It's EuroCan cup time, which means that Rob Schremp is once again getting attention. In the EuroCan cup a group of London Knights alumni (along with some others, like Marc Pouliot) play some exhibition games against Euro teams to prepare for the season. Rob Schremp has reportedly played well, with two goals and one assist. Sam Gagner has too - with one goal and two assists.
Some of the more easily swayed minds at HFBoards are taking this to extremes. Take, for example, Real_Estate-Agent:
Since Gagner & Schremp are playing equally well, one of two conclusions come to mind.
1) Gagner is not that good of a player.
2) Schremp has the skills to play in the NHL.
While that's fairly farcical reasoning, one thing this EuroCan cup has done is show us exactly why Rob Schremp isn't in the NHL.
Schremp was asked what he wanted out of the Oilers coaching staff this fall. What he said is enlightening:
"I want a fair chance. I want to be able to play my game. You can take instruction on how to learn play-systems and traps, but I just hope that my game can stay intact . . . (and I play) the kind of hockey I played with the Knights."
A sample of the kind of hockey he played with the Knights is in that video above, and it's obvious to anyone that Schremp knows what to do with the puck - on the powerplay, at least. If you sit through the entire video, it shows 52 of Rob Schremp's goals. I started watching the video, but then I noticed something that made me sit back and do some counting. After watching the video, here are the kinds of goals that Rob Schremp scored:
- Powerplay: 42
- Even-Strength: 9
- Shootout: 1
It isn't surprising to see this sort of split; Tyler over at mc79hockey showed that in Rob Schremp's draft year, the vast majority of his scoring (a whopping 63% of it) came on the powerplay.
Yet, Schremp wants to play the game he played in junior - a game that:
- Kept him from playing any significant role for Team USA at the World Juniors for 2 of 3 years
- Led his junior coach to shift him to wing or bench him entirely
- Got him healthy-scratched in his first AHL season
- Has kept him off of Craig MacTavish's Oilers
The most interesting quote came from Todd Richards, who coached Schremp in WIlkes-Barre when he was a rookie pro. Compare what Richards said with what Schremp says above:
"Right now, I think what he’s doing is he’s bringing his junior game. I don’t mean that in a negative way. There’s things he’s done his whole life that he’s been able to do. Now he’s playing against guys that are bigger, stronger, faster. Those plays aren’t there anymore."
Apparently I wasn't the only person thinking these things - Lowetide has comments up that I completely agree with, and there's a terrific article up at Hockey's Future which goes well beyond the stuff said in the London Free Press. It's possibly the first HF article that I've seen where they don't bother to edit (all of the) language, and Schremp speaks his mind. HF's variant of the quote above is a little more drastic:
"I'm just looking for a fair chance. I just want to play my game and play how I can play. I just want to be able to play my game and play Rob Schremp hockey. Obviously there are things you have to work on, like defensive play and systems, but those are the things that every player has to work on."
If the things Rob Schremp says in the Hockey's Future article are any indication, the three years in the minors haven't convinced him that he needs to change his game.
And that isn't a good thing. Not at all.