Well, the story that started when he was drafted by our team after falling way too far in the draft has officially come to an end.
I remember watching Rob in junior at a time when we had no scorers. He was not only a scorer, but a scorer with a ton of style. His was a game we could surely use.
I very rarely accept either attitude criticisms of talented players or "skating" critiques of goal scorers. Robbie has already experienced plenty of both. These things never dissuaded me as the same criticisms have been leveled at some truly excellent players in my time watching the game.
Rob almost made the hockey club in his first 2 camps. It didn't seem at the time that these would be his two best chances to make the Oilers but they were. He was confident, skilled, and loved by the crowd. He had the potential to be something truly excellent. He was not only talented, but very uniquely so. A player with such gifted hands really shouldn't have been able to fail frankly. If I'd had the hand of Mr. Schremp I surely would've played JR hockey at the very least despite an extremely pesky sinus problem that gave me next to no lung capacity.
I truly believe that if he had been kept with the big club in either of those years we'd be speaking right now about Rob's importance to the Oilers rather than him being picked up on waivers. Many will think the thought is simply irrelevant now but I certainly don't. A dynamic goal scorer who'd be on the path to maturity and possibly leading the group of young men we currently have now would've been what the doctor ordered and exactly what we still lack on his hockey club.
Somewhere it all went wrong after that. He never truly contended for a job again until his call-up last season for 4 games in an ever so brief "career" with our team. Again last year he looked confident, had rounded out elements of his game, and was using unique talents such as an absolutely uncanny ability to knock pucks out of the air and into his control to help his squad. He appeared to be back. Then he was sent down as Robert Nilsson returned, despite inferior performers remaining on the squad.
My only thought after that is this must have destroyed him. He has been nowhere near the same player since. A man that was on the verge came into 2009 "in better shape" but looking skinny and not confident whatsoever. Any electricity in his game was gone. He truly looked worse than when he nearly made this team what seems like many years ago now.
I'm always really sad when a unique talent cannot deliver on its promise and drifts away. Rob Schremp should have been something truly special. He won't ever be in an Edmonton Oilers uniform, and that makes me really, truly sad.
Many people on the HF community forget that before there was BBO, I was Schremp's biggest booster along with #2. I know we both wish him nothing but good fortune in the shot he's sure to get with the Islanders. I'm sure if he's here when NYI comes to town that #2 will wear his London Knights SCHREMP uni and I'll cheer very loudly for Rob to do something great.
So ends a quiet chapter that could have been so much more. There's no prospect with the team right now that has the electric potential Schremp once had, and I don't know if there will be one for a long time.