Schremp is no fool

Robin Brownlee
December 08 2008 04:34PM

Players with more dangle and higher point totals than Rob Schremp have been busts in the NHL because they had skills worth a million bucks, but brains you'd be hard-pressed to get 10 cents for.

How many talented but stubborn prospects have failed to live up to the expectations of draft day because they never figured it out? "It" being the ability to grasp a simple premise -- give them what they want, because if you don't, somebody else will.

If the coach says you have to get stronger, get stronger. If he says you have to get faster, get faster. If he insists you have to be more reliable defensively with no regard for the fact you scored 50 goals in The Dub or the OHL (it's 70 goals in the Q because everybody except fourth-liners gets 35), then get to stepping and figure out how.

In Schremp's case, the coach, Craig MacTavish, has been saying all those things since the Oilers drafted him 25th overall from the London Knights in 2004. Apparently, Schremp's been listening.

That makes him talented AND smart.

Doing it right

"There's confidence building in my game and confidence coming from the coaching staff as well," said Schremp, who has three assists and a plus-2 rating since being recalled from Springfield of the AHL. "I mean, this is the most I've played. It's been a good start."

Three games in his latest NHL stint does not a career make, but it's obvious that Schremp is sharp enough to understand his best chance at long-term employment in the NHL -- and cashing the cheques that come with it -- is to listen to what he's told and provide what's asked for.

At 22, Schremp has it figured out. Given his reputation going into the draft -- an overblown bum-rap as a bad act that contributed to him plummeting out of the top 10 -- he seemed a prime candidate to become one of those guys who blew it because he figured he knew more than the organization that drafted him.

"Hey, MacT, shove defensive reliability up your crack. I'm Robbie Freakin' Schremp, Schrempy, the Schrempmeister. I had 145 points in London, so I'm gonna become a Selke Trophy candidate? Maybe YOU had to backcheck, but me? Skating? Pfft. Get serious." You get the drift.

"Defensive hockey doesn't take away from your offence," said Schremp. "It only adds. It's just learning how to do it.

"I never learned. As a kid, I just played offence. In junior, I just played offence. I always had the puck. I mean, look at our team in London. We always had the puck, you know what I mean?

"Then, when you get thrown into pro, it's like you have to learn. That's been my last two years in the minors."

Now, after taking advice to heart Schremp didn't always want to hear, here he is.

Funny how that works

"This is the last year of my contract," Schremp said. "I want to play some hockey and I don't want to go to the minors. I don't want to be there. I've had enough of it.

"I feel I put in the work down there. I think I can help at this level. My point of view is I want to be here for the year."

It goes without saying Schremp needs to keep doing what he's been doing to stick into the New Year. When Sam Gagner and Robert Nilsson return from injuries, MacTavish will have some decisions to make.

But, by buying in instead of whining that he'd never get a fair shake from MacTavish -- I was one of those people who thought Schremp and MacT would never find common ground and predicted Schremp would be traded at the June draft -- No. 88 might now have an ally.

"In the grand scheme of things, there's a way to play and there's the kind of player he wants me to be," Schremp said of MacTavish. "When he sees that, I get my shot.

"He wants to make sure I'm ready and that I can have a long career and not be up and down. It was frustrating at times, but it takes time to mature and grow and realize what the game plan is.

"It's not the coach not wanting to give you a shot or hating you, it's that they have a game plan. The coach wants to have players succeed and have a career. A couple years ago I guess you could say I was a long shot, now I'm right here and pretty close to being a good player."

Around the rink

-- Dustin Penner, who has been nagged by a knee injury that's significant enough he had an MRI last week, didn't skate today. Neither did Sheldon Souray, an absence MacTavish characterized as a chance to rest some "wear and tear."

-- Gagner (mild concussion) won't play against the Panthers Thursday and Nilsson (shoulder) as listed as very doubtful.

—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Chris
December 08 2008, 05:03PM
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I hope Penner is okay...Do you think he hurt his knee kicking Scott Oake?

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#2 Smokin' Ray
December 08 2008, 05:06PM
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I guess with Gagner and Nilsson out a little longer Schremp get's a little more time to impress. Good for him.

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#3 Chris
December 08 2008, 05:30PM
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Every person is unique (like a snowflake and all that s#!T). But between scouting and coaching it seems that the organizational goal of the Oilers is to have all 15 forwards (minus Hemsky) stamped out of the same mould. I can hardly tell Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano, Brule, Schremp, and Pouliot apart. They could all swap equipment, drive each others cars without adjusting the mirrors, check, skate, and avoid hits wearing the wrong numbers and anyone sitting more than twenty rows up would never know. That is why Schremp will fit in. That is why Nilsson is working on his defensive game. That is why the Oil will pass on Gratton. That is why this team is "easy to play against". I'm happy for Robbie. But we already have five of him!

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#4 Antony Ta
December 08 2008, 05:45PM
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Chris wrote:

Every person is unique (like a snowflake and all that s#!T). But between scouting and coaching it seems that the organizational goal of the Oilers is to have all 15 forwards (minus Hemsky) stamped out of the same mould. I can hardly tell Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano, Brule, Schremp, and Pouliot apart. They could all swap equipment, drive each others cars without adjusting the mirrors, check, skate, and avoid hits wearing the wrong numbers and anyone sitting more than twenty rows up would never know. That is why Schremp will fit in. That is why Nilsson is working on his defensive game. That is why the Oil will pass on Gratton. That is why this team is “easy to play against”. I’m happy for Robbie. But we already have five of him!

If you can't tell Cogliano from Gagner, and Cogliano from Nilsson, or Brule from Schremp, and Schremp from Pouliot, you need to pay closer attention. I get your point when it comes to the approximate skill level offensively and defensively, but you know exactly what to expect from any of these players game in and game out, whether or not they're performing at their best.

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#5 Chris
December 08 2008, 05:56PM
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I'm also talking about size, aggression, intangibles, etc. Yes they are all different. But they are also all the same. A team needs a variety of players with individual dimension to their game. I like all these players, but we have too many of them. I would have packaged some of them up for some size, and experience. Every single one of those boys is a better player than Gratton. Doesn't change the fact that the Oilers could use a player like Gratton. I hope they all become superstars; but remember the lesson of the 05 Rangers.

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#6 Jason Gregor
December 08 2008, 07:56PM
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Chris,

What is it that Gratton brings that is so great? Size? That is it. Well in case you haven't noticed Cogliano's speed separates him from the rest, as does Brule's grit and tenacity.

Saying Nilsson and Schremp are the same is very accurate. I don't think there is room for both of them long term. I'd argue there isn't room for them and Pouliot, but we will see.

Gratton doesn't play the role that any of them do, if he comes here you are saying he can take Brodziak's icetime, and to me that wouldn't make sense. Brodziak is younger, faster and has more offensive upside right now.

The intangible that Gratton brings would be is bit of a mean streak, but even that is rare nowadays. And the Leafs grabbed him before the Oilers would have been able to anyways. But I spoke with a member of the organization who said at this time, they had no interest.

What the Oilers need is a robust player, who can forecheck, create emotion and contribute 8-11 goals a season. Harder to find than you think. Of course they need a sniper, but that is a pipedream for another day.

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#7 Gord
December 08 2008, 08:13PM
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Gregor/Robin - is it reasonable to say now that Schremp and Brule are here that there will be a trade made when Gagner and Nilsson come back? I assume Gagner would be safe from a trade and that one or two of Cogliano, Nilsson, Brule or Schremp would be moved if a trade did go down - any word if there is any interest out there for any of those four? Another question - is there any long term plans for Cole? Has his name come up on any trade romours?

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#8 Dennis
December 08 2008, 08:15PM
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Dear Mr. Jason Gregor:

Is it reasonable to say that the Oilers also need someone who can win faceoffs and/or kill penalties?

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#9 Fiveandagame
December 08 2008, 08:26PM
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@ Gord:

I know I am not Robin or Gregor. BUT in my opinion before the Oilers consider moving any of those guys they need to trade a goaltender.

First trade the Oilers make this season will be with one of their goaltenders. That in and of itself opens a roster spot for Shremp/Brule. And with much Higher pedigree and time invested, if Brule keeps up his play, the first guy sent down will be Reddox.

The Oilers have a plethora of young talent and they aren't about to peddle it around to other GM's for the sake of a roster spot.

Great article BTW Robin. Having you Gregor dishing your inside scoops here is wicked awesome.

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#10 Fiveandagame
December 08 2008, 08:27PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Great insight and a snappy dresser. Do you have a clothing sponsorship or something?

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#11 Gord
December 08 2008, 08:35PM
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@ Fiveandagame: I realize we need to move a goalie, but I think one of those guys will be need to packaged with a goalie to entice someone to take a goalie. As you know, there isn't much of a market for goalies and last year teams had to give goalies away to move them.

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#12 atastypie
December 08 2008, 08:39PM
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@ Fiveandagame: You're going to have to troll better than that

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#13 RobinB
December 08 2008, 08:40PM
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@ Gord: Not necessarily. When Gagner and Nilsson are both healthy again I can see Brule and Reddox being sent back to the AHL. My guess is they want to take a longer look at Schremp and if he'll keep performing as he has through the 40-game mark. If he does, then maybe Tambellini starts thinking about dealing from a position of depth (duplication).

As for Cole, what could you possibly get for him right now? That would be a classic case of buying high and selling low. As for long-term plans, nobody is going to make a call on that right now. Are you going to try to re-sign Cole when he's struggling, especially if you MIGHT have a guy who can provide the same offence in Schremp?

As far as trade rumours go, I don't listen to them because most are garbage made up by people who put 2+2 together and come up with 5. If I need to know something I ask Lowe or Tambellini.

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#14 Gord
December 08 2008, 08:50PM
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@ RobinB: Although Cole's value might be low, teams still know what he is capable of and what type of play he brings to the table. SMacIntyre coming back will also create a need for someone else to be sent down or dealt, which isn't too far off in the future. Regardless o who is coming back and who gets sent down, the Oilers need a large body banger who can play 15 minutes, don't we? It seems that Stortini has fallen from grace and any of MacT's immediate plans.

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#15 Gord
December 08 2008, 08:51PM
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^^^not that Stortini was playing 15 minutes...

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#16 RobinB
December 08 2008, 08:55PM
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Dennis wrote:

Dear Mr. Jason Gregor: Is it reasonable to say that the Oilers also need someone who can win faceoffs and/or kill penalties?

Yes they do, but Gratton isn't it.

And then there's JW: "He’d certainly be a better fit on the fourth line than Jesse Boulerice or Tim Sestito, or even current roster players like Stortini and Reddox."

My, that's high praise.

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#17 alphah
December 08 2008, 09:12PM
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Robin if you're going to make a comment like that; how can you be simultaneously be arguing against seeking a replacement for those players? Stortini doesn't contribute a whole lot..

If we had a checking line of Moreau-Gratton-Cole/Pisani would they be good enough to face top competition? I don't know. We should work on building a line of that nature.. because with them and our top line playing hard minutes; we could potentially afford ourselves 2 kid lines, right?

If having "the kid line" has been so good for us (as was suggested down the stretch last year), can it hurt to have two? As long as the other two lines are prepared for tough minutes... Then feed everything else to the kid brigade.

Our 4th line last year outperformed all other fourth lines.. That gave us a boost. Lets not reinvent the wheel with energy players, instead lets make it a kid line. Tell them to annihilate the opponents with speed and scoring prowess.

We have the personnel to try this sort of approach, so why not?

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#18 Jason Gregor
December 08 2008, 09:26PM
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Dennis wrote:

Dear Mr. Jason Gregor: Is it reasonable to say that the Oilers also need someone who can win faceoffs and/or kill penalties?

Dennis,

Yes they need that guy, but my point is then he is taking away from Brodiak. Brodziak has taken the 2nd most faceoffs on the Oilers and is a respectable 52%. He isn't great, but he is learning.

Cogliano is an awful 37% in the circle, but he too needs to learn and needs to be on the ice.

Gratton is very good in draws, but do you want him taking icetime from Brodziak at this stage of their careers? I would say no. Gratton is not a guy that can be effective on any other line here other than the 3rd or 4th, and that spot will be Brodziak, Cole and Gagner when the injured players return. Brule might be the answer for the draws. He is 2-0 so far, but has been really good in the minors. Plus his grit and edge would be a better fit than Gratton right now.

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#19 Dennis
December 08 2008, 09:26PM
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RB: Here's something I need to know: why don't the Oilers seem overly concerned with finding guys who can kill penalties?

Also, do you have access to some kind of stats that negate the ones everyone else can say that SAY that Gratton can win faceoffs and kill penalties?:)

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#20 rindog
December 08 2008, 09:26PM
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Robin,

If Schremp is so smart and has listened to the highly intelligent MacTavish - How do you explain the difference in approaches between Schremp and Gagner?

Is MacT only sometimes smart?

Why no life lesson for Gagner? Why no defensive awareness accountability for Sammie?

I will give you credit - Schremp is smart. Smart enough to know that he is done in this league if he doesn't atleast pretend to listen to MacT.

MacT can tell Robbie whatever he wants - the fact of the matter is. MacT has had nothing to do with making Robbie a better player. That credit lies with Rob and the coaches in Springfield....

In the same breath - MacT can be given all the credit in the world for Gagner's development this year........oops, what development?

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#21 Jason Gregor
December 08 2008, 09:27PM
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I meant Cogliano rather than Cole...

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#22 RobinB
December 08 2008, 09:32PM
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@ alphah: Who said I'm arguing against a replacement for those players? I just said Chris Gratton isn't it.

By the way, the fourth line, as you point out, can be (and was last season) very important. I can tell you the Oilers are sniffing around and looking to add somebody who can make the line as effective as it was last season.

Back to Gratton -- have you ever wondered why a big, strong and reasonably talented player like Gratton has bounced around the NHL like a ping-pong ball? What do the numbers say about that?

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#23 RobinB
December 08 2008, 09:49PM
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@ rindog: Different players need different approaches. Schremp had way more deficiencies in his game when he showed up for his first camp than Gagner did.

To say MacT had nothing to do with Schremp's development shows me how little you know. The coaches in Springfield know exactly what MacT wants certain players to work on. And in the case of last season, that's especially true since MacT and Buchberger aren't only old teammates, they're best friends. In any case, you're right about one thing -- Schremp deserves most of the credit for doing what was asked of him.

One last thing -- MacT is always smart. That doesn't mean he's always right.

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#24 esa tikkanen
December 08 2008, 10:31PM
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hey folks i have a trade idea.

How about Nilsson and Pouliot, Grebeshkov and Smid to Ottawa for Fisher and Volchenkov?

We have two many smallish, playmaking centers who are one dimensional, are not reliable defensively , can't win faceoffs, and can't kill penalties. This trades two of them and keeps the two I think are the better two, Cogliano and Gagner, with Schremp and Brule in the wings. Grebs is good but again we have Vishnovsky and Gilbert as similar, good skating, good passing but not so great in their own end or killing penalties. In exchange we get a proven high quality two way player in fisher who can kill penalties and win faceoffs at important times in the game in Fisher. In Volchenkov we have a potentially elite shut down defenceman who can skate, block shots and clear the net.

The Oilers have too many similar players and are missing the complementarity needed to succeed over an 82 game schedule and in the playoffs. The Senators are lacking in secondary scoring, depth at forward, and depth at defence. This addresses needs for both teams. Thoughts? I think both teams are giving up appropriate players and money for each other.

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#25 RobinB
December 08 2008, 10:43PM
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@ esa tikkanen: Who gets the two best players in the trade? Edmonton. Hmmm.

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#26 esa tikkanen
December 08 2008, 11:17PM
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Robin are you saying Ottawa wouldn't do this? I could see that argument, but I think they might consider it to add to their depth. The four players I mentioned from the Oilers are all first round draft picks, are all NHL ready, are all learning still at a huge rate, and should have their best days ahead of them. In exchange the Oilers get two very good but not elite players who fit their needs. Nilsson and Pouliot have far more skill and scoring potential than Fisher. Smid could be as good as Volchenkov, and has a higher draft pedigree. Grebeshkov adds to Ottawa's depth in exchange for Volchenkov being the proven commodity.

This is a trade that Sather made for years - two established players for 4 young players that might be better - would be nice to see the Oilers on the side giving up 4 young players with potential for 2 more established above average players.

Notice I am not saying to throw a bag of pucks at Ottawa for Spezza or something stupid. These 4 players can play in the NHL and could be stars. Ottawa is struggling, both Fisher and Volchenkov are minus players who are supposed to be good defensively. Pouliot almost has as many points as Fisher right now, with a much higher skill set. I think Ottawa would consider this and I think it would help both teams.

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#27 rindog
December 08 2008, 11:39PM
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@ RobinB:

Robin,

I have to trust that you know more than I do. However, if you are telling me that an AHL coach is going to sacrifice his coaching career to do what the NHL affiliate coach specifically wants, I have to raise an eyebrow? Would the coach not want to make a name for himself and prove that he has the ability to develop players on his own? Or does he simply read from the MacT coaching 101 handbook (see next paragraph)? I guess maybe in an organization where nepitism is running rampant - this might hold some weight.

So by deficiencies are you mostly referring to play away from the puck? So at what point in Gagner's first NHL season did MacT contribute to helping Gagner's -19 rating? We all know that +/- is a useless stat, but it must tell us something about the contribution of certain players? I realize that Gagner couldn't be sent to the AHL to work on these deficiencies, but if MacT is the one calling the shots down in Springfield - shouldn't MacT's playbook be working even better on a guy with first hand experience?

I am not really a Schremp fan - but the first 2 games he played this season were better than any two that #89 has played yet this year. I am so confused????

On a totally different topic (kinda) - I wanted to ask you why an organization would ever want to promote an AHL coach that is under direction from the NHL coach? If the NHL coach isn't good enough and gets fired - why would we expect the pupil to do any better?

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#28 Antony Ta
December 09 2008, 12:56AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Chris, What is it that Gratton brings that is so great? Size? That is it. Well in case you haven’t noticed Cogliano’s speed separates him from the rest, as does Brule’s grit and tenacity. Saying Nilsson and Schremp are the same is very accurate. I don’t think there is room for both of them long term. I’d argue there isn’t room for them and Pouliot, but we will see. Gratton doesn’t play the role that any of them do, if he comes here you are saying he can take Brodziak’s icetime, and to me that wouldn’t make sense. Brodziak is younger, faster and has more offensive upside right now. The intangible that Gratton brings would be is bit of a mean streak, but even that is rare nowadays. And the Leafs grabbed him before the Oilers would have been able to anyways. But I spoke with a member of the organization who said at this time, they had no interest. What the Oilers need is a robust player, who can forecheck, create emotion and contribute 8-11 goals a season. Harder to find than you think. Of course they need a sniper, but that is a pipedream for another day.

Jason, I like Sami Pahlsson and Steve Begin. I know Begin was in the press box in a situation similar to Penner a while back and Pahlsson is a UFA next year which might entice Anaheim into moving him early. And who knows, we could sign him long-term.

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#29 Norman
December 09 2008, 04:42AM
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Rindog,

Gagner had over 40 pts as an 18 year old rookie. And while, certainly not a defensive stalwart, made good decisions on the wall in the defensive zone. His O is not clicking at all this year, and he is not making the same good decisions in the offensive zone. And a whole lot of bad puck luck this year compared to a whole lot of good luck last year. Rough spot, but what were most of these guys doing at age 19? Playing their overage year in juniors rather than in the NHL.

I would agree that Schremp is in a good position to contribute more than Gagner has so far -- and Gagner and the team could use a little less icetime for his right now. Take some pressure off of him for a bit.

However, just as they were patient with Schremp -- they will be patient with Gagner too.

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#30 RobinB
December 09 2008, 09:09AM
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@ rindog: You've got it completely backwards. If you don't coach within the team systems plan and tailor your approach to what the head coach and GM at the NHL level want, then you really are sacrificing your career.

You "make a name" for yourself by implementing what the big club wants. There's room to inject a personal approach to what's being asked, but coaches of affiliated minor league teams don't get to freelance and simply say, "Here's how I think I'll do it."

Coaches like Claude Julien and Geoff Ward made it from the minors with the Oilers to the NHL because they did what was asked of them.

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#31 Rindog
December 09 2008, 09:25AM
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@ RobinB:

Well then answer this for me? How many coaches that are currently employed in the NHL are with the clubs that developed them in the AHL? From what I can gather (as an outsider) it would seem as though there are very few.

The examples you mentioned (Ward and Julien) made it with other organizations (Julien's situation is a little different).

I find it very hard to believe that Lowe, Tambellini or MacT are consistently telling the AHL coach to change their breakout or adapt their powerplay to suit the needs of the big club? If that were the case - wouldn't Julien and MacT be similar coaches? Wouldn't they possess some of the same systems? I can't think of two more different coaches???.

I am not saying that an AHL coach doesn't listen to the suggestions of the big club - but there has to be an area where the AHL coach implements his own ideals? Afterall - how did he get in that position in the first place?

I am not questioning your insight - but to give Craig MacTavish credit for developing Robbie Schremp seems a bit far fetched?

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#32 Rindog
December 09 2008, 09:28AM
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@ Norman:

I was not criticizing Gagner. I was making a point that both players showed an abundance of offensive talent at a young age. I was just curious as to why the two different approaches to their development. As Robin stated - you need to try different approaches with different players - but how does one determine which one will work? It seems evident that the path taken with Gagner is not working. I fail to see how you can say that they will be patient with Gagner? They put him in the league as the youngest player last year and have let him flounder this season. I am not saying which way is better - but I would think some philosohical consistency might be beneficial to ALL of our players???

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#33 RobinB
December 09 2008, 10:04AM
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@ Rindog: OK. I'm making it all up. Have it your way.

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#34 baggedmilk
December 09 2008, 10:13AM
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I was going to comment but then it told me to pretend my mom was reading over my shoulder. In turn, I spun around with the most excitement I have ever felt. Unfortunately, Mom still isn't there. She should be back with those cigarettes soon I bet. It's all I asked for for Christmas.

*raises Oiler foam finger with quivering Christmas lip*

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#35 Wanye Gretz
December 09 2008, 10:43AM
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baggedmilk wrote:

I was going to comment but then it told me to pretend my mom was reading over my shoulder. In turn, I spun around with the most excitement I have ever felt. Unfortunately, Mom still isn’t there. She should be back with those cigarettes soon I bet. It’s all I asked for for Christmas. *raises Oiler foam finger with quivering Christmas lip*

This is the saddest Christmas EVER.

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#36 Neil R.
December 09 2008, 10:46AM
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RobinB wrote:

@ rindog: Coaches like Claude Julien and Geoff Ward made it from the minors with the Oilers to the NHL because they did what was asked of them.

You can also add Buchberger in there as well now too, although I know he is just an assistant.

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#37 Gord
December 09 2008, 10:58AM
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@ Rindog: This is the biggest advantage of having your own AHL team. The Falcons, in the Oilers case, can play a similar system to the parent club so that if players are recalled, the recalled players are familiar with the system they are going to. Players like Schremp and Brule (before they were called up) are being monitored by the Oilers to see if they are progressing on the areas in which they need improvement. It is part of the Falcon's coach to work on deficiencies of these players which the Oilers coaching and management identified when they were assigned to Springfield.

This was the biggest hole the Oilers had when we didn't have our own AHL team - coaches and management didn't have a say in how players were developed as it wasn't our team.

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#38 Chris
December 09 2008, 11:12AM
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@ Jason Gregor: Hi Gregor. I know a player like Gratton would eat up Brodziak's ice time not Schremp's. I was refering to the roster spot. Will the Oilers use a ROSTER spot for an experienced physical player at the expence of a Pouliot, Brule, Schremp etc? A week ago Brownlee said on your show that nothing was in the works trade wise... Why not? We have three goalies, guys who will come off I/R soon, no roster spots, and some glaring holes in the lineup. One three game win streak and all the fans have forgotten that this team still has some real depth issues in every forward position except the small skilled prospect second liner slot. It is this "Paralysis By Analysis" syndrom at the management level that causes so much havoc. Lowe always waits and waits to address needs... unless It's a need to move Pronger (and his awesome contract) for a smallish skilled sophmore forward.

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#39 Rindog
December 09 2008, 11:19AM
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@ RobinB:

Wasn't quite expecting the sarcasm???

I have already conceded that the minor league coaches will listen to the big club and try to accomodate. I just am having a hard time believing that ANY coach will not utilize their position to implement the things they see are neceessary to be succesful individually and collectively.

This is where I have a hard time giving MacT credit for developing Schremp. Other than Schremp, any credit must go to Buchberger and Truitt. They are the ones who day in and day out taught and mentored Schremp.

Please don't think I am trying to be confrontational. I am simply trying to figure out why an organization would let AHL coaches go if they are grooming them to all be like minded? To me, if that were the case - every coach that went through our organization (under the MacT and Lowe regime would be very similar). I already know that Buchberger has a different philosophy about the PP than MacT does - so that seems odd???

If you are telling me that NHL clubs don't use the AHL to give new coaches a chance to develop - I might buy that. Maybe they simply want a "yes" man to help out there organization and have no plans to promote the coach within? But again, why would guys like Buchberger need to go down the AHL to be a head coach if the purpose was just to have him coach MacT's system while he was down there? I have always thought that when an organization puts a guy down in the AHL to coach - they want to see what kind of results he will get with "HIS" system?

I guess I was wrong???

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#40 George
December 09 2008, 11:23AM
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Hey Gregor,

Leafs grabbed nothing. Gratton cleared waivers.

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#41 Rindog
December 09 2008, 11:23AM
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@ Gord:

No question it is an advantage to be able to keep tabs on your players when they are all on one team. And yes, having input on how the AHL coach will handle your NHL prospects is ideal.

I just think it is very naive to think that an NHL coach can have a ton of influence on a coachthat has worked his way up through the ranks using his own successful (hopefully) ystems?

Boudreau and Hanlon are perfect examples. They are polar opposites in terms of coaching styles/systems. Now, did Boudreau play the game in the minors in order to get his shot? That is something most of us will ever know.

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#42 baggedmilk
December 09 2008, 11:26AM
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@ Rindog:

Brownlee feeds off the confrontation, it sustains him.

Don't feed the journalists -baggedmilk on behalf of OilersNation

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#43 RobinB
December 09 2008, 11:28AM
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@ Chris: I didn't say any such thing.

I was speaking directly to a bogus Marty York rumour that the Oilers had something "big" on the table trade-wise that they were supposedly getting ready to pull the trigger on last week. I checked it out and was told it wasn't true.

The Oilers know three goaltenders is a bad situation and they're keeping their eyes and ears open for solutions on that front. They are also, as I said in a recent post, looking around for players who might be effective in a fourth-line role. No noteworthy names, but there's a player or two I know about who they have at least asked about.

Paralysis by Analysis? How about due diligence? Teams need a trading partner. Who wants and needs Roloson or Garon and do they have something the Oilers want? A lot of people say, "Well, let's do this . . ." and start naming off trades like it's NHL 09.

The Oilers are well aware they could have a glut of forwards when everybody is healthy and that they might have an opportunity to move somebody. Again, who? Who wants what they have? What are they willing to give back? What about the salary swap?

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#44 Chris
December 09 2008, 11:33AM
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We all know that Gratton is an upgrade on Stortini.

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#45 Chris
December 09 2008, 11:44AM
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@ RobinB: I am still counting the 14-5-1 thing over the next twenty that you wrote.(Great Article) We are at 4-2-0 and people are drinking the Kool-Aid. As for trades...I know they need a dance partner...I know deals like the one for Lubo are few and far between. I also know that Lowe is on the no call list of about twenty GM's around the league. Overanalysis cost us #94. As for due diligence I already cited the Pronger fiasco. We need a physical edge...NEED it come divisional play. I'm dying to see the length of Tambo's leash.

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#46 RobinB
December 09 2008, 11:51AM
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@ Chris: Over-analysis didn't cost the Oilers Ryan Smyth. Market value cost the Oilers Smyth. Lowe had a number he was willing to pay and Smyth and agent Don Meehan had a number they were sure they could get down the road in free agency. Meehan and Smyth were right, when you look at Colorado's offer to him.

It's a horrid deal. Smyth isn't worth what he's being paid now and he'll represent a bigger overpay two years from now when his skills have eroded even more and the salary cap is sitting at $50 million.

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#47 RobinB
December 09 2008, 11:58AM
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@ George:

Nobody wanted Gratton? How could that be? Another case of GMs and their scouting staffs not knowing as much as fans and bloggers. Dimwits.

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#48 Chris
December 09 2008, 11:58AM
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The due diligence that caused Lowe to say, "If we had been aware that the cap was going to increase so much I probably would have signed him (Smyth)"

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#49 RobinB
December 09 2008, 12:05PM
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@ Chris: Yes, that due diligence.

Without a firm cap number in place, every team has to decide what it can afford based on its best projections. Thank goodness the Oilers guessed wrong -- or would you be happy paying Smyth the kind of money the Avs are on the hook for? . . . I didn't think so.

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#50 Chris
December 09 2008, 12:14PM
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Established UFA's are overpayed. Do you want the Oilers to skate an AHL team for the next 20 years? Do you want to groom Gagner into becoming the "Perfect Oiler" then dump him on his 30th birthday? I think it is telling that the Lowe era will come and go without generating even one player who will have his jersey retired. Is this the cap? Let's bring in a new Cole every year until we find a fit...makes more sense than signing players who have always produced for your club!

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