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


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:

    They would be different. Then again, Schremp would be competing with guys like Patrick Thoreson, Marc Pouliot, J-F Jacques and then Liam Reddox.

    And Schremp's never had a better season than Ryan Potulny put up this year.

    For the record, from last season (Schremp & Thoreson, since I'm in a hurry):


    Thoreson: .448
    Schremp: .295


    Schremp: .974
    Thoreson: .897

    +/- per Game

    Thoreson: +.207
    Schremp: -.192

    Basically, though Schremp had the same problem that Potulny had this year: he wasn't cut out for a bottom six role the way Thoreson, Jacques, Pouliot and Reddox were.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    His weakenesses are harder to see and are often overlooked, except by his coaches

    I think his weaknesses are plainly obvious. I think people focus on them too much and as a aresult of his hype he is hindered more by them whereas guys with far bigger weaknesses and much less talent are given more rope because less is expected. He is a PP producer and a shoot out guy. He can keep his head above water for a secondary scorer so I can see a roll for him. Much like a roll you saw for Kotalik last year. Again, he will never be a Spezza but there is something there.

  • Hippy

    For the record: I don't actually have a problem with Schremp; although it may seem like it from these last two posts. His strengths are easy to see, and if they weren't I'd write about them.

    His weakenesses are harder to see and are often overlooked, except by his coaches.