Edmonton trades Mark Arcobello to Nashville for Derek Roy


The Edmonton Oilers have finally made a move to address their centre position; not a big move, it must be admitted, but a move. The team announced on Monday that it had acquired Derek Roy (who cleared waivers earlier in the day) from Nashville in exchange for Mark Arcobello. 

It’s an interesting deal, in part because the two players involved are so very similar to each other. Arcobello is a 5’8″, 172-pound offensive centre who is at his best in a sheltered role; Roy is a 5’9″, 184-pound offensive centre who is also best-suited to soft competition and lots of offensive zone starts. Arcobello is on a cheap, one-year contract worth $600,000; Roy is on a cheap, one-year contract worth $1.0 million. Arcobello has 12 points in 36 games; Roy has 10 points in 26 games.

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Why didn’t the Oilers simply claim Roy on waivers rather than making a deal for him? For one thing, this reduces the dollars the team is taking on significantly and for another it doesn’t add a contract to the 50-man list. One might reason that as Edmonton has only four centres at the NHL level it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep Arcobello around, perhaps in the pressbox, but given the size of the two men it gets awfully difficult to imagine a scenario where the Oilers would ever dress both on the same night. 

Given the similarities between these two players, what does Edmonton get for taking on the extra money attached to Roy’s contract? Two items, primarily:

  • They get a player who has been a more effective scorer at even-strength this season
  • They get a veteran with 692 games of NHL experience rather than a sophomore who has yet to reach 82 games

They also gain an inch of height and 10 pounds, for what that’s worth, and also put a stop to that “two NHL centres” talk because despite his warts Roy has a long NHL track record. 

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What this doesn’t significantly change is Edmonton’s situation up the middle. They’re a touch better at the position than they were a couple of hours ago, but the Oilers still have two pivots who perform best in softer minutes and they still don’t have an option to replace Leon Draisaitl, who has convincingly demonstrated that he isn’t ready for prime time. 

This isn’t a bad trade, and it probably can’t hurt to add another veteran presence or to shake up a team that has suffered a lot lately. But unless Roy (who had been assigned to the AHL before Edmonton stepped in) can suddenly revive his flagging career it isn’t a deal that makes a lot of difference. 


  • Andy7190

    Some people on this thread are severely over valuing Arcobello.

    The Oilers have 7 wins. The third line center was expendable.

    It was time to try something different.

  • tileguy


    Strudwick’s co-hosting “That’s Hockey 2 Nite”. His hair actually looks OK. I think he must have got an implant or something.

  • Cain

    Why Roy when Chipchura was available? Another MacT brain fart as far as I am concerned. We need more size not another small center. Frack this makes zero sense.

  • llong33

    STOP, sit back and take a deep breath. Nothing that is happening right now will change, no matter how much we rant and moan. Anger will not change it. Another season is screwed and we can do nothing about it. If we are true fans, we sit it out and wait – again, if we are not, then we can rant all we like. MacT and the team probably have no desire to lose every game, they certainly don’t say at puck drop “we’ll try and lose this one too.” Being a fan sucks during these times, but being a player has to suck also. I HATE what has been happening to our team over the past 9 years, but I am not so stupid to think that this is deliberate. Poor choices, yes, poor scouting, definitely, but things WILL change eventually, and the team will be stronger if we fans don’t give up. Everyone in the organization wants to win, but right now there is no chemistry between the players – we have our prima donas, our divas and our work horses, perhaps if they start to communicate and accept they are a TEAM, then things will change. Look at the bench when shifts change, look who speaks to who and then start to evaluate who REALLY is committed to the team, and who is there only for the $$$ and the “stardom.”

  • Motown Fisher

    When you look at the ex-Oilers traded away you have to wonder not so much “why” they do well – but “why” it is their still in the league – to do well…

    Edmonton gets players in trades that either move elsewhere (Hopefully quickly), or whose careers go to pasture once we get them… Yet when Oilers go elsewhere, not only are they having continued success ANYWHERE they go, but just to add to it, they torch us whenever they can… Even Devin Dubynk, possible the worst goalie to ever sit between the pipes in Edmonton – becomes a solution to someone else…

    I just can’t put my finger on the “why” just yet though…I’m sure Craigsgotthis anyhow…

  • Burnward

    i don’t get some of the comments on here. oiler fans seem to live on the promise of tomorrow or glory of the past performances. Derek Roy is not even this 1/2 pt per game guy. seriously it’s 2014/15 here. not 2009.

    i for one really appreciated the the effort Arcobello put in here. can someone please explain to me to why this team has a problem with an honest hockey player? From what i’ve seen he was a coachable player without an ego. sure he’s not a pt/game player. and sure for him his hight water mark my be a 50-60 pt season once or twice. if i’m running a team i would find a place for him. honest, reliable, hard woring, wins faceoffs, gets a point every 2-3 games. nothing wrong with that.

    yes Roy has experience and has put up numbers… in the past… but this move seems a bit lateral. how about giving up some up the talent up front for some [email protected] defence.

  • Burnward

    This team is totally mismanaged ( like you guys didn’t know). Calgary has 13 million cap space, Nashville has 11 million cap space.

    Edmonton has 2.3 million cap space. That seems a bit wrong for a 30th place team.

    We need to start paying our players on Past performance not on potential.

    Kane, Sharp,and Toews make 6.5m a year each. RNH, Hall and Eberle are all on 6 million a year, and none of them have made the playoffs yet.

    It really is pathetic.

  • DoubleDIon

    It’s not hard to imagine that this is going to happen in OIL-Land, they give away yet another hard worker! Well, good luck Mark, you are now being resurrected, you are going from HELL to a better place, to you it’s a blessing, to us it’s a curse!

  • camdog

    Arcobello has 7 goals this season and Roy has 1. With this trade the Oilers are now officially icing the lowest scoring team in the league. Tough to win games win your starting team’s line up is 30th in goals for.

  • BubbaZanetti

    Was Arcobello not buds with the Hall / Eberle crew?
    And if so, any chance this could of been a bit of a message directed to those guys from MacT to pull up their socks ?

  • Go_Oilers

    Has anyone mentioned that we had to give up an asset for a player we would have been able to get for nothing?? Oiler fans should be outraged, I have never heard of this happening to another team in my entire life. You would figure that the Oilers would leave some flexibility for themselves to pick up players placed on waivers (especially since they have first crack) by not having the maximum amount of contracts allowed during the season. What the heck is going on?!