The Ballad of Rob Schremp Hockey, Now Röb Svrempskä Ishockey

It was a long, strange ride for Rob Schremp, who has reportedly signed with MoDo in Sweden [FanShot here. "Rob Swede Hockey" comment here.] after being waived by the Oilers, waived by the Islanders, and not offered a qualifying offer by the Atlantapeg Jetshers.

Schremp, or Rob Schremp Hockey as we called him (after blowing up one random comment in one random interview into a nickname to humor ourselves through long winter nights), was one of those very talented but undersized and contact-averse (those often necessarily go hand-in-hand) players whose evaluation divides fans to extremes.

You've got the "Where's the defense? Where's the grit?" camp on one side, with the "He puts up points, and he's entertaining" camp on the other. Most probably exaggerate their point...because that's what we do.

But Schremp at the NHL level is ultimately a specialist whose lack of "old school" fundamentals limits his usage and GM appeal and makes him, like most specialists, prone to be discarded. Still in his mid-20s, maybe he turns an opportunity in the defense-preaching SEL to change impressions of him and forge a return. Or maybe he's one of those handsy players who's off to a fine hockey life in Europe (not bad work if you can get it) for good.

Fortunately for us on a slow August day, Gordon Lightfoot was available to sing Rob Schremp Hockey away:

The Ballad of Rob Schremp Hockey

The legend lives on from Edmonton on down
of the prospect they called "Rob Schremp Hockey"
The showman, it was said, never skates through red
when the neutral zone she turns rocky
But if his team some way, gets on the powerplay
those RSH skills flash right quickly
And if a game isn't decided, the fans get excited
The shootout would see Rob get silly.

But this game they play, it's a different day
now all must skate the whole doggone rink long.
It's two hundred feet, and you best not be beat
else coach and fans will think you wrong
They'll make up nicknames while they critique your games
drives many a player to get his drink on
Even with Bettman's shootout, all prospects soon find out
Danglers best adapt or they'll be gone

Well it took a long time to get real playing time
Despite Oilers fans clamoring to see Robby
In London he scored but Edmonton ignored,
it's where prospect shedding's a hobby
In '09 the Oil waived and Rob pledged to play brave
new fans dubbed him Rob Schremp Hockey
There were moments of joy and moments of "oy"
on this Island many forwards would jockey

They tried him at center and they tried him at wing
and they tried him with grinders and enforcers
A half point a game isn't terribly lame
but in the NHL they demand more sir
As bodies got healthy and some were quite wealthy
the GM he searched for a buyer
But absent any takers he was back off to waivers
In no time RSH was a Thrasher

Atlanta used him as if they already knew him
Spot duty, extra man, the shootout
His ice time dwindled and he must've felt swindled
so this summer he'd be on the lookout
With no offer coming it was time to go running
to the land of extra vowels and umlaut
In Örnsköldsvik he'll go, to join Pock's MoDo
his NHL future now in doubt.

Does any one know where the hockey gods go
to turn flashy prospects into grinders?
The old schoolers all say, "He better learn to play"
while dangle fans say, "He's a first liner."
But by any name hockey's just a cruel game
only so much room on a roster
If you're quadruple-A, then you might have to play
in Sweden if they make you an offer.

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