Runaway Trukhno?

History tells us the really good skill players skip the American Hockey League and go to the show from junior, college or Europe. Recent Oiler examples would be Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano.

One of the strongest indicators we can get about prospects and their future comes as they turn 20 (most of the time it’s 20, exceptions were Gagner and Hemsky).

If the organization keeps them up for the entire season we’re talking about something that could be very good (these are usually first round picks so the arrows would have been pointing in a good direction for some time).

The second indicator we can get on these 20-year olds comes from the period during their training camp when they get sent down to the minor leagues.

Here are some recent examples from the Oilers:

  • Marc Pouliot: September 29, 2005
  • JF Jacques: September 29, 2005
  • Zack Stortini: September 29, 2005
  • Devan Dubnyk: October 2, 2006 (3rd last player cut)
  • Rob Schremp: September 30, 2006
  • Liam Reddox: September 23, 2006
  • Slava Trukhno: September 26, 2007
  • Theo Peckham: September 16, 2007

If Riley Nash were turning pro this summer, he could join Alex Plante and Milan Kytnar on the list above (at some point this fall). What does that list tell us? Pouliot had no clearance at all from two lower ranked draftees who had also just turned 20, Schremp had some clearance on Trukhno.

I’m not certain that Schremp has clearance in the organization on Trukhno at this time. They both appear headed to the “journeyman” portion of their careers. According to Guy Flaming at Coming Down the Pipe the Oilers could be saying goodbye to both this fall.

On Trukhno:

  • After two years of struggling in the minors, there is a real possibility that Slava Trukhno may choose to stay in Europe. He is still a player the Oilers want to have in Springfield as they believe he may turn the corner under the tutelage of Rob Daum. That said, the last indication I got was that it wasn’t a guarantee that the Russian/Dane would return because the phrase “we expect him to come back” was used.

On Schremp:

  • All of the RFA players are expected to be back with the possible exception of Schremp who needs to clear waivers and likely hopes that won’t happen. He could also opt to head to Europe for a bigger pay day and a higher-level playing opportunity but my understanding is that his preference is to wait and see if another NHL club plucks him off waivers.

Schremp has played exactly 7 NHL games with the Oilers, and trails two later 2004 Edmonton draft picks in that category (Liam Reddox, 47 and Bryan Young, 17). Both Trukhno and Schremp would have to be considered disappointments as pro hockey players, with Schremp’s miss being more painful since he was a first round pick.

The good thing is they’re both young and have plenty of time to turn the corner and get another chance at the NHL. It’s extremely unlikely that chance will come with Edmonton.

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71 Responses to "Runaway Trukhno?"

  1. Rick says:

    It's obvious to me that Schremp was totally mishandled by MacTavish.

    To take a highly-skilled goal-scoring forward and sink his chances due to "commitment to defense" is pretty sad. I wonder what would have have become of Hemsky had the same thing happened to him…

    Had Schremp gotten the same chance as a guy like Reddox, he'd be mentioned in the same breath as Gagner and Cogliano.

    If the Oilers are dumb enough to give up on him, I expect him to light the lamp regularly with another NHL team.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Rick: You have perfectly stated what many Oilers fans have believed for several years now.

    I don't believe it. Schremp clearly has issues with skating and compete, and although he's worked hard on them he's not getting better (this past AHL season was easily his worst).

    Schremp has played 216 AHL games now, organizations (apparently) could have had him for a draft pick earlier this summer.

    He may get claimed on waivers by another NHL team, or dealt during training camp.

    But in order for him to light the lamp regularly in the NHL this winter I think he'd need an expansion draft.

  3. Asciutto says:

    What does MacTavish have to do with it?

    Did MacT have more imput into St Robbie's lack of career than the
    GM, Asst GM, Development Coach, Farm Coach, Pro Scout, Head Scout…..?

  4. trav77 says:

    I know there are some knocks on schremp. he has his pro's and cons but it would be nice if they actually gave him a legitimate shot, say 30 games to see what he's capable of.That would go a long way in asessing his true value.I also think that the falcons had a terrible season last year so maybe his season was a product of poor team play.

  5. Lowetide says:

    trav: I've always thought that was the best way, when a talent pays his dues in the minors then give him his 500 at-bats.

    The problem for Schremp is that he got passed by several players (Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano) and his skills are duplicated up and down the roster.

    That damn wide body skating style didn't help either.

  6. bookie says:

    I am somewhat surprised that the organization never slotted him in for a dozen or so games to see what happened. I do think MacT had an influence here.

    He was sent down pretty quickly after 3 games this season when he played pretty well in the first 2. This season was all about panic-coaching and short term thinking. MacT had no time for players that needed motivation as he was busy looking for magic line combinations to turn his team into the Detroit Red Wings, but the problem was his alchemy was missing Reasoner.

    With that said Robbie Schemp may have turned into a bust regardless of how he was managed/coached. Its hard to know because the Oilers have had an absolutely dysfunctional development system (farm team setup) over the last 5 years and I think this hurts some players more than others.

  7. Lowetide says:

    bookie: The Oilers were turning out kids by the baker's dozen every year but the Stanley run. He was behind Pouliot and couldn't move past Nilsson, Gagner and Cogliano.

    Plus they traded for O'Sullivan. It's exactly what happened to the Houston Astros at first base when I was a kid.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Just because he's been totally fucked around, mismanaged and had the Oiler's head fucking coach go out of his way to insult everything about him doesn't mean Schremp is finished.

    Talk about giving up on your kids without so much as a halfway decent chance being given to them.

    Give Schremp his 30 games with a good head coach that allows him to play to his strengths. Fuck this "ooo we can't afford to give up points during the regular season" bullshit also. Oilers are bloody well masters, and I mean 7th degree black belts at giving away regular season points.

  9. trav77 says:

    thats a good point bookie I always wondered if a few of our prospects would have turned out differently if we didn't have to share a farm team with another squad. I hope dubnyk comes along better than deslauries(not that he's been that bad) I think he's the perfect example of being a victim of circumstance.

  10. trav77 says:

    is there a belt higher than black?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Well, here we go. How many times do we need to have this argument?

    Guys, he NEVER dominated the AHL, he NEVER developed another dimension.

    He worked on his skating but fell back to the wide body and the Oilers had better options. Schremp didn't develop in the minors and those are at-bats too, folks.

  12. bookie says:


    He worked on his skating but fell back to the wide body and the Oilers had better options. Schremp didn't develop in the minors and those are at-bats too, folks.

    I agree LT and don't want to be seen to be in the 'poor Schremp' camp. I just think that sometimes with these skilled, but apathetic kids that a few weeks of living in the big leagues with the big paychecks, the private jets to games, etc. may impact their motivation to climb out of the minors.

    I also think it can help to remove the 'poor me, I never got a fair chance' syndrome that impacts lots of 20somethings these days.

    I am not convinced that it would have made a difference though.

    I think the organization has been a great place for highly motivated players (w and w/o skills) to develop. I think the organization has been a real bust with the kids who have motivation problems. I am not sure if other teams have done better with this.

  13. Ribs says:

    You should have known people would be coming out of the woodwork, LT. For some reason the guy still has a rabid fan base that thinks that he has what it takes.

    He doesn't.

    It takes about 2 shifts in an NHL game to realise that he can't skate with the rest of the guys out there.

    It's too bad about Trukhno if he does plan to leave town. I think he could be one of those guys that toils away and becomes a useful callup that eventually finds an NHL roster spot.
    …Plus he's just fun to cheer for.

  14. Ducey says:

    "If the Oilers are dumb enough to give up on him, I expect him to light the lamp regularly with another NHL team."

    Ah, hell. I was going to argue with this. Then I realized that this is like trying to argue with some people that 911 wasn't a government conspiracy or that GM likely doesn't have the technology for some super efficient engine sitting on the shelf.

    He's Like Bigfoot. We should just call Robbie, "Nessie".

  15. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Stupidest bet I ever made with a Leafs fan 3 years ago:
    Who will play more NHL games in their career? Rob Schremp or Wade Belak.
    Current tally: 495 to 7
    Needless to say I was drinking.

  16. Asiaoil says:

    You can be small and have an NHL career, you can be slow and have an NHL career, you can be one dimensional and have an NHL career….but you can't be small, slow and one dimensional all at the same time. That my friends is Rob Schremp. He can't do anything about his size – but he hasn't been able to muster the commitment to deal the other issues and that's what's got him into this situation.

    As for Truk – never been a huge fan but he seems like a guy who's bound for Europe where he could probably have a career. Good luck to him.

  17. Jonathan Willis says:

    RE: MacTavish destroying Schremp's career.

    From a profile I did back in February:

    That said, the folks who feel that Schremp’s an excellent player who isn’t being allowed to succeed because of Craig MacTavish’s distaste for him need to wake up. Schremp’s been benched and scratched by his OHL coach, passed over repeatedly by the coaches on the American U-20 teams, as well as scratched and publicly criticized by his first AHL coach. Craig MacTavish made some classless public statements, but Schremp has always run into trouble with his coaches because of the limits to his game.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Eberle looks more like a future bust to me than Schremp ever did.

    And Rita had an awesome WJ's, or so I'm given to believe.

    Finally, I'm fairly certain Glen Sather circa 1980's who was a genius at motivating young players would have taken the time to figure out what made him tick, ditto Mikhnov, ditto all of the other MacT/Lowe busts.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    I know that children of alcoholic parents will bend over seven ways to Tuesday to justify their appalling behaviour. Ditto single moms with children on death row.

    Oiler fans post dynasty remind me of the above; perpetually ciritcising all the while justifying one fucked up decision after another made by their beloved team.

    Eberle represents the "good day" that an alkie parent occasionally gives their kid. Hope for the future that sadly, never appears.

  20. Jonathan Willis says:

    Hunter:

    I know we don't usually agree (case in point: comparing the Oilers to alcoholic parents) but Eberle's got me worried too.

  21. knighttown says:

    @ Bookie

    I think the 3 game stint is mis-remembered by alot of people. My recollection is that Nilsson got hurt while his job was very safe. Schremp's recall was nothing but an injury recall. He did play quite well in the first two games scoring three points and got flat out owned versus San Jose on the road in one of the worst performances by a line of the season. I can remember an awful one by Stortini's line in Montreal and Horcoff got smoked by Ottawa but that's beside the point.

    Anyway, coming off the loss and with Nilsson healthy he was sent down. I can't say there was no other option (Reddox was playing…different player and all that) but its not like they sent him down and recalled Ryan O'Marra. There was very nice things said on the way out of town by the coach if I recall. He basically apologized and said that he'd be the next injury recall if he continued to do what he was doing.

    This is when it all went to shit as Robbie played historically bad hockey right away and pretty much for the rest of the season.

    To summarize:
    -Schremp got called up for a specific soft minutes, injury replacement role and did well.
    -Nilsson got healthy and Schremp got sent down.
    -He sulked and/or forgot how to play hockey. Either way, there is no way in hell a reward was coming.

    I fucking love the story of Darren Helm in comparison. They guy has two Stanley Cup Finals appearances and a ring before he's even an NHL rookie. He never complained about riding buses all year even though everyone and their dog knew he was a Top 12 guy. Or Scott Clemmenson in New Jersey. Brodeur gets hurt and Clemmenson plays All-Star caliber goal to rescue the Devils season only to be rewarded with a bus ticket to Albany so Kevin Weekes could backup Brodeur (cap reasons).

    Life gives you lemons and the guys above made lemonade and will get their reward this year. Robbie made lemon, ground venison and pickle casserole and MacTavish didn't like how it tasted (go figure). Enjoy Yaroslavl Robbie.

  22. Traktor says:

    Didn't Schremp finish 8th in AHL scorer in 07/08?

    If I remember correctly there wasn't one player younger than Schremp that finished with more points than him.

    Martin St. Louis finished 16th in scoring this year… is he not a dominant NHL player?

    3 points in 4 games with a +2 rating says he deserved a couple more games, especially when a useless plug like Pouliot has 141 games under his belt with nothing to show for it.

    MacT was always scared to lose though so sending out his clock killers and making the game as short as possible was the only way he knew how to coach.

  23. Hockey Noob says:

    Hi LT, I just watched Zeitgeist: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ for the second time to see if they had an explanation for the Schremp situation. On the Oilers' fan board, there was a never ending thread filled with his rabid fan base (as Ribs mentioned).

    Many of these Schremp supports painted a vivid conspiracy theory complete with MacT sitting on the grassy knoll.

    I agree with LT that Schremp's skating and 1 dimensional play have held him back. Lol @knighttown. I guess Robbie shoulda stuck to lemonade?

  24. knighttown says:

    Except that Poo played well during Schremp's recall too. Listen, you can argue all day whether or not the Oilers should have sent down plug A or plug B but they chose to send down Schremp as was the original plan. It was a nice little audition, a taste if you will, and the demotion with praise should have been a big step towards an NHL career like Nilsson did the year before. It was from here on that things went wrong.

    You like your analogies Trak. You own a small drug company. You've been trying to get your products into a big pharmacy chain for ages but you only get some scraps. All of a sudden their big supplier has a manufacturing problem and can't produce so you get the whole contract for a month or two. You do great work and have no serious shortages or issues. The previous supplier comes back online and you get the scraps again with some comments like "we appreciate everything you've done and now we know you can handle the job if the need arises".

    Do you,

    1. work your ass off providing great service on the scraps or

    2. tell the purchaser to fuck off and screw up pretty much every order from that day on.

  25. oilerdago says:

    JW: I'm not saying that Eberle is going to be a top 6 forward, but he has me less worried than Schremp ever did.

    He did a point a game coming out of the juniors at 18. When has St. Robbie ever done that?

    While his points/game grew marginally last year, he had a very good tournament in the worlds. I'd say he's ahead of the Schremp curve.

  26. oilerdago says:

    I should re-read stuff before I post. I meant to say Eberle was a point/game in the AHL at age 18 – something Schremp has never done.

    Granted 9 games is not a large sample, but still.

  27. Masamax says:

    Traktor, while I agree that on paper, his stats look decent, what I saw on those plays was not spectacular.

    One of my biggest complaints in regards to the Schremp debate that oilers fans have been having for the last 2 years is using other players as a comparison. One might ask why Pouliot gets so many games. Is Schremp a better third or fourth line centre than Pouliot? I haven't seen anything to see that he is useful in that kind of role, and his skillset suggests he'd be a huge liability. Another popular comparison is against Liam Reddox. I would argue that just because the use of Reddox this year in certain roles (i.e. first line) was not correct, that does not automatically mean that Schremp was the best alternate by any means.

    Schremp certainly has the possibility to light it up on some team eating up soft minutes. I don't think anyone would argue that. However, if you are suggesting you would have him than any of Cogliano, Gagner, O'Sullivan, or even Nilson on such a soft-minutes line, you'd have to explain to me your reasoning on that based on how much better any of those players are than him at the things he are weak at, and how comparable they are at the thigns he is best at. He really only has one of three spots to compete for, since him on the first line should be a non-starter, and throwing him on a third or fourth line is asking to bleed goals. If you throw a guy like Eberle in or even MPS, we have theoretically 6 other players, 4 of them at least somewhat proven NHL vetrans, that he is competing against for a roster spot. Can you honestly say he is in the top 3 of those 7?

  28. Traktor says:

    "Many of these Schremp supports painted a vivid conspiracy theory complete with MacT sitting on the grassy knoll."

    Does ANYONE dispute that Craig MacTavish let his personal feeling for Penner dictate his ice-time rather than actual performance?

    I think we can all agree that MacTavish's stubbornness got the better of him and ultimately cost him his job.

    Does ANYONE dispute that Craig MacTAvish had a different set of rules for Ethan Moreau?

    I could go on and on but the point is if MacTavish showed such blatant favoritism on a regular basis why is it so preposterous to believe that MacTavish simply didn't like Schremp?

  29. bookie says:

    Yikes, somehow I have been acting like a Schremp supporter here, I don't mean to be falling on that side of the fence. Its quite likely that he would have been a bust on 29 other teams. Mostly, I am just interested in thinking about/posing 'what ifs' and considering the possibility that another approach may have had a different outcome.

    Knightown – I agree with your summary of the three game stint – 2 good games, 1 crappy one – then sent down with "good job, keep working hard and we will see you again soon". I also agree that Schremp should have gone down and worked, but somehow just collapsed. My feelings are that the team needs to do its best to understand why this collapse happened and what, if anything, they can do about it.

    One problem with the drug store analogy – for it to be accurate, you have to see the small drug company as an asset of the Pharmacy chain that they own as opposed to a supplier.

  30. spOILer says:

    JW, to be fair, Hunter was comparing Oiler fans to alcoholic parents, not the Oilers. And judging by some of the vitriol over the handling of Schremp above, he's got a bit of a point.

    In fact, that might be my own line in the sand as far as the general credibility some commentors have… their stance on Schremp and how it relates to the organization. Just love (*rolls eyes*), reading sweeping and dramatic categorical statements about stuff we can only see from a great distance and three times removed.

    I'm not sure, but MacT was responsible for Chernobyl, Bhopal, and the Exxon Valdez too right?

    …For the CFL fans out there, some very interesting offensive sets by the Arrgghos this morning, stuff I ain't never seen before.

    Was a real pleasure watchng a more seasoned Quinton Porter last night too. He's gonna have a hellva career.

  31. spOILer says:

    Does ANYONE dispute that Craig MacTavish let his personal feeling for Penner dictate his ice-time rather than actual performance?

    Yes, I dispute it. And since you're the one making the statement, please provide your incontrovertible proof of the above.

  32. bookie says:

    I think every coach lets their feelings/opinions about players impact their playing time.

    Otherwise we would simply have an egg timer coaching the team.

  33. knighttown says:

    One problem with the drug store analogy – for it to be accurate, you have to see the small drug company as an asset of the Pharmacy chain that they own as opposed to a supplier

    Well that's certainly not right. I worked for one big pharma chain for long enough to know that they only "own" their employees. And I mean own in the biblical sense.

  34. TC91 says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. I first would like to comment on how awesome of a blog this is =)

    Regarding Schremp, IMO I think that he probably should have got more games in 06-07 after we traded away Smyth and were in a tailspin for the rest of the season, winning like 1 out of the last 21 games or something? Couldn't have hurt our chances I would say.

    I think he'll likely get one last shot in training camp this year and that might be it for him as an Oiler if he doesn't stick.

    For Trukhno, I'd like to see him play in the AHL for another year with Daum at the helm for a full year since his skillset is pretty intriguing.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    "MacT was always scared to lose though so sending out his clock killers and making the game as short as possible was the only way he knew how to coach."

    This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

    Back to Schremp: It makes me laugh the way the anti Schremp bandwagon fans obviously feel 'cool' by hating their teams mismanaged draft choices, almost as if it's a good thing instead of holding the team accountable for not having the brains to draft a Getzlaf, or a Parise.

    Eberle? Let me be the first one to say he's going to be a bust. That Swede we just picked at number 10? Just watched his highlight reel, his hands in front of the net remind me of a pair of 2x4s.

  36. Lowetide says:

    hunter: I think most fans would have been very happy for Schremp if he'd been successful. I would have been happy for him if (as reported) someone would have offered the Oilers a second round pick in exchange.

    As for Eberle, I agree there are some concerns but don't know that we should panic in the streets just yet.

  37. bookie says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. I first would like to comment on how awesome of a blog this is =)

    Can you back that up with some statistics?

    I actually think this blog has been totally mismanaged from day one. Terrible coaching and I think that LT has been a terrible GM.

    I think Traktor should be promoted to the top line posters. What the hell are guys like Coach and Bruce doing up there? Its time this blog moved on from the 'old boys club'.

    I am expecting big changes this season and if not, I am totally out of here!

  38. Ribs says:

    Fire LT!

  39. Jfry says:

    i think that the discontent with RS stems from the fact that we've been a losing team for a lot of years now, which would seem to imply that the people playing aren't getting it done, namely in an area where it's rumoured RS might have some accumen: in goal production.

    i believe that as a fan it's difficult to see the same errors committed — watching liam reddox and the like get games (and so many) this year was very difficult for me because it was like we were always going back to the same mold — promote try hards with coach approval that really ought not be playing at the NHL level.

    my discontent with RS is that we put so many game into other players that showed less in the show and in the AHL. in all cases i would have prefered we get a veteran either way.

    As a non playoff team, it seemed like we were turning over every frickin' rock we could see (sestito got a game?) and it doesn't seem like we turned over ShowTimeShremp's rock enough given how consistently poor of a team we've been, regardless of viewed talent-overlap.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers have been a pretty shit team for a long time, promoting obvious slugs, while technically gifted if flawed players ala Schremps get fucked oround until their hearts break. I saw the exact same thing happen with Rita.

    Meanwhile pursuing UFA's like the fat ugly girl throwing herself at the drunk at the end of the party.

    It's weird.

  41. Masamax says:

    Jfry, do you really think Schremp's accumen is playing third and fourth line tough minutes with grinders? Do you think his lack of try (which seems to be obvious to me) would work well on an energy line? A guy like Reddox might not have the same offensive skill as Schremp, but his try and compete level seems infinitely better, and when we are talking about a bunch of grinders just trying to keep the puck out of their zone, that one stretch poke check or hard fight on the boards is the difference between a clear and a puck in your net. Would you honestly have Schremp there more than Reddox? If the answer is yes, I would love to know why.

  42. knighttown says:

    namely in an area where it's rumoured RS might have some accumen: in goal production.

    Ah, like 7 goals in 69 AHL games type of goal production? Sheesh, we'd be better to bring him up as an enforcer.

  43. bookie says:

    Ah, like 7 goals in 69 AHL games type of goal production? Sheesh, we'd be better to bring him up as an enforcer.

    How can you really expect him to really TRY to score when he is just in the AHL? I mean its not like you are going to win a Stanley Cup or Doritos's endorsement deal down there.

  44. TC91 says:

    @ bookie
    lol. I don't have any statistics on me but your post shall serve as my evidence =)

  45. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Another 44 comments wasted on RS. I thought this post was about Trukhno?
    Nice set of tools: Size, hands, skating, but I'm sure every organization has 2 or 3 of these types that will never put it together.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    Schremp DID try, and was good enough to be in the AHL top 10 in scoring.

    I have to imagine that a lot of the anti-Schremp contingent have never themselves played on a totally crappy hockey team. For example, one run by a coach who doesn't have a clue, with team mates who aren't any good. It's horrible.

    Having worked in an ego driven industry, one thing I do understand are some of the dynamics which can occur when impressionable people are psychologically driven in what's for them are unhealthy directions. If anyone here wants to debate the psychological health of the Edmonton Oilers organisation, feel free because from where I'm sitting they seem a lot more like the ones who need to be getting examined, from president through training staff, than a mere disfunctioning draft pick.

  47. Lowetide says:

    hunter: How do we know we're part of the Schremp contingent? Does bile build up when his name is mentioned? Do we say a silent prayer for misfortune to come his way every fall?

    SOME of us were fans once upon a time, you know.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=88121&highlight=2004

  48. uni says:

    You have some points hunter, but I think you're comments about Eberle being a surefire bust and MPS having hands of lead are a bit much.

    Eberle has me concerned, but no more so than any late 1st draft pick. MPS from all reports has a lot of skill and drive so we'll see how he pans out.

    It's obvious that you're very passionate about the Oilers and hockey, but I think you come on a bit too negative sometimes which detracts from any logical argument you may be trying to make, reducing it to sounding like bitter incoherent vitriol.

  49. bookie says:

    LT – In reading your 2004 summary I caught your comments on Reddox and think they are interesting considering the 'working class' Marchant-like player we are seeing now. Just goes to show that its difficult to know where these things end up. He has popped in a few points with only moderate opportunities, so maybe those hands will arrive on the scene making him a bottom 6 point getter for the team.

    LT – Re:Reddox circa 2004

    Liam Reddox is right off the screen for an Oiler draft. Great pains were made to suggest that he's 5'10.5 instead of 5'9, but I don't really see the difference based on his style of play. His foot speed has been described as "average" which considering his size means he's the equivalent of "dead in the water" as a prospect. The scouting reports I've read have him as getting "outmuscled" often.

    Why did they draft him? Because he has soft hands, he's a pure scorer. 31 goals in his rookie season in the OHL. He could turn into Michael Henrich, or maybe he'll be something better. Stands out as possibly the most unusual pick in KP's drafts, and imo that means they must love the guy.

  50. knighttown says:

    I have to imagine that a lot of the anti-Schremp contingent have never themselves played on a totally crappy hockey team. For example, one run by a coach who doesn't have a clue, with team mates who aren't any good. It's horrible.

    You mean like the one Ryan Potulny scored 39 goals on last year? Slice it and dice it all you want but no one was less deserving of a spot in the NHL after Christmas than Rob Schremp. If he plays better I'll support whether its in the NHL or the AHL.

    And as LT alluded to, some of us were fans in fact I'm looking across the room at my signed #44 Oilers Schremp jersey i still have on my wall. I got it just after he was drafted when I was in London and the Knights were all that. Stop accusing a group who are pretty damn objective of being Schremp haters. I base my opinions on a players performance not on some childhood crush.

  51. doritogrande says:

    While I'm not as steadfast in support of Schremp as some others, two comments I saw I feel the need to reubt:

    Guys, he NEVER dominated the AHL, he NEVER developed another dimension.

    2007-08 season AHL statistics (http://stats.theahl.com/stats/statdisplay.php?type=top_scorers&subType=0&season_id=12&league_id=4&lastActive=&confId=0) show Schremp as one of the premier offensive talents of the league. His next closest points producer on his team was Marc Pouliot who shows up tied for 88th in points. Believe it or not, Rob Schremp was driving the offensive bus in Springfield two seasons ago. To add insult to injury, he was playing for a bad team. Of the scorers above him in points, only Jeff Tambellini played on a team that did not make the playoffs. Surely the success of a team has an effect on scoring.

    but you can't be small, slow and one dimensional all at the same time. That my friends is Rob Schremp.

    Using stats from hockeydb, Rob Schremp is 5'11" 200lbs. We have a very comparable player on the Oilers who stands 5'10" 191lbs. Schremp is bigger than this comparable person.

    Skating was an issue for Rob Schremp during his draft year. Also documented was the (albeit) less noticable skating issues surrounding his comparable. From redline: While not an elite skater, he gets there just fine.. I'll admit, the comp is somewhat superior in this aspect, but note that skating was one of his weaknesses.

    I also believe we don't have a large enough sample size to suggest that Rob Schremp is (or would be) a completely one dimensional scorer at the NHL level. It takes kids that are not elite talents time to develop before they should be written off entirely as Schremp is being. He was a one-dimensional scorer in the OHL, but then again I'll point to an LT favourite in Liam Reddox who was exactly the same (thanks to Bookie for reiterating this point perfectly). Fact is, kids re-make themselves all the time. Who's to say Schremp, or my comp (who was, incidentally a supreme offensive talent throughout his single junior season as well) won't be any different

    In this exercise, Rob Schremp's comparable was Sam Gagner. Look it up if you don't believe me.

  52. Lowetide says:

    dorito: Gagner has progressed, no? I mean he's scoring well in the NHL as a teenager despite bleeding fastballs down the pipe the other way.

    Schremp's progress was hard to track because of his mondo time on ice in London. Gagner may have had the same problem but he was only in London the one year.

    In that one season (at 17) he scored 118 points in 53 games, well clear of 2 per game. Schremp at 17 in London scored 75 points in 63 games.

    Impressive, but not in Gagner's range.

  53. jon k says:

    I've never really understood the justification of people who are described as Schremp boosters.

    He's never been exceptional in any way you can choose to examine a hockey player, with the dubious exception of his shootout skills.

    His junior career numbers are all pedestrian excepting his final season as a 19 year old playing on an offensive juggernaut with two linemates who are currently difference makers in the NHL. Don't you wonder if he was being propped up by them?

    His AHL numbers have never been dominant. And no, a point per game pace as a 21 year old doesn't count as dominant. It's merely par. If you're looking for top6 NHL forwards you expect birdies in the AHL after their rookie season.

    And even if you ignore numbers and go by the "saw him good" perspective, you can plainly see that he's not fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough to play in the NHL right now. We saw that in his call-up last season. He had three good plays in 4 games and quite frankly had quite a bit of puck luck. In those four games we also saw him lose battles at every instance and struggle so desperately that he lost his balance more than once.

    MacT never really enters into the equation. Being a pro athlete is generally about bringing the results, and with Schremp they just aren't there yet.

    He just doesn't show enough yet to justify being an NHLer. That might change as early as next training camp, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  54. bookie says:

    I've never really understood the justification of people who are described as Schremp boosters.

    He's never been exceptional in any way you can choose to examine a hockey player…

    His junior career numbers are all pedestrian …

    His AHL numbers have never been dominant…

    … he's not fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough to play in the NHL…

    He just doesn't show enough yet to justify being an NHLer…

    Uhm, have you seen his youtube clips?

    Debate over – You lose!

    .

  55. Bruce says:

    He has popped in a few points with only moderate opportunities, so maybe those hands will arrive on the scene making him a bottom 6 point getter for the team.

    Bookie: I'll have you know that Reddox trailed only Zack Stortini in PPGF ON/60 last season. :)

    Schremp was third in this category, also (obviously) in a tiny sample size. But in his case it's not completely a fluke. He may have worse warts than the Wicked Witch of the West, but I'll say this much for Robbie Schremp: he was one hell of a powerplayer in London. From the half wall into the right circle, he'd find the soft spot that gave him the split-second necessary to let his shot fly, and he had an uncanny knack of wiring it right under the crossbar.

  56. bookie says:

    making him a bottom 6 point getter for the team

    Bruce – I meant to say a decent 3rd or 4th line point getter (i.e. a compliment)

  57. PunjabiOil says:

    I think Schremp will have an NHL career.

    Both sides raise a few good points. My view is that:

    1) Without question MacT has his favourites. Ethan Moreau got away without repercussions, and Dustin Penner's PP time was cut.

    The icing on the cake was on MacT's final coaching game as an Oiler, he HS both Nilsson and Penner. Coincidental? I think not.

    2) Schremp did play well in 2 out of the 3 games. He was reported saying that he was afraid to make any mistakes. Maybe he doesn't have the mental make-up at this point, but the guy is still relatively young. You don't finish 7th in the AHL in scoring playing on a bad team.

    3) But is there room? You don't play Schremp over Brule. Keeping Potulny would be prudent.

    I would keep Schremp for 10 games. If the Oilers have room to play Liam Reddox or Steve MacIntyre, there is room to give 5-7 minutes to Schremp and see what's there. Putting him on waivers is questionable when you gave JF Jacques umpteen chances.

  58. PunjabiOil says:

    As for Trukhno, his numbers fell from his 20 year old season. Still young enough to give him another chance.

    RE: Eberle, sure there were some concerns. However, the fact Eberle scored at a PPG at 18 in the AHL indicates he has the ability to turn something more than a useful 2nd liner.

    I love them goal scorers. I don't really see a bust in him; just perhaps not reaching his potential, but an NHL player? Absolutely.

  59. DanMan says:

    The thing I hear about Schremp that really makes me sick is "compete level".

    First of all, the smartest hockey players often don't look very competitive at all. Sometimes a high "compete level" results in a lot of minor penalties.

    This entire team was uncompetitive last year. With the exception of maybe Dwayne Roloson. To single out Schremp, call him out on TSN when he's in Springfield was absouletely inexcusable and embarassing for the Oilers.

    I would much rather give Schremp the 2nd line LW spot and waive Nilsson. We would save about $1.25 million and the production would be arguably as good or better.

    The "compete level" between those two is a wash. Neither of them should be turned into great backcheckers.

  60. DanMan says:

    You are never going to lose a hockey game because of Robbie Schremp's (perceived) uncompetitiveness.

    But you may win a game beacuse of the offense he creates.

  61. Lowetide says:

    DanMan: Skating is an issue, so you could easily argue he's not in the frame when the game happens.

  62. DanMan says:

    That is true, but that usually has little to no impact on the game.

    Look at two of the newest HOFers: Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull. Both were bad skaters with Robitaille more on the horrendus side of things.

    Now I'm not saying that Schremp will ever be near as good as those guys. But sometimes, if a guy can see the ice like few others and has great hands, you have to hope the positives outweigh the negatives.

    Nobody mentions the positives of Rob Schremp. Every time his name comes up it becomes polarizing. There is no perfect all-around hockey player. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I just find it amazing that we can pick so many flaws in just 6 games, averaging 7-9 minutes per.

  63. Lowetide says:

    DanMan: The reason Schremp is such a dividing issue is that normal conversation is impossible when his names is mentioned.

    As an example, here is Schremp's career on a line using my evaluation tool.

    1. Player of unknown quality (Mark Pysyk)

    2. Entry level junior/college player(Lyon Messier)

    3. Fringe level junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Mike Cann)

    4. Regular in junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Brett Sutter)

    5. Quality junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Brandon Sutter)

    6. Impact junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Sam Gagner)

    7. Minor League/Elite Euro league Depth Player (Jeff Deslauriers)

    8. Minor League/Elite Euro league Regular (Rob Schremp)

    9. Quality Minor/Elite Euro league Player (Kyle Brodziak)

    10. NHL Fringe Player (Jean Francois Jacques)

    11. NHL Role Player (Marc Pouliot)

    12. NHL Regular (Ethan Moreau)

    13. Above Average NHL Player (Ales Hemsky)

    14. Impact NHL Player (Iginla)

    Okay, here's Schremp from his draft day:

    2003-04: 5
    2004-05: 6
    2005-06: 6
    2006-07: 8
    2007-08: 9
    2007-08: 8

    Is this progress?

  64. raventalon40 says:

    doritogrande

    While I'm not as steadfast in support of Schremp as some others, two comments I saw I feel the need to reubt:

    Guys, he NEVER dominated the AHL, he NEVER developed another dimension.

    2007-08 season AHL statistics (http://stats.theahl.com/stats/statdisplay.php?type=top_scorers&subType=0&season_id=12&league_id=4&lastActive=&confId=0) show Schremp as one of the premier offensive talents of the league. His next closest points producer on his team was Marc Pouliot who shows up tied for 88th in points. Believe it or not, Rob Schremp was driving the offensive bus in Springfield two seasons ago. To add insult to injury, he was playing for a bad team. Of the scorers above him in points, only Jeff Tambellini played on a team that did not make the playoffs. Surely the success of a team has an effect on scoring.

    but you can't be small, slow and one dimensional all at the same time. That my friends is Rob Schremp.

    Using stats from hockeydb, Rob Schremp is 5'11" 200lbs. We have a very comparable player on the Oilers who stands 5'10" 191lbs. Schremp is bigger than this comparable person.

    Skating was an issue for Rob Schremp during his draft year. Also documented was the (albeit) less noticable skating issues surrounding his comparable. From redline: While not an elite skater, he gets there just fine.. I'll admit, the comp is somewhat superior in this aspect, but note that skating was one of his weaknesses.

    I also believe we don't have a large enough sample size to suggest that Rob Schremp is (or would be) a completely one dimensional scorer at the NHL level. It takes kids that are not elite talents time to develop before they should be written off entirely as Schremp is being. He was a one-dimensional scorer in the OHL, but then again I'll point to an LT favourite in Liam Reddox who was exactly the same (thanks to Bookie for reiterating this point perfectly). Fact is, kids re-make themselves all the time. Who's to say Schremp, or my comp (who was, incidentally a supreme offensive talent throughout his single junior season as well) won't be any different

    In this exercise, Rob Schremp's comparable was Sam Gagner. Look it up if you don't believe me.

    I agree, DG.

  65. DanMan says:

    I understand your system but the analysis doesn't really work for a player like Schremp, LT.

    First of all there was steady progress with a big jump from 05-06 to 06-07. In 07-08 he elevated his game to be quite a bit more than Brodz at that level, I would argue under a different coach that year he could have been a 10-11.

    His "regression" I think can be accurately attributed to being on the worst team in the AHL, surrounded by little talent to get him the puck or bury his feeds. Also, having the coach of the big club PUBLICLY stating that he would not get a shot up here did not help him at all. That has to be mentally devastating for a guy who played so well the previous season as well as when he was with the Oilers.

  66. DanMan says:

    Not to mention the notorious-as-of-late Edmonton Prospect Backlash Bandwagon seems to have run him over.

    Linus Omark, look out buddy, you're next!

  67. Bruce says:

    Bruce – I meant to say a decent 3rd or 4th line point getter (i.e. a compliment)

    Bookie: Yeah, I got you … I was trying to be complimentary too. (Hey, anytime I mention a guy in the same breath as Zack Stortini … :)

    I have higher hopes for Reddox than many. While I don't disagree that he may have arrived at the NHL level a year too early — we never did fill that GlenX hole — I don't accept that what he showed last year is all that we're going to see. He scored some in junior and has shown how hard he is prepared to work at the professional level. I see absolutely zero to suggest he is going to stop improving.

  68. TC91 says:

    Maybe Jason Allison could be a good comp for Schremp?

  69. Jonathan Willis says:

    TC91: The first blog post I ever wrote compared Schremp with Allison and 11 others (including Cassels, Stillman and Savard).

    He's not close to any of those named players as a professional; the one guy he resembled a bit was Jason Dawe.

  70. Jonathan Willis says:

    And for the love of god, can we please stop picking sides on Schremp? Must we either hate him or love him unconditionally?

    He's a good player in a narrow view. He generates offense, but not enough as a professional the last few seasons, and doesn't add enough in other areas to compensate if he isn't scoring.

    He's been benched, scratched and publicly criticized by his coach in the OHL, AHL and NHL – at some point, even his fans need to admit that there's a reason for it.

    On the other hand his OHL record, while up-and-down, had some seasons of genuinely incredible production. He's had one very decent AHL season under Kelly Buchberger. He's probably got the offensive ability to make it work in the right situation at the NHL level.

    This isn't black and white: there's good and bad to Schremp, and if he doesn't make it we can point a finger at the guys developing him, but the lion's share of the blame will fall on Schremp, because he's never corrected the deficiencies that saw him benched in the OHL playoffs all those years ago.

  71. Master Lok says:

    Agreed JW.

    According to Hunter and DanMan, everyone is either black or white. And if you're dishing on Schremp, then you're a racist.

    Can't we just say that he's a prospect with some holes in his game without getting into a hissyfit (again)?

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