More people in Canada know about Rob Schremp than in his own hometown. His story has been followed ever since his days as a London Knight in the OHL (145 points in 2005-2006).
He was a prolific junior scorer with some of the best hands in the world. He could do things with a hockey stick and a puck that only few can do. He brought to light some of the trickery that can be done on the ice and made the shootout a thing of beauty.
According to TSN, Schremp was put on waivers by the Oilers after the team's 5-4 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Four other players were cut, including 2008 first-rounder Jordan Eberle, but Schremp is the only one who will have to clear waivers in order to be reassigned.
Schremp was simply not given a chance. He took some time to develop as a player and was given no time to develop as an NHL player.
In three years with the organization, he only played seven games in the NHL, totaling three points, which all came last year. This was clearly not enough of an opportunity for Schremp to show his offensive talent.
This season’s training camp was Schremp’s last chance to show the Oilers’ brass that he is an NHL-caliber player. The Oilers signed him to a one-year deal, which meant that if he did not make the team out of training camp, he would have to pass through waivers to stay with the Oilers.
Evidently, Schremp did not do enough to prove to the new coaching staff he could be a contributing member of the Edmonton Oilers. Some believed he would get a fresh start with new coach Pat Quinn, but his reputation of not being a hard worker followed him even with the new coaching staff.
Being cut by the Oilers is arguably the best thing to happen to Schremp to save his hockey career—and he knows this. Whether with the Oilers or not, he knows he can make an NHL club. He is tired of being toyed around by the Oilers and is ready to move on.
"I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m hoping someone will pick me up," Schremp told The Canadian Press. "I want to play in the NHL and if that doesn’t happen here I will take my chance anywhere. That’s my goal and my dream. No disrespect to the Oilers, but this process gives you a chance to go someplace else if you aren’t going to get a chance somewhere, and I’m hoping that will be the case."
The New York Islanders have the first waiver priority, and GM Garth Snow should not hesitate to snatch up Schremp.
In Schremp, the Isles would get a soft-handed, big body player to play with John Tavares or Josh Bailey. Schremp is quick enough and has the offensive creativity to keep up with those two budding young centers.
He would come onto the team with a chip on his shoulder and play inspired hockey to show Edmonton the type of talent they restricted for years.
All Schremp needs is an opportunity. He is only 23 years old and has still yet to enter his prime. He is a very gifted offensive player and simply needs a team to release the pressure on his shoulders and time to develop his NHL skill set.
In related news, Eberle, the Canadian Junior hero, was sent back to the WHL. The Maple Leafs also sent Nazem Kadri back to Juniors. The two will likely make a deadly combination in late December for Canada at the World Junior Championships.