In reality though, there are some players with less of a work ethic, but who still do pretty well at this level.

    IF this coach/team/system fails to get the most out of the Pitkinens, the Schremps, the Penners, and the Nillsons then we are doomed because other teams manage to do so a bit better. On the other hand, perhaps the Oilers are as good as any team at this and every team has its ‘Schremps’ (and its Traktors for that matter) who fans feel are getting screwed by the system.

    Now, I am not sure if any of the above is true, but I do feel that there are some players who see the oilers as a bit juvenile in their behaviour. Some players (perhaps Peca) are more businesslike and less about the TV movie ‘all for the team’ Sourey like. At the same time, when this ‘togetherness’ works, it leads to great results.

    I better stop typing now…too much coffee this morning is making me ramble a lot…

  84. rider guy says:

    Say what you want about MacT’s comments about Schremp (and I don’t have a problem with them at all), it’s worth considering Mact’s record when it comes to evaluating young talent.

    In all the years that he’s been here, the only 2 guys that I can think of that MacT ran out of town that actually made it are Chimera and Cleary. I never liked how he handled Chimera, but Cleary was basically out of hockey and got a try out at camp from Detroit a couple years back before saving his career. MacT spent years trying to get Cleary to refine his game from soft one way offensive player to a guy that can play in virtually any situation. Cleary refused to adapt when here, but MacT was right and it saved his career. I’ve heard Cleary say as much.

    I just hope the Oil don’t send Potulny out after last nights game. I can just hear Hunter now…
    “I challenge you to find a single NHL player who was on pace for 164 points that got sent down by his team…”

  85. hunter1909 says:

    Spot on bookie.

    This is the crux of the situation for fans who are old enough to remember, ahem, another style of Oilers.

  86. DeBakey says:

    I fully agree on Lefebvre.

    It looks like they’re trying to move him up the roster.
    I'm not sure if its working.

    He lined up with Lerg & Schremp on the week-end.
    He was on the ice for 3 GA, including one on the PK.

  87. hunter1909 says:

    Rider guy: Young kids just drafted are a lot like, young kids. Their first team is a lot like their family, and whatever goes on in the family has a rather large effect on any kid’s development.

    Just because they leave the Oilers as proverbial basket cases doesn’t prove anything, other than these Oilers are totally shit at player development.

  88. relic says:

    or the players weren’t good enough…

  89. Yeti says:

    Traktor: I agree that Wellwood is a shit player.

    My point was more Alain Vigneault is a wonderful coach that is getting something out of nothing.

    I can’t help but worry that this was MacT with Nilsson from last season.

  90. quain says:

    I hope you all appreciate how historic this is, folks. We’re here in 2009 witnessing the first ever 25th pick that didn’t work out. It’s incredible. It’s like watching Wilt score 100.

    On a completely off-topic note, has anyone noticed how great Gagner’s numbers look? I mean, that doesn’t mean the finish is ever going to be there or he won’t blow out his knee, but the kid is probably one of the top three or four forwards on the team right now and he’s 19. 19! It’s ridiculous.

  91. rider guy says:

    Hunter: feel free to let me know who these “proverbial basket cases” who had their careers wrecked by the Oilers are. It’s easy to say that MacT has wrecked careers, it’s a lot harder to find concrete examples.

  92. hunter1909 says:

    One of my favourite Yiddish sayings is: “Tomorrow never comes.”

    One of the Oilers front office’s favourite sayings is: “Just wait until tomorrow!”

  93. godot10 says:

    //What I don’t understand is why would an organization waste time and resources developing Reddox when they could pick up Reddox 5 years from now tomorrow for a 3rd or 4th round pick?//

    Reddox is taking advantage of Pisani’s injury to put himself into the Oilers’ picture. It is more what Reddox is doing to take advantage of a temporary opening on the roster, than the Oilers pushing him.

    The difference between career AHL players, and NHL role players is the desire and ability to seize the opportunity when it is presented to them.

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    What Schremp needs to realize is that his success/failure is directly tied to his effort and attitude. Perhaps a visit to a sports psychologist would do him wonders. He needs to realize that there might be maybe 5 teams interested in him, not 30.

    Talent and effort are normally divided by youth.

  95. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacT and co. are only able to develop certain kinds of talent while totally messing up other kinds (Schremp, Garon, etc.).

    How does Garon fit it? He’s a career journeyman with stats to back it. He got hot for half of a season. The coaching staff didn’t ruin anything.

  96. HBomb says:

    I’m all for the organization finding useful bottom six players with later-round draft picks in later rounds like Reddox and Brodziak, and even Stortini (that’s for you Bruce).

    Put it this way – find one guy like that per year, and you’ve got a steady supply of cheap and useful depth, so you don’t have to overpay for veterans to fill out your lineup (be it a million bucks a year for a Sillinger, or better yet, two million a year for Ethan Moreau).

    The savings are then applied to keeping your core together (top three D-men and top six forwards, plus starting goalie). You can afford maybe ONE expensive 3rd liner on a team (on the current Oilers, for example, a healthy Pisani would be the guy you’d keep around).

    Sink the big bucks into the top end of the roster.

    Bottom line though – Liam Reddox and Rob Schremp aren’t competing for the same “jobs” on this roster. Reddox needs to make a case that he’s bettter than Strudwick, while Rob Schremp is trying to outperform Robert Nilsson.

  97. Coach pb9617 says:

    I mean seriously, what is the logic going on there?

    Shootout plus thong = cup.

  98. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’d guess they’re the same people that think trading Gilbert and Horcoff for Spezza would solve all our problems.

    Only if we get pictures of Spezza in a maple leaf thong.

  99. Coach pb9617 says:

    He is more qualified to play on the first line in the NHL than Liam Reddox.

    See my post above.

    No coach in his right mind would have Sugartits on the wing at the end of a 1 goal game for a defensive zone draw. Not one. If you can’t play in that situation, you aren’t playing on any first line in the Western Conference.

  100. Master Lok says:

    Bang on HBomb. Reddox and Schremp isn’t competing for the same spot. I think LT said it before in a post – that with Nilsson here, there’s little room for Schremp.

  101. Coach pb9617 says:

    On the other hand, perhaps the Oilers are as good as any team at this and every team has its ‘Schremps’ (and its Traktors for that matter) who fans feel are getting screwed by the system.

    The Penguins Rob Schremp

    The Capitals Rob Schremp

    The Whalers Rob Schremp

    The Sharks Rob Schremp

  102. Dennis says:

    I’ve never been a big Schremp guy and I always figured they drafted him because he fell so far that they felt they just had to take a flyer.

    But I’ve never been against him either.

    I’ll go at this from two angles.

    1: Even if what MacT was saying, I really don’t see any point in saying it. If the kid’s gonna underachieve and he isn’t gonna help us then so be it. But MacT blew off a little steam because the heat’s on and he took this chance to vent a little. I don’t think it was a classy move at the very least.

    2: You know that I agree that even without 83 on the starboard side you’ve got to run 27-10-plus vs tough opp. But, wouldn’t it make more sense to run 78 in that slot rather than 85? It doesn’t look like 78′s gonna play as a pivot with the Oil so why not just play him on the tough min win and then give Schremp one of the soft min assignments?

    There is, after all, more than one way to skin a cat.

  103. Vic Ferrari says:

    The thing with Reddox is that he just doesn’t have enough Star Quality for me.

    No body art, a poor shootout lacrosse move, he’s not making teenage boys in Edmonton question their own sexuality, and the capper … I just googled for Reddox images, and how many pix did I find of Liam proudly walking about in a penis cup?

    NONE! Zero. Nil. Nada.

    I think I’ve made my point.

  104. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah Dennis, agree on the Pouliot thing.

    Pouliot must be a class ‘A’ jerk or something. Moreau obviously dislike the guy. You’ve noticed Horcoff not passing to him and I’ve noticed Hemsky doing the same on the PP (granted Samsonov and Horcoff have been the only forwards he’s willing to pass it to if their deep on the left side).

    He might be a bit of a strange cat. Still, it looks like he can play, and it’s not like the Cogs line has been rocking lately or anything. You’d think that they’d give him a shot with that gig.

    And by the by: The difference between Smyth and Penner is getting obvious with Hemsky out, no?

  105. Coach pb9617 says:

    And by the by: The difference between Smyth and Penner is getting obvious with Hemsky out, no?

    Smyth in his third season or Smyth in his ninth?

  106. Jonathan says:

    I see Traktor mentioning Lefebvre above, but I don’t see it. I know not everyone likes Quality of Competition studies, but if you look at the one I did for Springfield two weeks back, Lefebvre ranks tenth among regular forwards. That isn’t good enough. Reddox, on the other hand, ranked 2nd, and was producing offense besides.

    I agree that in theory it’s a good idea to develop boom-bust players over third line types (and Traktor’s been beating that for awhile), but that’s only if you figure Reddox has been given that ice-time as a development move. Persoanlly, I think it was a desperation move, because with Hemsky and Pisani out, suddenly the list of defensively responsible NHL RW’s is awfully thin, and none of the boom-bust prospects belong on that list.

  107. Unleaded says:

    If Robert Nilsson was a HS for the last game, and we say that Nilsson is a more proven version of the same player mold that Schremp is from, I think that tells everyone exactly how far back the man is.

    Potulny comes in and bags a pair of points with a pair of hot players, and a guy he’s played with a lot of the year in springfield. If he plays like that any more, I wouldn’t be surprised of both 12 and 88 are gone soon, simply because Potulny may be able to bring more on a consistent basis.

    If you are looking at the available parts in the Oilers org, and where they are at right now, I beleive that we are going to see some of our smaller skill guys leave town. Nilsson’s deal is good value, but he’s not getting any love from the coach this year. Ditto for Sugartits (except for the last 3 years). Simply looking at size/grit each player brings, I can’t help thinking they just aren’t here long term. You could make the same call on Liam, except that the coach likes his spirit, so he might be around for a while. The same effort questions can be asked of Penner, but his place on the PP makes me question if the team can afford to trade him.

    Oh, and he’s huge. Not that you noticed.

    So from where I am sitting, if you know that they will be peices who leave, my question is what can you get for them? I’m not going to suggest they are going to attract a lot of attention, but I have to think that with Syvret getting us Potulny, that both Shcremp and Nilsson could get us something nice as well, esp. if they are packaged with a gritty vet or two.

  108. hunter1909 says:

    I take it that some of you expect/want MacT to be coaching the team in 2010? 2011? 2012?

  109. Jonathan says:

    Also, I’d suggest that AHL forwards who rapidly ascend the depth chart when injuries/desperation strikes probably have two qualifications:

    a) producing some offense
    b) playing tough competition

    Obviously, if the prospect is excelling in only one of the two areas (Schremp, Sestito) he probably isn’t a good fit.

    Reddox and Brule are the only two guys who qualify hands-down under that criteria. After those two, I’d rank Potulny, Spurgeon and Trukhno as being in the range.

    Sestito and Schremp get mentions only because their leads in their respective categories might be enough to get cast in a special role at the NHL level.

  110. Jonathan says:

    Unleaded: Nilsson has an injury, he wasn’t HS’d.

    Hunter: If that was directed at me, it isn’t about what I want, but do you honestly think MacTavish should ice a boom-bust type on that top line for the express purpose of hastening his own demise? Or do you suppose he makes moves designed to (in his mind) prolong his career? Because I’d guess the latter. “The coach should ice a more high-risk line-up so that he gets fired faster” isn’t good logic for critiquing said coach.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    I agree that in theory it’s a good idea to develop boom-bust players over third line types

    I don’t agree with this much at all. A dozen teams jump to mind that used this for years and ran themselves into the ground. Perhaps it was the incompetence of the organization, but if that’s the case, then you need a special organization to pull it off. Are there any examples of successful franchises that have done this?

    I’d rather use the Dodgers system. Trust the scouts. Find the kids with good numbers, a good baseball IQ, and a willingness to put in effort. Put them all over the organization. Take a chance on the young talented kids later in the draft, but don’t expect results for four years. Drill all of them in the fundamentals until they bleed and never let up after that. The ones that make it, weird batting stances and pitching motions and all, are going to be special.

  112. Bruce says:

    But it’s better than the one that was in the Journal this morning, which completely changed the impetus of MacT’s words:

    Well said, Mr. dB. I read that in the Journal this morning and I was scratching my head going “I don’t think that’s what was said.”

    However, since MacT had the temerity to challenge the media with his actual words, they put the big whitewash on it. It’s a significant misquote and a very good example of either shoddy or yellow journalism (and pick your poison).

    As for MacT’s comments, what I found slightly offputting wasn’t so much the harshness of the criticism as the faintness of the praise. “He can work a powerplay okay”? “Decent hands”?!

    Perhaps a better answer would be along the lines of:

    “Robbie has the hands and vision of an elite scorer, but he needs to build the foundation of his game to the NHL level. We’re being patient with Robbie because we see the talent, and we’re trying to help him but he needs to help himself … ”

    That said I’m pretty sure Master Lok nailed it. The media is going to get its Schremp headlines whether he actually makes it or not. I just wish they were a little more honest about what instigated it.

  113. Traktor says:

    Jonathan: Good read. O’marra sure is brutal. I never thought he would be a top 6 guy but a more reliable Tootoo was obtainable. He sure has fallen off.

    I wouldn’t be bringing Lefebvre up to protect leads and play against the best though so I’m not sure if your post sways my opinion. I wouldn’t expect the coach in Springfield to play him against the best either.

    I’m just looking for a guy like Stortini who hits everything he sees, fights anyone who challenges and doesn’t bleed goals.

    I would take guys Lefebvre over Smack every time.

  114. Kris says:

    Reddox’s stats are interesting. He starts out strong with Pete’s, as a 30 goal guy, then struggles in 05/06, and then puts up underwhelming numbers in the E in 06/07. But then has a pretty nice rookie year in the A in 07/08.

    What the hell happened to him in 05/06? Cause if he’d had a year in 05/06 better than the prior two, say 38-40 goals- we could even say he had some pedigree. (Lack of thong, perhaps?)

    Anybody know?

  115. Traktor says:

    “What the hell happened to him in 05/06? Cause if he’d had a year in 05/06 better than the prior two, say 38-40 goals- we could even say he had some pedigree. (Lack of thong, perhaps?)

    Anybody know?”

    Steve Downie was traded to the Petes and took his minutes.

  116. Traktor says:

    “Are there any examples of successful franchises that have done this?”

    Does Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk ring a bell?

    There’s really know point wasting picks on Jordan Bendfeld when you can sign Studwicks and Luke Richardsons for free.

  117. Dennis says:

    Vic: I thought I was actually just seeing things when I noticed 10 and 18 not passing to 78 but the kicker for me was 18 having the balls to step in for a draw when you’ve got a kid on your right side who’s playing fucking centre for his whole life.

    That was all I needed to see.

    I think by now you’d make the safe bet that fitness was holding 78 back and that’s why Hans and Frans types like 10 and 78 wouldn’t much cotton to him. Then again maybe it’s just a generation gap because Cogs is two draft classes behind him but right now we know 78 can always go to the slot when they’re on the ice together and 13 will always try to find him.

    And, like the man said, that line isn’t cracking right now so why not try 78 in that tough min role. Yet, it’s never been mentioned and now we’ll put Brule there and he’ll wind up in the severe read in terms of chances created and allowed.

  118. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: At the end of September, I wrote this:

    The player-type that I most dislike in hockey is the “play-four-minutes-a-night tough guy”, the guy who brings nothing whatsoever to the team other than his ability to hurt people. If teams really feel they need enforcers, the guys I want to see in the lineup are players like Georges Laraque, who can handle a regular shift without embarrassing himself. Lefebvre, who recorded 16 goals and 35 points in 66 AHL games in his last year in an NHL system, is much closer to being that player than MacIntyre.

    Seeing Hemsky double-shifted for MacIntyre has swayed me quite a bit, but I was hopeful that Lefebvre would show some value in the AHL, beyond hurting people. So far, he has marginal offense against marginal talents, and while he’s probably still a better player than MacIntyre, I’d like to see more offensive or defensive achievement out of him.

  119. Jonathan says:

    There’s really know point wasting picks on Jordan Bendfeld when you can sign Studwicks and Luke Richardsons for free.

    Amen. I got angry when I saw that selection. Especially when you know that some team did it to Viktor Tikhonov in 2007.

    I’m not sure I lump Reddox in with Bendfeld, though. Reddox at least has shown offensive ability in the AHL and the OHL.

  120. budorduke says:

    Man Hunter and Traktor are really aggravating to read. Are you two the same guy? Is there one thing about the Oilers you do like or are you just Flames fans trying to wreak havoc?

  121. Traktor says:

    Johnathan: I don’t even like BG either. He might be able to play a regular shift but he doesn’t hit people. He isn’t mean enough.

    Lefebvre being able and willing to hurt people is exactly what appeals to me. If he can bring Stortini’s reliability then he plays on my team 10 times out of 10.

  122. Tyler says:

    Vic: I thought I was actually just seeing things when I noticed 10 and 18 not passing to 78 but the kicker for me was 18 having the balls to step in for a draw when you’ve got a kid on your right side who’s playing fucking centre for his whole life.

    I hadn’t noticed it with Horcoff but this bit about the faceoff just fucking kills me. The fact that Moreau didn’t get himself benched for that blows my mind.

    Disappointing if Horc is passing up opportunities to pass to 78. I’ve kind of suspected that 18 might be a bit of a goof for a while; 10 always comes off as a decent fellow. That said, maybe there’s some truth to the not working hard bit. To me though, you deal with that off the ice. If the fat guy’s open in the slot, pass the puck to him.

  123. Traktor says:

    Budorduke: I’m all in on Cogliano. Pisani is one of my favorite players in the league. Smid plays hockey the way it’s meant to be played. Same with Stortini. Brodziak is really underrated and so are the subtle moves that Gilbert does to create time and space that means the world to a breakout. Nilsson has the tools to become a ppg player. Reddox reminds me a little of Torres – the way he protects the puck, the way he cycles, the willingness to battle, even the way his jersey blows in the wind with his running on a treadmill skating style. Penner is grossly underrated by the fans, media and coach and under the right circumstance is a 30 goal 60 point force. If Edmonton ever makes the playoffs again you will see Penner’s true worth when goals are premium and the game is won on the cycle. I could go on….

  124. Ribs says:

    I remember 10 and 78 looking good together, myself. They were off on some of their passing but Poo was giving Horc an option every time they broke down the ice.

    I have to agree on the Poo-hate from 18 though. Cap’n just looks like a tool, and especially so when Cogliano has to run around cleaning up the mess every play.

    Geez, the Lecavalier noise is getting peculiarly loud… Tambo on the phones today?

  125. Jonathan says:

    That said, maybe there’s some truth to the not working hard bit. To me though, you deal with that off the ice. If the fat guy’s open in the slot, pass the puck to him.

    Kyle Wellwood thanks you for your support ;)

    In all seriousness though, this should be blatantly obvious. However legitimate an axe there is to grind, it gets ground off the ice.

  126. Jonathan says:

    Penner is grossly underrated by the fans, media and coach and under the right circumstance is a 30 goal 60 point force.

    Yep. MacTavish replacing him on the PP with Cole was a mistake. I can understand if you think Cole’s a better pvp player, and you want your es and pp lines to have some cohesion, but Penner is historically a much better option with the extra man.

    And despite Penner’s failings (flagging work ethic, poor skating), outside of Hemsky there isn’t anybody on the team who does better work in the offensive zone.

  127. Black Dog says:

    Lowe (and I) saw Penner good in ’06 – he scared the hell out of me whenever he got the puck down low.

  128. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hadn’t noticed it with Horcoff but this bit about the faceoff just fucking kills me. The fact that Moreau didn’t get himself benched for that blows my mind.

    I went apoplectic when I saw it live and I still get pissed thing about it now. The gall that Moreau must have to try that. It’s exactly the opposite of what you want in a captain. It’s what I would expect in Los Angeles, or Long Island.

    Eff you, Moreau.

  129. Coach pb9617 says:

    Geez, the Lecavalier noise is getting peculiarly loud… Tambo on the phones today?

    I hate the contract, but knowing that Tampa is going to lose the trade every time, eh, I’m okay with it.

    I still smirk when I think about Tampa asking for Komisarek, Kostitsyn, Kostitsyn and a 1st.

  130. Coach pb9617 says:

    And despite Penner’s failings (flagging work ethic, poor skating), outside of Hemsky there isn’t anybody on the team who does better work in the offensive zone.

    And there are few on the team that are better offensive zone passers.

  131. Jonathan says:

    What would you offer up for Lecavalier? I’d honestly consider Gagner/Gilbert+

  132. Coach pb9617 says:

    Damn you Dennis. You had to bring up Moreau. Now I gotta get a drink.

    Two more years of this BS at 2 mil per. Two million that should be going to Timothy Leary to learn under Lubo’s wing. Two million that should be going to Cogliano when that deal is up…

    Better make that a double.

  133. Cloned says:

    Trade Nilsson + Schremp to PIT for Sykora + Eaton or Scuderi.

    Then trade Staios + to Columbus for Malhotra.

    Imagine:

    Sykora – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner – Gagner – Cole
    Moreau – Malhotra – Cogliano
    Potulny/Reddox – Brodziak – Stortini/Pouliot

    Souray – Gilbert
    Grebs – Vis
    Smid – Eaton/Scuderi
    Strudwick

  134. quain says:

    We could trade Staios+ to Columbus for Hejda instead and have an enjoyable trade deadline where we just acquire guys we’ve already had.

  135. Traktor says:

    Jonathan: What does it say about the foresight of the organization when they bail on Penner after just 1 season where he led them in goals?

    The gimmick that Lowe was selling was that Penner might not be worth the deal in years 1 and 2 but come year 3 and beyond he would be worth the contract.

    Then a year later Edmonton is playing him with Moreau and Pisani at center to start the year?

    The org goes and lists “rebuilding year” to write off the losses and then trades a significant asset for a UFA in Erik Cole.

    Are we rebuilding or are we going for the cup? We let Reasoner go because we’re rebuilding yet MacTavish refuses to give Pouliot or Brodziak responsibility because we’re going for it!

    We can live with Gagner’s mistakes because it is a rebuilding year but we play Strudwick over Smid because we’re trying to win now.

    We keep JDD, a goalie with zero NHL experience because we’re looking towards the future yet we wont play him because we’re focused on today.

    All I know is we’re gunning for 8th again like every year.

  136. Dennis says:

    Why does it take severe prodding to get 27 to stand in front of the fucking goalie? Why doesn’t he just do it every time?

  137. quain says:

    What would you offer up for Lecavalier? I’d honestly consider Gagner/Gilbert+

    That contract is just brutal. Just brutal. I’d keep Gagner out of the trade offer just because of that.

  138. Coach pb9617 says:

    Trade Nilsson + Schremp to PIT for Sykora + Eaton or Scuderi.

    Pittsburgh has no wings as is — they can’t give up one of their 2 legit wingers.

    With the palpable hate that Therien has for Satan, I’m sure he’s avaialble. Though, I’m not sure how much longer Therien will be coaching that team.

    What would you offer up for Lecavalier? I’d honestly consider Gagner/Gilbert+

    I’ll take a stab at Lecavalier, Halpern and a 2nd for Nilsson, Gilbert, a 1st, a 2nd and Chorney/Wild/Petry/Plante.

  139. Ribs says:

    What’s wrong with Lecavalier’s contract? He’s signed long term for less than Crosby or Malkin.

  140. Coach pb9617 says:

    Why does it take severe prodding to get 27 to stand in front of the fucking goalie? Why doesn’t he just do it every time?

    “THE CANNONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!” scares him?

  141. Black Dog says:

    Vinny isn’t as good as either, plain and simple, and he’s older.

    Um, Traktor just hit it out of the park there.

  142. Cloned says:

    Coach:

    I don’t know. Most Pens fans on their message boards tend to accept that Sykora, being UFA next year, is a tradable asset. Unless the Pens make a miraculous turnaround (always possible with their talent), this probably won’t be their year to contend and they’re likely eager to get some offensive wingers who are young and locked up at the expense of one who is older and set to be UFA.

    Nilsson and Schremp both fit into that mold.

  143. Jonathan says:

    I’ll take a stab at Lecavalier, Halpern and a 2nd for Nilsson, Gilbert, a 1st, a 2nd and Chorney/Wild/Petry/Plante.

    Good luck with that ;)

    Supposedly, Montreal’s offered Plekanec, Higgins, Subban, Gorges and draft picks for Lecavalier (source: Mackenzie).

    Personally, I’d be willing to put Gilbert, Gagner, Eberle+ on the table for Lecavalier.

  144. Jonathan says:

    Traktor just hit it out of the park there.

    Seconded.

  145. Ribs says:

    Vinny isn’t as good as either, plain and simple, and he’s older.

    We’re getting picky now?

  146. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’ll take a stab at Lecavalier, Halpern and a 2nd for Nilsson, Gilbert, a 1st, a 2nd and Chorney/Wild/Petry/Plante.

    Depending on what Tampa’s trying to do with money, I think you could include something like:

    Lecavalier, Halpern and Jokinen for Nilsson, Gilbert, Moreau, a 1st, and Chorney/Wild/Petry/Plante

  147. quain says:

    Because I think he’s closer in total talent to Briere than Malkin/Crosby (not that he’s anywhere near as “bad” as Briere, but I think he’s closer to being Briere than he is to being Malkin/Crosby).

    And when a 22 year old is signed up long-term, that’s great. When a 29 year old is signed for $7.75M long-term that’s less great. Especially a guy who isn’t very good defensively.

  148. Traktor says:

    “Why does it take severe prodding to get 27 to stand in front of the fucking goalie? Why doesn’t he just do it every time?”

    The first player back in the defensive zone gets a silver star. 5 silver stars and you can trade it in for a gold star. 5 golds and you’re immune from receiving Moreau on your line.

  149. Cloned says:

    Tampa can’t take much salary back if the reports of Barrie being in financial trouble are true.

    I’d say Vancouver (damn) has a decent chance of landing him if they really wanted to.

    I’d imagine some combination of Raymond, Schneider, Edler and Kesler would be pretty appealing to Tampa.

  150. Coach pb9617 says:


    Supposedly, Montreal’s offered Plekanec, Higgins, Subban, Gorges and draft picks for Lecavalier (source: Mackenzie).

    If true, and depending on the picks, Gainey needs a trip to the asylum.

  151. Coach pb9617 says:

    Considering the rumors and mega packages we’ve heard about in the past and what ends up moving one way or another, I’m willing to bet that Gainey offered about 66% of that reported package.

  152. quain says:

    Especially a guy who isn’t very good defensively.

    And just so I don’t get a ‘you’re just like MacT!’ insult, I just mean that defense ages a bit better than offense.

    With that said, you could certainly make the case that this is a Cup window and damn the consequences. I’d like a better GM pulling the trigger, because if you’re turning Gagner into Lecav then you need to turn Cogliano into someone better, and you need to acquire good free agent depth.

  153. Jonathan says:

    Caoch: Supposedly it’s two first round picks (although Mackenzie leaves that bit vague).

    It’s a pretty steep price, but Lecavalier/Koivu/Lang down the middle is a pretty good setup.

    I like Lecavalier has a player; he’s been playing quality the past two seasons and still producing points. This year, the points are down, but he’s got a much nicer looking +/-.

  154. hunter1909 says:

    “Hunter: If that was directed at me, it isn’t about what I want, but do you honestly think MacTavish should ice a boom-bust type on that top line for the express purpose of hastening his own demise? Or do you suppose he makes moves designed to (in his mind) prolong his career? Because I’d guess the latter. “The coach should ice a more high-risk line-up so that he gets fired faster” isn’t good logic for critiquing said coach.”

    It wasn’t directed at anyone specifically, Jonathan.

    And for someone who assumes things, you’ve sure gone and done a whole heap of assumptions re what I’m supposed to be thinking :)

  155. Scott says:

    I don’t know Jonathan. The +/- is better this year, but it’s not in the black. He scores a lot of course, but he also gets scored on a ton, which may be a reflection of how much he’s playing from behind I suppose but he just isn’t as good as guys like Iginla, Datsyuk and Thornton who are leading their teams in the West. Plus, his contract is 11 years long! Ridiculous!

  156. Jonathan says:

    Hunter: I’m good at assumptions, and at speculating wildly. I need to be called on both from time to time.

  157. Jonathan says:

    Scott: I think Iginla’s taken a bit of a step back this year, but I get your drift.

    It’s probably worth looking up his numbers against SE division teams and otherwise; I haven’t done that.

  158. Scott says:

    MacTavish almost slipped up in his interview today saying that Hemsky wouldn’t be back until “after…” and one would think he means the All-Star break. Not a good sign.

    Also in that interview he noted that Nilsson didn’t come on the road trip so it sounds like his concussion will keep him out for a while as well.

  159. hunter1909 says:

    Iginla’s slowing down, but he’s still got gas in the tank.

  160. bookie says:

    Traktor – Silver Star, Gold Star…good stuff!

  161. Kris says:

    Traktor:

    Nice post.

    But we have to remember what happened this offseason if we’re going to judge the season fairly. You seem to think the org. has no plans or has self-contradictory plans. The way I see it, the org.’s plans haven’t worked out; there’s a difference.

    The org. took a shot at Hossa to win now. They missed and lost Torres, GlennX, Reasoner, and the chance at some cheaper free agents in the process. They also brought in a ‘win now’ guy in Cole to play the right side, possibly with Hossa, but when Hossa didn’t show they moved him to the left side for Hemsky, and tried to keep the kids together, which put Penner in a weird spot. It also means we gave up Pitkannen for nearly nothing, since Cole is a free agent. (But it’s all the result of a gamble that could’ve but didn’t pay off.)

    Granted this doesn’t explain not playing Smid, Brodziak, and Pouliot more. I think there we have a case of MacT thinking short term in order to keep his job. And you’re right to point out that this is a serious problem.

    That is, once we didn’t land Hossa, the org should’ve shifted immediately from ‘win now’ to ‘rebuild,’ trade vets away, play younger players more, etc. Nonetheless, I think the org.’s idea was to see if the group they had, sans Hossa, could win. Obviously, they can’t and perhaps Lowellini should’ve seen that.

    I don’t know. I’m mad too, but I think Lowe had the right idea the last couple of years. Bring in young skilled players, like Gagner and Cog.s and Eberle, sign or trade for players like Lubo, Souray, and Hossa.

    Lowe hasn’t executed the plan well enough yet, but it seems like the right plan.

  162. Coach pb9617 says:

    Caoch: Supposedly it’s two first round picks (although Mackenzie leaves that bit vague).

    Plekanec
    Higgins
    Subban
    Gorges
    1st Round Pick
    1st Round Pick

    That would be the biggest personnel trade since 1980.

  163. RiversQ says:

    Why is it so hard to understand the handling of Penner this year?

    It’s obvious to me that they were hoping he could drive some results on another line because the team needs one and needs to know what Penner is truly capable of. Now I wouldn’t say he failed in the role, but the expectations were for more than just treading water, which is mostly what he did.

    This all seems like reasonable plan to me. The obvious problem this year was a second tough minutes line. I think the Oilers hoped Penner could anchor it.

    IMO, the complicating factor is that he mailed in about 3-4 games during that “trial” and pissed off MacT and likely more than a few vets as well. He got PB’d and then promoted.

  164. Rod says:

    Kris said:
    It’s an interesting point, and well stated, but why should we believe it’s true?

    Do other GM’s ever base their evaluations of players around the league on comments from other teams’ coaches? Do such comments have weight? Are there examples of this occuring? Could Mact and Lowellini improve Schremp’s value with public comments designed to “fool” other GM’s. (I doubt this is true, but could be convinced you’re right with some evidence.)
    —-

    What MacT harmed in trade value isn’t the other team’s evaluation(s) of Schremp. It’s that MacT made it very easy for other teams to recognize that the Oilers don’t value Schremp anymore. To go with a poker analogy, other players at the table know the Oilers won’t put anything else into the pot because MacT pre-announced a fold. Why do that? Just the other day Tambelini (on TV during intermission I think) was saying the door isn’t closed on Schremp…but Schremp’s production since going down was poor…consequently other guys were getting called up. About a week later, MacT dumps all over Schremp (pretty accurate stuff, but he dumped on the guy). Now other teams don’t even have to dangle a mid-round pick. To me, that’s how MacT harmed Schremp’s trade value.

    MacT would have been better off saying Schremp’s numbers have been lousy since going down…and they want him to work on his speed. Nothing in that says Schremp is done in Edmonton, and therefore would have protected what little trade value Schremp had. Would that have been so hard?

  165. Rod says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    How does Garon fit it? He’s a career journeyman with stats to back it. He got hot for half of a season. The coaching staff didn’t ruin anything.
    —–
    Well, if the stories of Peters’ pettiness and interference are accurate at all, one member of the coaching staff didn’t exactly help Garon. Wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say he ruined Garon. As an Oiler at least. If so, it’s a real shame.

  166. slipper says:

    Scott: I think Iginla’s taken a bit of a step back this year, but I get your drift.

    This is just silly.

  167. Doogie2K says:

    This is just silly.

    How? Matt and Kent seem to agree.

  168. slipper says:

    Last season when he scored 33 at even strength he was burying his chances at nearly a 15% clip. He’s still his coach’s go to guy against Joe Thorton on home ice, he still routinely out chances and out scores. All the repeatable things he continues to do real well, except his shooting percentage at evens is half of what it was last year.

    Iginla is still facing toughs, his Corsi/hour has actually improved from last year, and he’s scoring at even strength at 2.30Pts/60. His points/60 and GFON/60 are nearly identical to last season, aswell.

    These small 40 game windows where the percentages work against a player happen all the time to players of Iginla’s level. Just like they’re working in favour of Lecavalier right now. It doesn’t mean that either have taken a step back or a step forward when their underlying numbers remain fairly constant- those are just the devices writers use to create the narratives around sports. It drives sports fans nuts because the opportunity of a season is so small.

  169. slipper says:

    >>>His points/60 and GFON/60 are nearly identical to last season, aswell.<<<<

    This should read: "On the powerplay…", but it's fairly acceptable at evens, aswell.

  170. Jonathan says:

    Slipper: I hadn’t gone into depth much; mostly the comments by knowledgeable Flames fans and the PTS/60 drop-off had me thinking that Iginla’s a little bit off last year’s pace.

    Even if I were right, there’s no doubt he’s a franchise talent and one of the true game-changers in the NHL.

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