# 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

Ogden Brother wrote:

The catch is he will also have to do it AGAINST NHLers. Any advantage he should gain from the increased quality of his teamate should be negated from the increased quality of his competition.

Rob Schremps skills at what he does are far superior to a tonne of NHL players. 76 points in 78 AHL games on a crap team is not something that comes lightly.

Ogden Brother wrote:

List out some guys that were healthy scratches in the AHL, and those that put up the kind of #’s that Schremp has and then have translated that into success at the NHL.

Martin St. Louis bounced around between the NHL, AHL, and IHL before finally clicking. David Krejci bounced around a bit too before clicking. Henrik Zetterberg didn't exactly light up the SEL. Zach Parise didn't score that well in the AHL. Mike Ribeiro bounced around all over the place before finally clicking. I'm not saying he will ever be these players. Just pointing out that nothing they did in the minors would indicate that they would be on the top of the NHL socring list last year.

• Hippy

@ Robin Brownlee:

Thanks for the reply. I'm on board with pretty much everything you say, although I don't think you're giving Potulny the credit he deserves as an offensive talent.

I just don't see Schremp passing the test.

• Hippy

Jon, in the other Schremp item you commented: "We don’t need to see a player in the NHL to have a good idea if he can play there or not. His play in the OHL and AHL give us a really good idea of whether he can."

I'm assuming you'd include the WHL and QMJHL in the same category as the OHL . . .
If your contention holds water, how is it that NHL teams employing large amateur scouting staffs get it wrong so often when it comes to the Entry Draft?

• Hippy

@ Travis Dakin
I think it would be stupid too, but from many comments here, it sounds like people want a 15-50 game sample. There's not that many preseason games. Robin's comment above about giving him a chance w/ the right players in the pre-season works for me. No harm, no foul. If he lights it up, he gets a fair shot against Nilson or whoever for a second line spot.

• Hippy

@ ronaldo:
And that would be a fair chance. Again, he will never be a grinder and putting him with grinders would be the same as putting me on the first line powerplay. He needs to be given a real chance.

• Hippy

Stan Drulia

Keli Korpse

Eric Himelfarb

Brett Seguin

Who are these guys? All OHL standouts that have more career OHL points than Rob Schremp. What's the point?

Inflated Junior stats do NOT equate to NHL success. Sure he can dangle. Sure he ran the OHL's show. But so have countless other junior players who have struggled in and subsequently vanished from the NHL.

The fascination with the guy, I feel, is because of Youtube. We all check out his sick shootout moves and crazy puck tricks and assume he has the highest skill set of any player not in the NHL. It's just not he case. I know some kids down the street that can do the lacrosse goal on their driveway and can swing the puck in the air with their stick. Congrats. Now explain to me how that translates into consistent high-compete level shifts in the NHL. It doesn't.

Now don't get me wrong. I'll be the first guy to hang up my Igor jersey and throw on a #88 if the guy lights it up this year. But I just don't see it happening because he's just not good enough. He hasn't shown it in the AHL. He hasn't shown it in the NHL and most importantly he isn't better than any of our top 6 forwards. So who sits to give him a chance? Nobody.

• Hippy

Historically, Quinn doesn't like to line match, and has shown no desire to shelter players… I doubt he will be willing to bend over backwards to find Schremp soft minutes. I hope Schremp has a good camp, but IMO, a half dozen pre-season games provides an awful small sample by which to evaluate a player despite all this "clean slate" talk.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

Martin St. Louis bounced around between the NHL, AHL, and IHL before finally clicking. David Krejci bounced around a bit too before clicking. Henrik Zetterberg didn’t exactly light up the SEL. Zach Parise didn’t score that well in the AHL. Mike Ribeiro bounced around all over the place before finally clicking. I’m not saying he will ever be these players. Just pointing out that nothing they did in the minors would indicate that they would be on the top of the NHL socring list last year.

St. Louis was over a PPG in the AHL

Krajeci was over a PPG in AHL

Parise 1.25/1.5 PPG in the NCAA, I'd guess he'd probably shown something at camp before he made the team.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

Martin St. Louis bounced around between the NHL, AHL, and IHL before finally clicking. David Krejci bounced around a bit too before clicking. Henrik Zetterberg didn’t exactly light up the SEL. Zach Parise didn’t score that well in the AHL. Mike Ribeiro bounced around all over the place before finally clicking. I’m not saying he will ever be these players. Just pointing out that nothing they did in the minors would indicate that they would be on the top of the NHL socring list last year.

Martin St.Louis spent three seasons in the AHL; he never scored less than one point per game. By contrast, Rob Schremp has never scored one point per game in the AHL.

David Krejci (who happens to be the same age as Schremp) played only two AHL seasons, scoring better than a point per game in both of them. By contrast, Rob Schremp has never scored one point per game in the AHL.

Henrik Zetterberg was a point-per-game player in the low-scoring SEL at age 20 (his rookie year). He led his team in scoring and finished 4th in the league in total points.

Zach Parise's sole AHL season happened when he was one year younger than Schremp in Schremp's rookie AHL year. Despite that, Parise outscored Schremp while playing for a worse team (Albany was miserable at the time).

Mike Ribeiro never had an AHL season like the one Schremp just did.

It's not absolutly impossible, but it is pretty unlikely that Schremp plays more than five years in the NHL.

• Hippy

@ IgorUlanov
Did the Ulanov jersey come pre bruised and bloodied?

• Hippy

these stats are skewed since after Schremp's final call up of a few games, (1) his stats are no longer even "valid" in the eyes of the coaching staff and (2) the whole springfield team took a collective nosedive for ambiguous motives. some could make an argument that Schremp got unmotivated, etc… sure, it goes against his overall character but to judge that area of time as some "zone" of time where he could potentially be called up is a chimera. like Travis Dakin suggested, what would those stats look like when he actually had the sense of hope at getting a call up? i agree 100% with Brownlee: he needs to be looked at longest to see if his intangibles help create periphery/secondary offense somewhere, depending on the system Quinn runs with for forwards.

i havent watched Potulny a ton, but from the sense of what Schremp brings – his offensive IQ to make quick decisions is probably his highest "on ice" attribute. guys who make quick, confident decisions with the puck generate time/space for other players. not like Sam Gagner sitting on the half boards letting a guy converge on him and knock him off the puck like a mosquito. Potulny brings a different dimension.

Schremp probably is a bust but he needs more time to see if he can adapt to a consistent presence. the skating excuse is absurd. when guys like Mikael Samuelsson get second shots at a career, and a new contract, while skating like Beer League crap, the excuse is void. skating around with elite players for a few years sure makes you look better, hey?

ps – if Sam Gagner doesnt light up a crappy Russian Exhibition team in the off-season, where is that dude in the Oilers ranks right now?

• Hippy

Robin Brownlee wrote:

Jon, in the other Schremp item you commented: “We don’t need to see a player in the NHL to have a good idea if he can play there or not. His play in the OHL and AHL give us a really good idea of whether he can.”
I’m assuming you’d include the WHL and QMJHL in the same category as the OHL . . .
If your contention holds water, how is it that NHL teams employing large amateur scouting staffs get it wrong so often when it comes to the Entry Draft?

I'd say because it's incredibly difficult to project what a player will be at 21 or 23 when he's just turned 18. Particularly across different leagues.

With Schremp, we're not looking at a 17-year old kid playing games. We've got years of results – including some decent OHL ones – but most recently including three AHL seasons, only one of which was all that good. Plus, he's much older, so he's less likely to take a leap forward.

IMO.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

@ ronaldo:
And that would be a fair chance. Again, he will never be a grinder and putting him with grinders would be the same as putting me on the first line powerplay. He needs to be given a real chance.

The team is in no position to risk games, 1 point could be the difference between in and out of the PO

• Hippy

ronaldo wrote:

@ IgorUlanov
Did the Ulanov jersey come pre bruised and bloodied?

No, but it did come with tattered shin pads and puck smears all over the back.

• Hippy

@ Jonathan Willis:
@ Ogden Brother:
again, I said schremp would never be those guys but the are showing better in the NHL with NHL experience than they did in the minors. Improvements in the NHL do happen. Like I said, I think it would be a lightswitch in Schremps career to spend a season on the guidance of Horcoff and Pisani. I think he could be a Comrie or maybe one day it will really click and who knows.

• Hippy

I think a difenrence needs to be distinguished between giving him all the ice time/opportunity in the world in the pre-season vs giving him 15 – 50 games in the regular season.

Yes of course, he's candidate #1 to get all the opportunity in the world pre-season. If he successed that translates into some opportunity regular season.

That is far different from beating the drum to get him into regular, regular season action.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis:
@ Ogden Brother:
again, I said schremp would never be those guys but the are showing better in the NHL with NHL experience than they did in the minors. Improvements in the NHL do happen. Like I said, I think it would be a lightswitch in Schremps career to spend a season on the guidance of Horcoff and Pisani. I think he could be a Comrie or maybe one day it will really click and who knows.

Were you championing the same kind of chances and patience for guys like Niinimaki, Miknov, Rita or Riesen?

If not, why does Schremp get extra chances to fail when those guys didn't?

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis:
@ Ogden Brother:
again, I said schremp would never be those guys but the are showing better in the NHL with NHL experience than they did in the minors. Improvements in the NHL do happen. Like I said, I think it would be a lightswitch in Schremps career to spend a season on the guidance of Horcoff and Pisani. I think he could be a Comrie or maybe one day it will really click and who knows.

But they didn't do better in the bigs then they did in the AHL.

Look for people with his pedigre in the A, one decent season in 3, including a year with healthy scratches.

• Hippy

Why are the some of the same guys saying Schremp needs a "fair" shot to prove he is useless on one hand, and saying the Oilers need to go any get a 3rd line centre on the other?

Kinda contradictory. One suggests the Oilers should try for the playoffs. The other focuses on development to the exclusion of wins.

The only way Robbie gets a fair shot is to put him on the number one powerplay unit. As Willis has shown, he is a PP guy and only a PP guy. In fact he should be placed behind the bench in a glass case marked "Break in Case of Powerplay or Shootout Only".

But the fact is that even on the PP he will only play the half wall, the same spot as Hemsky or Gagne or O'Sullivan. There is simply no spot for him unless you are going to push aside these guys just to give him a shot.

• Hippy

Ogden Brother wrote:

I think a difenrence needs to be distinguished between giving him all the ice time/opportunity in the world in the pre-season vs giving him 15 – 50 games in the regular season.
Yes of course, he’s candidate #1 to get all the opportunity in the world pre-season. If he successed that translates into some opportunity regular season.
That is far different from beating the drum to get him into regular, regular season action.

I think this is the biggest thing, if Schremp can't perform in the pre-season why does he deserve more chances in the regular season?

Also with all the questions in the top 6 already, I really don't even know how much time guys like Schremp and Potulny are going to get to prove themselves. I expect Nilsson, Cogliano, Gagner, O'Sullivan and Penner to get a lot of time in the pre-season to see where our top 6 stands.

• Hippy

@ Travis Dakin:
"I think he could be a Comrie or maybe one day it will really click and who knows."

Why not just sign the real Comrie for \$1.5 million? At least he can score a bit at evens.

• Hippy

IgorUlanov wrote:

Were you championing the same kind of chances and patience for guys like Niinimaki, Miknov, Rita or Riesen?
If not, why does Schremp get extra chances to fail when those guys didn’t?

Rita got 46 games with the Oilers. Miknov got sent down and ran back to Russia instead of trying to stick with the program. Niinimaki couldn't score in any league and Riesen left for Sweden instead of toughing it out in the AHL.

• Hippy

Travis Dakin wrote:

Like I said, I think it would be a lightswitch in Schremps career to spend a season on the guidance of Horcoff and Pisani.

Problem is, we're not the Red Wings carefully mentoring judiciously chosen talents through the system. Any weakness on our team shows up as a GA. Until Schremp proves he belongs, he's too much of a liability. That means he has to show up for every game, every shift, and will himself onto the roster. So far, he's come across as a big pussy. For me the question is – how can a supposedly superior player not stand out like a sore thumb on an inferior team like the Falcons?

• Hippy

Ogden Brother wrote:

But they didn’t do better in the bigs then they did in the AHL.
Look for people with his pedigre in the A, one decent season in 3, including a year with healthy scratches

Yes they did. Putting up similar points in the NHL as you did in the AHL is doing better period.

Ducey wrote:

Why not just sign the real Comrie for \$1.5 million? At least he can score a bit at evens.

Because they already is a lot of those players waiting in the system to develope. Too many contrats. He doesn't want to play here. Need to turn fringe NHLers into "actual" NHLers. More?

• Hippy

David S wrote:

Problem is, we’re not the Red Wings carefully mentoring judiciously chosen talents through the system

Exactly, the farm system and team structure are screwed and Schremp has been a victim of poor development. He has had sweet F-all for mentorship. Young guys need that. Not all but most do.

• Hippy

Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

ps – if Sam Gagner doesnt light up a crappy Russian Exhibition team in the off-season, where is that dude in the Oilers ranks right now?

So what you're saying is that USA Hockey is to blame for never giving Schremp a serious look at the WJC?

• Hippy

Shouldn't some of this discussion come back to roster building and overall team balance? The Oilers scored enough goals last season to win games and potentially make the playoffs. Unfortunately, they were lacking defensively. This roster needs to get bigger, and grittier, and tougher in their own zone. This roster needs players who can help on the P.K. This roster needs consistancy. Who really believes that Schremp can bring the elements the team actually requires?

• Hippy

@ Travis Dakin:
Didn't Rita bounce around a couple other teams after us?

As for Mikonov what is his deal? Do we still own his rights?

• Hippy

Ducey wrote:

In fact he should be placed behind the bench in a glass case marked “Break in Case of Powerplay or Shootout Only”.

Now that's a cool idea that I would like to see. The whistle blows for a penalty and Renney rips the stick out of Stortini's hands and two hands it into the case to set Schremp free. Of course Quinn would just use his fist…

• Hippy

@ jeff:
he played 30 games in Pittsburgh. 70+ games to show his worth in the NHL. A definative NO.