-- Rob Schremp
wasn't a member of the Edmonton Oilers
very long, but he'll still have some friends in the home dressing room at Rexall Place when the New York Islanders
come calling tonight.
Schremp, drafted with the 25th pick by Edmonton in the first round of the 2004 Entry Draft, will face his former team for the first time since the Islanders claimed him off waivers from the Oilers in September 2009.
One of those friends, Devan Dubnyk
, selected 14th by Edmonton in the same 2004 draft, will be tending goal for the Oilers in just his 13th appearance of the season.
"I'll be playing against some buddies on the other side, so it should be good," Schremp said. "I know Dooby (Dubnyk) and Gags (Sam Gagner
) and Storts (Zack Stortini
), a bunch of guys. I pretty much grew up from age 18 to about 23 with those guys, so there's still some connections."
Schremp, 24, played just seven games for the Oilers over parts of three seasons. The former London Knight never found a fit with a then veteran-laden lineup before New York claimed him.
He's a full-time player with the Islanders, though, and faces the Oilers with 7 goals and 14 points in 23 games after missing the first 11 to start the season with a back injury.
"It would've been nice if it worked out here with all the history and the way this town rallies for their team," Schremp said. "It's such a cool atmosphere to play in Edmonton and be part of the Oilers.
"I looked forward to being part of that, but it didn't pan out. That's just how it goes in this business. You start to understand guys get slotted in different areas and sometimes it doesn't work. If I can get my feet planted on the Island, hopefully I can be here a long time."
While the Oilers and Islanders find themselves 15th and 14th in their respective conferences, they've headed in opposite directions over the last 10 games. The Oilers have lost seven straight and are 1-7-2 in their last 10. The Islanders arrive on a three-game win streak and are 7-2-1 in their last 10.
Around the rink:
The Oilers have lost five games by one goal and two games by two goals during their seven-game losing streak. ... The Islanders are well-rested after enjoying two days off in Banff following a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames
on Monday. ... At 6-11-3, the Oilers have the fewest home wins in the NHL. ... At 5-12-3, the Islanders have the fewest road wins. ... John Tavares
is the hottest player on either team with six points (3-3-6) in his last two games and eight points (3-5-8) in his last five. ... Edmonton's power play is 0-for-15 in its last five games. ... After being a healthy scratch in 20 of Edmonton's last 22 games, Steve MacIntyre
will draw in on the fourth line.