Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Get Rob Schremp to SIGN for REAL!

The headline on the NY Islanders website was misleading. "Rob Schremp Signs" it heralded. Boy was I excited! I figured a new contract had been hammered out before getting into the summer where all sorts of Agent vs GM nastiness can ensue. Nope. It was only heralding Robbie signing at the Hicksville team store.

I was a little surprised that Rob would be doing a public appearance so soon after his knee surgery, but he's a trooper and he was there without crutches or visable cast. It took about 40 minutes of jumping up and down from his chair and moving around the table before he exhibited any noticeable discomfort from his healing knee. But like any hockey player, he ignored the pain and just kept going.

I was truly surprised to see that the line waiting for Rob was about half of what the other signings had drawn. But I also noticed that there was no radio station table or other hoopla to alert fans. "Was this announced before yesterday?" one fan asked. So as much as we would like to believe that our Internet community is the largest and fastest growing way of spreading information, it is painfully obvious that without the ink and radio wave back-up, the general population misses out.

The fans that were there were treated to rare personal interaction with one of the most likable NHL hockey players you will find. He hasn't been tainted yet into knowing that he's a celebrity. He was funny, sincere and gracious with every fan. I watched him talk hockey with a fan that brought his hockey gloves for him to sign as well as discussing the virtues of Bob the Builder with a shy 4-year-old.

Fan after fan shook his hand and told him how much they enjoyed watching him play and how they were looking forward to seeing him back on the Islanders roster. He answered the same question over and over. "How's the leg?"

"Good. It should take about four weeks." Each time someone asked if they would see him on the ice before the end of the season was each time he answered with a disappointed "No. I'm done for the season." We just ran out of time.

Of course there were the pretty young girls in Schremp T-shirts waiting patiently in line to get a photo with him. Although I didn't hear anyone propose the way they did to Matt Moulson at the Team store in Massapequa. "Schremp Cocktail" (as some called him) not only took photos with almost every fan, but he also asked each one "What's your name? Do you want me to make this out to you? You need another one?" They forgot to tell him it was supposed to be one signing per fan. Rob just wanted everyone to be happy. "Here, take a magnet. How about a tattoo?"

While all this was going on, the woman now in charge of Social Media for the NY Islanders was snapping Twitpics and taking Twitter questions. If you're on Twitter you know her as @Dani3boyz. If you're not -- you're missing out. I won't divulge the Q&A as I am thinking she will post it on the website today. So you'll have to go there or sign up for Twitter to see Rob's answers.

He said he hoped to get a contract signed over the summer because he really enjoys Long Island and this team. From what I saw yesterday, the fans really enjoy having him here. I hope he remembers that I'M the one that would poke at Scott Gordon almost daily with "When will Robbie play?" questions. Before he had the chance to prove himself on the ice, I was pushing for him.

As I was leaving I couldn't help but fall right back into the mode that gets me in trouble. "Do you want any cookies?" I couldn't believe I just said that in public. But his bright blue eyes got a little brighter, "I love cookies!"

Of course he does. Every body loves cookies. Who in their right mind DOESN'T love cookies???? "What do you want? What's your favorite?"

"Sugar. Can I have sugar cookies?"


**Islanders vs. Rangers in 3D, HD, SD or in person. It doesn't matter how you watch or where you watch. Whether from the comfort of your couch, MSG or one of the fabulous NHLTweetUp events that are going on today, as Rob told every fan last night THIS is a DON'T MISS GAME! Keep the Metro Ice Challenge challenging by keeping the Rangers lowest in the standings!

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