Youth is Wasted on All the Wrong People

I have to hand it to Rob Schremp, he didn’t run his mouth during the first three seasons of pro hockey. Apparently he couldn’t take it any longer. I had started to question Kyle Woodlief’s written words with regard to the prospect and his sense of entitlement. For those who don’t remember, Woodlief carved Rob a new one before the draft and called him “selfish and petulant with an attitude of entitlement.” Woodlief didn’t question his hands but did comment on average size and subpar skating skills as being factors in ranking him lower than publications like ISS.

If I knew Rob Schremp my advice would be to work on that skating (even at this stage, it can’t hurt) and to arrive at camp in good shape, with a positive attitude and look to make an early impression. You know, like Geoff Paukovich did last training camp when he damn near killed Kyle Greentree in an early pre-season game a year ago. Among the things “not to do” would be to run his mouth before training camp and draw attention to himself in a negative way.

It’s too late now, of course. Schremp told the London Free Press that “you can take instructions on how to learn play-systems and traps, but I just hope my game can stay intact and I play the kind of hockey I played with the Knights.”

As a parent I can tell you there’s a lot of time spent “waiting for the light to go on” with young people. My Dad must have wanted to back over me a thousand times with the big old GMC but he never did, showing me again and again (with colorful language, to be sure) the right way to do things and thank goodness it eventually took (or at least enough of it for me to get through life to this point).

What can you say to Rob Schremp? Someone has already told him “son, you can’t play the way you did in London because you’re not going to have the puck very much” or “long before they let you run the powerplay they’re going to expect that you aren’t going to kill them in 5-on-5 situations” or “Rob, you’re just not good enough to do the things in the NHL that you could do blindfolded in junior.”

I think someone should have told him how this sort of thing plays with coaching staffs. They don’t give a rat’s ass about what you want, they care about winning. Better or worse, a lot of what involves winning in hockey is defending. You can defend with speed and aggression on the forecheck, you can defend by collapsing the defense, you can play the trap and you can punish people physically. How many of these things does Rob Schremp have in his tool-kit, and more to the point, how many things has he worked on adding to his skill set since being drafted?

The quotes in the Free Press sound a little like he’s saying the new coaching staff better smarten the fuck up before they lose a really good player. Craig MacTavish or Pat Quinn, the response is the same: if Rob Schremp could help NHL teams win hockey games he’d be in the G.D. league already.

UPDATE: Hockey’s Future offers a more in-depth look at Schremp here. Some astounding quotes in there, including some points about conditioning at last year’s camp. Lordy. Here’s an example from the HF article:

  • “I’ve gotten harder, more focused on my off-ice. You work out and everyone does the same shit. It’s not like I’m doing anything different than any other hockey player, but there’s more things you can do, like dieting and protein shakes and all that shit. Working out with Sammy Gagner has really helped me a lot. You know, last year I went out and saw Chad Morrow (sic) and I got all that weightlifting down, but I didn’t have a good diet. I came into camp–I wasn’t fat at camp–I didn’t get the best results that I could if I had been on track with everything. This time I knew I had to buckle down.”

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