Schremp shipped out

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Turns out it was a good time, not a long time, for Rob Schremp.

Four solid and productive games after being called up from Springfield and he's back in the minors, his audition cut short by the return to health of Sam Gagner and Robert Nilsson.

"Positionally he was much better, he got things done, especially in the first few days he was here," said head coach Craig MacTavish, addressing the matter for the first time yesterday because the Oilers slipped Schremp out of town well after practice on Monday. "He played really well when he got in, we're encouraged by that."

But MacTavish couldn't find room for him among his top six forwards and Schremp doesn't fit on a third or fourth line, so they sent him back and kept Liam Reddox.

'NOT A SPOT'

"I wasn't prepared to give him a spot on one of our top two lines," said MacTavish. "At the end of the day you have to play a guy like Robbie to his areas of strength. There's not a spot for him now on the top two lines.

"So he's on the outside looking in till we have another opportunity. That's just the cycle. I've been through it. It's a three-year program where players are on entry-level deals and we have the flexibility to send them down to the minors. This is just part of it."

Schremp isn't happy about it, nor should he be. He showed in a short time he can help generate offence at the NHL level, and that he's shored up the defensive side of his game. In short, he's done everything the Oilers asked of him and there's still no room.

"You want guys to be upset, you want guys to be pissed off," said MacTavish. "If you're not upset and you're not irritated you don't feel like you belong, and if you don't feel like you belong, you seldom do. I thought we got a good response from him, he feels like he can play, as he should."

Next time Edmonton needs a good set of hands, MacTavish said he'll be the first one they bring up.

"If we do run into an injury on a skilled position we'll call him back."


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