Saturday, October 01, 2005
Here are the options as I see it:
1) Send Schremp back to London
The advantage of this is that the Oilers keep all of their current assets. There is the small possibility that Schremp will decide that he wants to reenter the draft next season and they lose him; but I doubt this will happen. He has to realize that if he doesn’t make the Oilers this season, he has a pretty fantastic chance next season (although, Pouliot, Stastny, etc. will still make it interesting).
One disadvantage is that he might not develop as well in London as he could have in the NHL. K-Lowe mentioned in an interview on 1260 that they are conducting an analysis of these sorts of player over the years to see the end results. Matt mentioned Rico Fata as an example of a player that was kept up when he probably shouldn’t have, while Spezza seems like someone who probably should have been up the whole time. I’d kill to see the binder on this analysis.
Another huge disadvantage is that once he goes back to the OHL, he can’t be later called up like AHL players can. So, if they decide to go with Rita and Winchester and one of them bombs out, gets hurt, or whatever, the guy they will bring in is Stastny, not Schremp. Unlike the decision for the other two, if they decide to cut Schremp it is permanent.
Finally, of course, is the fact that it is very possible Schremp might be the guy who can help the Powerplay. I'm not entirely convinced that it is worth keeping him up just for this. Hemsky seems to be doing a terrific job on the sideboards.
2) Send Rita back to Europe
The trick here is that he will have to clear waivers, and I don’t see any way that this will happen. At $500,000, Rita seems like a pretty good deal for at least a 4th line/pressbox guy for some team, and he might turn out to be more than that.
3) Send Winchester to the AHL
The advantage of this is that it again allows the Oilers to keep all three players; but it comes at the expense of paying Winchester NHL dollars to play in the AHL. Giving him a one-way contract seems like a questionable decision at this point. But who knows, maybe the dollars spent on Winchester are worth it if it means that they can keep Schremp active, at least for a few regular season games.
4) Trade Rita and/or Winchester
This is the toughest to evaluate. I really don’t know what the Oilers could get for these guys – likely draft picks, in which case they’d be trading known quantities for question marks.
About a week ago I would have guessed that they were going to trade Rita and bring in Schremp as a 4th line/Pressbox/Powerplay guy. But Lowe and Mac-T have both been talking up Rita lately, and by more than a few accounts he was the Oilers best player in the last game against the Flames.
My guess is that the brass is not willing to give up on any of these players yet and have stopped thinking trade. As such, either Winchester is going down to the AHL for a few games to give Schremp a little more time, or more likely, Schremp is going back to London tomorrow. I just can’t see them cutting Rita loose without at least giving him a solid run against NHL competition.
Covered in Oil also have some thoughts. In fact, they have lots of good thoughts, and without the annoying Flames fans.