Monday, July 27, 2009

Sorry To Get Back Into A Schremp Rant

But even though he had a year that was beyond bad, there are reasons why I still believe that he will become a NHLer. Right now he is seen by many as a prospect that went the wrong direction and is stuck out at sea and drifting swiftly to certain doom. Even as a Schremp supporter there are some things that I have seen and heard that I am none too pleased about. His unwillingness to look for his shot, the fact that he seems to be o.k. with his foot speed, and lastly, the fact that he had a piece of crap middle and end to his season in Springfield.

Here's why I still have hope for the kid.....

His skill set is best utilized by playing with other skilled players. He is not fast enough to generate offense the way that Ales Hemsky does off the rush and he's not big or strong enough to overpower defensemen like Dustin Penner does when he bears down. What he is capable of doing is reading the play swiftly, making a quick and accurate pass to create offense for his linemates, receiving a pass smoothly and hammering it home with a onetimer, and lastly the kid can be one hell of a treat to watch on the PP.

He's also been getting stronger and slowly but surely (no pun intended) he's getting faster. He most certainly isn't where I had hoped for him to be at 23 years of age, hell I was expecting more at 20 years of age than what he did last year. However each and every player has a different timetable whether it's because of depth, slow development, or a combination of factors. It's easy to put money down that Schremp won't be an Oiler or a NHLer because 7 goals and 35 assists would be seen as a good year for a d-man in the AHL but most certainly not a top 6 forward.

But this time around he doesn't have to conquer the obstacle that was Craig Mactavish, this time he could be seen as a cheap and effective player for a team that is getting close to the cap, this time he has nothing to lose because even if he fails to make the Oilers he could be claimed by another team, this time he has some confidence that he can make plays at the NHL level after his 4 game stint, this time he's not the center of attention. This time and this season is the last time that I go out on a limb for the kid. No excuses, no more running in circles, it all falls at the feet of Rob Schremp. Get it done or be gone, it's now or never.

I have spent far too much time defending this player and talking about his skill level over the last 5 years, it's up to him to make or break my case on the ice this season. The fact that MacT is gone means that I would have a hell of a hard time finding fault in the new coaching staff if he doesn't cut it for them or he craps the bed at camp. If anything some of the contracts ahead of him could be seen as a point of concern, but if he finally turns the switch and produces, I find it highly unlikely that the Oilers simply chance losing him for nothing. Forgive my seemingly never ending defense of the kid, but this time I know that it's different and that one way or another this will have a final resolution. Quite frankly, even I am looking for closure on this situation.

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