How many times has that title been used when talking about Rob Schremp? Heh.
The fact of it still remains that in the summer of 2004 the Oilers were surprised that Schremp was still available when they picked at number 25 in the 1st round of the NHL entry draft. In sticking with the age old adage, take the best player still available, the Oilers drafted the skilled center. It’s now 2008 and this young player still has not come close to making the next step into the big market. The questions are two fold when it comes to Schremp’s story. Is it really true that his attitude was so bad that he screwed himself out of an NHL job? Or did the Edmonton Oilers take a pass on the kid because he doesn’t fit the so called mold of an Edmonton Oiler. As normal, with almost any dilemma, the answer is somewhere in between. I do believe that Schremp’s work ethic and attitude in the first years after he was drafted was enough for the Oilers to try to “break” the young hockey player. It seemed that Schremp felt that he could hot dog his way through anything.
As we all know the guys that actually make the NHL have been there done that. The players that are in the NHL are there not because they are talented, it’s because they are talented and are driven to be better. Their work ethic is second to none and that work ethic is what makes them NHL players. Lots of young hockey players have the raw talent, they are born with that, but only a few learn to work hard enough for that raw talent to mean anything. There are signs that Schremp, as he is getting older, may be finally learning that. The other side of the coin is of course the Edmonton Oilers. As much as I believe it’s still up to the player to show he wants to play, the team needs to show they want the player. I don’t think the Oilers have done a very good job of that. MacT is a defense first coach, I’m fine with that, as long as you don’t stick with it to the point of looking silly. The Edmonton Oilers have been a very un-skilled hockey team for a number of years now. Lots of guys that can work hard, but no skill.
The Oilers could have used a player with the skill set of a Rob Schremp and I sure if I thought about it long enough even I could come up with some ideas as to how the club may have managed Schremp’s development better then they did. I’ll be the first to admit that every team needs the type of players that do everything well except put up points. However you also need the players that are there for no other reason BUT to put up points. Who cares if Schremp doesn’t back check like MacT’s favorite Marty Reasoner of the past 5 seasons. If Schremp was drafted to score gaols, let him go score goals! If he is really that big of a defensive liability make sure he is on the ice with players that can make that up for him. Not to mention he could play the 3rd or 4th line and be a power play specialist if one so desired. In the end, and trust me when I say this, the end is near when we are talking Rob Schremp and the Edmonton Oilers.
This upcoming season may be the final chapter in this story. When the Oilers let Mary Reasoner sign with the Atlanta Thrashers as a free agent, they left a spot on the roster for one new player this season. That spot is hardly Schremp’s spot to lose, in fact if I was a betting man he will have to be lights out at training camp to even be considered, but the window is once again open for that next step. It will take a summer of effort and training from Schremp and a open mind from the Oilers coaching staff to give the young man a real shot at the NHL. If the two stars align, maybe we will finally see Rob Schremp as an Oiler. If not, I think Schremp will be traded, maybe even before the 08-09 training camp opens.
Then again, this is just a damned opinion.