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Skill Investment: Islanders claim Rob Schremp ... and why not

As broken by TSN's Bob McKenzie's proverbial "sources," the Islanders claimed former Oiler Rob Schremp off waivers. The Isles had first claim in the waiver pecking order; such is the joy of being DEFENDING lottery CHAMPIONS (well okay, last season's 30th-place holders).

Schremp is now an Islander. As a result, tonight's preseason game lineup now includes one more body who won't make the season-opening roster. [Update: Katie Strang has a few Gordon/Snow quotes here and Schremp quote here.]

Rob Schremp

#88 / Center / Edmonton Oilers



Jul 01, 1986

2-way, 1-year at $715k

69GP, 7-35-42, minus-26

Uncertain, partly cloudy

This is a pretty low-risk, no-brainer move. The Islanders need skill for the years to come; if Schremp provides that -- however unlikely -- bully for them. If his well-documented difficulty in sticking in the NHL despite that skill continues to be his problem, it's no real loss at $715,000 in NHL salary (plus the hilariously nominal NHL waiver claim fee).

My own bias: I love that he's skilled but hate that he's known more for circus shootout tricks than for getting it done within the 60 minutes of an NHL game. But he's young, he's a classic "change of scenery" case, and he's one more reason to pay attention to the Islanders and think they might just be building something over the next few years.

I've always maintained that, with the blueprint for a rebuild somewhat standardized in the cap-era NHL, a team needs a few strokes of stumbled-into luck to really make it to the upper tier of the league. If Schremp actually turns into a sustainably useful NHL player, you can bet that would be one such lucky stumble.

What do you think? Begin irrationally lofty projections/relentlessly cutting dismissals of Schremp in comments...