# Schremp vs. Reddox vs. Potulny vs. Brule in the AHL

Much has been made by some fans over the order in which Craig MacTavish gave minutes to forwards who the Oilers called up from the AHL in 2008-09. In order of games played, they ranked as follows:

1. Liam Reddox: 46
2. Gilbert Brule: 11
3. Ryan Potulny: 8
4. Rob Schremp: 4

I haven’t included J-F Jacques since his AHL time was technically only on a conditioning stint, so the question I’d like to ask is this: based on their AHL play, do these four players belong in this order?

I’ve decided to look at a number of different statistics to try and answer that question. Since each player spent a different amount of time in the AHL, I’ve divided all their numbers by total games played to give a per game rate. We’ll consider goals, points, +/- and Quality of Competition.

Goals Per Game:

1. Potulny: .543
2. Reddox: .357
3. Brule: .333
4. Schremp: .101

Points Per Game:

1. Potulny: .886
2. Reddox: .643
3. Brule: .615
4. Schremp: .609

Plus-Minus Per Game

1. Potulny: -.157
2. Reddox: -.214
3. Brule: -.308
4. Schremp: -.377

Quality of Competition

1. Reddox: 1.853
2. Brule: 1.677
3. Potulny: 1.552
4. Schremp: 1.355

### Summation

The offensive categories and plus/minus all had exactly the same order: Potulny, Reddox, Brule, Schremp. Quality of competition, on the other hand, had Reddox on top by a fair bit, followed by Gilbert Brule, Ryan Potulny, and Rob Schremp.

It isn’t surprising that of the four players, Reddox got the most games: offensively, he tracked behind only Potulny, and the players he was playing against were better. Of the four, he’s also most suited to a role on the fourth-line and killing penalties, followed by Gilbert Brule. Given that a fourth line role is what was available to most of the call-ups, it only makes sense that Reddox would get the lion’s share of the games, with Brule (the youngest of this group) behind him.

As for offensive games, the only surprising thing is that Rob Schremp got called up before Ryan Potulny, since the latter had a far superior season. The splits explain that a little bit; Schremp was better in the first half of the season than he was in the second half. Regardless, after that point Potulny was the player who deserved – the player who had earned – a cameo with the Oilers.

Looking at their AHL achievements, it’s difficult to fault the order that Craig MacTavish placed these players in.  In fact, the only quibble that I would have is that perhaps Ryan Potulny should have gotten a longer look.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote:
Impossible to say if he would have been better off with a couple more years in lower leagues.
He was sheltered and mentored along by the like of Shawn Horcoff. He was given room to make mistakes and that helps. I think he would have been better off with a year or two in the AHL and then brought in to learn from the big guns but he wasn’t eligible to play there until this season so they had no choice. Nothing to learn in the OHL at that point.

Really though, were just guessing. Theirs absolutly no way to know if player X will have a better career because of either starting in the NHL very young OR developing for another 2-3 years…. theirs no way to know.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

Gagner was not ready. It happens. Gagner was given time the last two years to make mistakes and given a tonne of rope. He will be infinfitely better off because of it.

Gagner will be better off… but will the Oilers? After suffering all the growing pains and missing the playoffs, all Lowe accomplished by rushing this fine young prospect was to push him closer to free agency at a younger age while upping his expected RFA earnings. We owned his rights either way… wouldn't it be nice to be able to have Gagner at a lower cap hit when he enters his prime?

The Oilers have many declining older players signed to rich long term contracts; almost no players in their prime; and a bunch of young guys who will use the number of games played to price themselves out of our organization by the time they hit their prime. THIS is improper asset management.

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

Travis Dakin wrote:
Gagner was not ready. It happens. Gagner was given time the last two years to make mistakes and given a tonne of rope. He will be infinfitely better off because of it.
Gagner will be better off… but will the Oilers? After suffering all the growing pains and missing the playoffs, all Lowe accomplished by rushing this fine young prospect was to push him closer to free agency at a younger age while upping his expected RFA earnings. We owned his rights either way… wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have Gagner at a lower cap hit when he enters his prime?
The Oilers have many declining older players signed to rich long term contracts; almost no players in their prime; and a bunch of young guys who will use the number of games played to price themselves out of our organization by the time they hit their prime. THIS is improper asset management.

You know their is a flip side to this… ie it could have been good timing Say Gagner puts up …. 55 points this year. What does he get as a RFA? 3 million? 3.5?

Now it should be safe to assume that if Gagners first three years were from 21 – 23 instead of 18 – 20 he'd probably put up better numbers… so rather then negotiating from:

49/42/55

He would be negotiating from

60/55/70 and would then be a 5 – 6 million dollar player as an RFA (and would also have the benifit of what will likely be a much higher cap (and without the doom and gloom around it) 3 years from now.

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

Gagner will be better off… but will the Oilers?

Again I agree that ideally it would be better for him to have been in the AHL for a year or two but he was not allowed to play there because of his age. He still will be a valuable asset to trade in the future if they can't sign hime long term.

• Hippy

@ Ogden Brother:
haha reality for a GM. A lot of tough decisions.

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

The Oilers have many declining older players signed to rich long term contracts; almost no players in their prime; and

Are you referring to Souray and Vish? I wouldn't call eith declining yet – Souray just had one of his best years ever, and you can't judge Vish on last year due to injury. If he's healthy, he should have a top roll with the club this year.

• Hippy

@ Ogden Brother:

Disagree. If Gagner wasn't waiver eligible at twenty-two, Tambellini could use a one-way contract as leverage to get the kid to sign long term (well into his prime yeras) at a lower cap hit.

• Hippy

@ The Menace:

Look at the length of term on those contracts. It's not a stretch to assume both players will be in decline, with big contracts under a smaller cap. Just sayin….

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

@ Ogden Brother:
Disagree. If Gagner wasn’t waiver eligible at twenty-two, Tambellini could use a one-way contract as leverage to get the kid to sign long term (well into his prime yeras) at a lower cap hit.

?

I might be missing something with contract structures, but:

If he first comes up at 21, would he not be on the three year entry level deal, like he was (is) from 18 – 21?

ie he would be negotiating his first RFA contract at 23 (after three seasons) like he will now be negotiating his first RFA contract at 20 (after three seasons)

• Hippy

Let's assume most players are in their prime between 26 and 32 years of age. Ideally the vast majority of your players should fall between those ages with a couple of real promising younger guys, and some salty, very established, highly experienced reliable vetrans. If you can keep most of your developing players on two-way contracts, and under 160 games played untill they are at, or very near their prime: you can theoretically ice a very competative team with cap space to spare. Vetran players should work on very short terms, and young guys shouldn't be rushed. The Oilers have done the opposite.

• Hippy

Robin Brownlee wrote:

So, you were cherry picking . . .

Not so much; just grabbing the first guy I could think of who had a successful AHL season. I could have used Potulny as reference too I suppose, except that he's older.

Anyways, I really do appreciate the insight on MacTavish's relationships with those players.

• Hippy

@ Ogden Brother:

I'm not a CBA expert. But correct me if i'm wrong… what advantage is there to having twenty year old players who has already have played 160 games? Gagner could have been sent back to JR. Gagner could of been given a two way contract and some seasoning in the AHL. Then Gagner could have been pressured into signing a longer term one-way contract at a lower cap hit when he was ready to contribute (without shelter) on the big club. Are there huge holes in my reasoning?

• Hippy

Qestion for Brownlee. I totally agree with you and would like to know if your boss is drafting a player, shouldn't the coach out of loyalty play him, because if not he is telling his boss that he is stupid. Why MacT felt no loyalty and why K. Lowe did not do anthing about it?

• Hippy

This whole discussion proves:
A. These are the dog days of summer.
B. How low the Oiler organization has sunk to when you
get guys pi\$\$ing on each other over a bunch of 5th
liners that won't ever make a bit of difference.

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

@ Ogden Brother:
I’m not a CBA expert. But correct me if i’m wrong… what advantage is there to having twenty year old players who has already have played 160 games? Gagner could have been sent back to JR. Gagner could of been given a two way contract and some seasoning in the AHL. Then Gagner could have been pressured into signing a longer term one-way contract at a lower cap hit when he was ready to contribute (without shelter) on the big club. Are there huge holes in my reasoning?

I'm specifically talking about his cap hit negotiated at his first RFA contract, as far as I know entry level(up to age 23 or 24… or something like that) deals are always a max of three years (check out Gagner Started at 18 and Cogs at 20..both three years)

So I'm saying the team will have a shot at locking up Gagner after seasons of 49/42 and call it 55 points and a cap at say 54 million (and lots of doom and gloom surrounding it)

vs

Gagner making the team at say 21, so his entry leve deal will then cover his seasons when he's 21/22/23… which you have to think would be better then his 18/19/20 year old seasons PLUS the cap should be higher in 3 years and likely wont have the dark cloud surrounding it.

ie, the team will have a shot to lock him up next year at potentially 3 or 3.5 million vs 3 years from now when he would likely cost 5 or 6 +

• Hippy

@ Clarkenstein:
We all remember daydreaming about Schremp being the next big NHL star after his 145 point OHL season in 2006.

• Hippy

Joe wrote:

Qestion for Brownlee. I totally agree with you and would like to know if your boss is drafting a player, shouldn’t the coach out of loyalty play him, because if not he is telling his boss that he is stupid. Why MacT felt no loyalty and why K. Lowe did not do anthing about it?

According to an earlier Gregor article it's actually the head of scouting that has final say on picks.

• Hippy

@ Ogden Brother:
Hasn't that just changed in the last couple years?

• Hippy

Ogden Brother wrote:

Joe wrote:
Question for Brownlee. I totally agree with you and would like to know if your boss is drafting a player, shouldn’t the coach out of loyalty play him, because if not he is telling his boss that he is stupid. Why MacT felt no loyalty and why K. Lowe did not do anthing about it?
According to an earlier Gregor article it’s actually the head of scouting that has final say on picks.

OK that might be so but it still the same team! The question stands.

• Hippy

@ Ogden Brother:

So there was a serious flaw in my reasoning. I didn't realize that there was a maximum term on entry level contracts.

I still stand behind the strategy of playing young guys in the AHL for as long as is reasonable and trying every strategy to keep them inexpensive well into their prime. Gilbert finished school, played some games in the AHL, and then was signed long term well into his prime playing years. This is a good model. Cogliano, on the other hand, was encouraged to drop out of school, spent no time in the AHL, and consequently may very well be too expensive to fit under the cap as an RFA. We may never see Cogliano in Oiler silks when he finally enters his prime… and I think that sucks.

• Hippy

Willis, Like you I love the numbers and using numbers I can prove to you that 2×2=5. Would that make it right? Your statistic might be usefull for something but not when we are talking about peoples carears.

• Hippy

@ Chris.:
? Why are we losing Cogliano? Both him and Gagner are RFA's after this year and unless they put up massive points they won't be getting huge contracts that handcuff us.

• Hippy

Also Wayne Fleming named assistant with the Oilers.

• Hippy

Hmmm Fleming coached Jagr last year, wonder if that has anything to do with anything?

• Hippy

Brownlee, where are you? Like the policemen never there when we need you. Just kidding. If you read my question please respond.

• Hippy

@ Clarkenstein:
So true. They are all crap as far as I'm concerned.
Next topic: Who has better hair? Souray or Bucky.

• Hippy

Chris. wrote:

Cogliano, on the other hand, was encouraged to drop out of school, spent no time in the AHL, and consequently may very well be too expensive to fit under the cap as an RFA. We may never see Cogliano in Oiler silks when he finally enters his prime… and I think that sucks.

So, is it your contention that Cogliano wasn't good enough to make the Oilers out of camp in 07/08? Isn't the whole idea of training camp to suss out the best players to fill out the roster, regardless of age or contract status?

IMO Cogliano was full value for starting the season with the Oilers and not playing a single game in the minors, much like most top level prospects end up doing. He had 6 points in only 4 games during the preseason, and was a handful for the opposition every time he had a shift.

Cogliano was a picture perfect example of a young player outright forcing his parent club to keep him in the bigs. You send him down just to save a few dollars a few years down the road, and all you're doing is telling your prospects that it doesn't matter one bit how well you do in training camp or how you could help the team right now…it's all about contract status and paying you as little as possible.

• Hippy

jeff wrote:

Also Wayne Fleming named assistant with the Oilers.

jeff wrote:

Hmmm Fleming coached Jagr last year, wonder if that has anything to do with anything?

Commence Jagr is already on a plane over here rumours (E5) 😛

• Hippy

Digger12 wrote:

Chris. wrote:
Cogliano, on the other hand, was encouraged to drop out of school, spent no time in the AHL, and consequently may very well be too expensive to fit under the cap as an RFA. We may never see Cogliano in Oiler silks when he finally enters his prime… and I think that sucks.
So, is it your contention that Cogliano wasn’t good enough to make the Oilers out of camp in 07/08? Isn’t the whole idea of training camp to suss out the best players to fill out the roster, regardless of age or contract status?
IMO Cogliano was full value for starting the season with the Oilers and not playing a single game in the minors, much like most top level prospects end up doing. He had 6 points in only 4 games during the preseason, and was a handful for the opposition every time he had a shift.
Cogliano was a picture perfect example of a young player outright forcing his parent club to keep him in the bigs. You send him down just to save a few dollars a few years down the road, and all you’re doing is telling your prospects that it doesn’t matter one bit how well you do in training camp or how you could help the team right now…it’s all about contract status and paying you as little as possible.

It doesn't say that at all. Its just a part of the game. It's not like teams haven't sent guys to the minors before after having a decent training camp and then a poor start to the regular season.

• Hippy

Joe wrote:

Willis, Like you I love the numbers and using numbers I can prove to you that 2×2=5. blockquote>

Now that I would like to see.