Hopes now pinned on a new batch of top prospects, the Edmonton Oilers have probably forgotten all about Robbie Schremp.
And with Schremp taking part in the New York Islanders training camp after finally cracking an NHL roster for more than a cameo last season, heís well on his way to erasing the labels pinned on him as an Oilers pick who never lived up to expectations.
But the sting of the way he was strung along by the organization is still there, just a scratch under the surface.
ďExpectations arenít really that hard to deal with if you have opportunity,Ē Schremp said in Saskatoon Wednesday after the Islandersí morning skate. ďEvery good player likes expectations, likes pressure ó not pressure so much, but a push, a challenge.
ďItís not fun to be challenged when you donít feel thereís a positive result at the end. People expected things of me (in Edmonton), and I worked my hardest to do it, but there was no opportunity there for me.
ďItís not like I failed under the pressure, I just kind of got swept under the rug.Ē
Holding the broom was former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, who didnít like Schrempís one-dimensional offensive game and didnít bother to give the kid a chance to improve defensively after the team drafted him 25th overall in 2004.
Dumping the pan into the trash bin was the new regime taking over last season. They put Schremp on waivers a year ago, and the Islanders quickly recycled him. They were rewarded with 25 points in 44 games before a late-season injury.
ďIt hasnít been perfection, by any means, but heís certainly put his best effort forward and wants to get better as a player away from the puck. Thatís all you can ask,Ē Isles head coach Scott Gordon said. ďItís a process. I donít know for sure, but I donít know that heís had a whole lot of opportunity to go out there and make a mistake and know heís gonna get back on the ice.
ďHeíll still hear about it, but part of the process with our young players, most instances youíll make a mistake and youíll get back out there. Just donít abuse it.Ē
Make no mistake, Schremp is poised to take advantage of his opportunities.