New opportunity for Schremp

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Whether it's the train he'll catch to get out of town or the opening he's been waiting five years for, there is finally a light at the end of Rob Schremp's tunnel.

After more failed attempts to be an Oiler under Craig MacTavish than he'd care to remember, the former first-round pick will get a fresh and honest look under new head coach Pat Quinn.

Given that he couldn't get half a sniff under the old regime, Schremp might be the happiest guy in training camp (give or take Dustin Penner) to see a new face behind the whistle.

And, on top of that, he has to clear waivers if Edmonton decides to ship him to Springfield, so if the NHL dream dies again in Edmonton, it might live to fight another day somewhere else.

It is said of him every September, but this might be his best chance to finally make the bigs.

"It's definitely different, it's a fresh start," he said. "Everybody is new here. It's like my first year all over again. And I'm older and a little more experienced, so hopefully my game will stick here."

Having to clear waivers means he's in a Use Me or (possibly) Lose Me situation, which could mean a hard choice for Quinn and the rest of Oilers management.

"It gives you a little more rights as a player, but hopefully it's not an issue," said Schremp. "I'd like to be an Edmonton Oiler -- I don't want (waivers) to be an issue. But if need be, I guess I do have that as a right."

The organization is definitely willing to think outside the box when picking the team this year, given how poorly the inside of the box has treated them the last few years, but there is competition aplenty.

Schremp was in tough before they added Mike Comrie, so things didn't get any easier over the summer.

"It is what it is," he said. "That's the challenge ahead of me and ahead of 20 other guys who are here trying to make the team.

"You have to make the Oilers make a decision. That's part of the business. Steve (Tambellini) came in at the start of this training camp and said we want competition for spots, everybody compete for your spot.

"As a young guy, all you can do is come in here and make it hard, work hard and put your best game on the ice. If it works, it works.

"I feel stronger on the ice, better fit ... I worked hard with Sam Gagner at his gym, had a good summer of training. I felt good about my game coming into camp and I still do. Hopefully it's good news."


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