Mathieu Roy was an excellent draft choice. He was taken one pick after Kyle Brodziak, 215th overall, in the incredibly deep 2003 Entry Draft as an overage selection. He made his professional debut the following season, splitting time between the ECHL and the AHL. Over time, he worked his way up the minor-league depth chart, with his best season coming in 2006-07, where he scored 18 points and posted a +17 rating in just 31 AHL games, and had a prolonged audition in the NHL. During that 16-game NHL stint, Roy suffered a concussion. It’s been down-hill ever since:
- March 1, 2007 — Concussion, missed 11 games
- April 1, 2007 — Concussion, missed final 4 games of the season
- October 1, 2007 — Aches and pains, missed 8 games
- November 5, 2007 — Separated shoulder, missed 9 games
- February 19, 2008 — Bruised sternum, missed 1 game
- March 13, 2008 — Upper body injury, missed 3 games
- October 9, 2008 — Sprained wrist, missed 10 games
The first two items on that list are more significant than everything that follows them. After suffering the first concussion and missing 11 games, Roy returned the next month and was promptly concussed again. Did Roy return to the ice to soon? Given that he’s hardly the only Oilers player to suffer a concussion, return to quickly and promptly get concussed again, I think it’s likely. One of the things about the Oilers is that players often seem to return from injuries to quickly, come back and either play poorly upon return, or worse, get injured again.
In any case, the next season, Roy was hit from behind by Canucks forward Rick Rypien (video here) and removed from the ice on a stretcher. The next month he was hit by Jordin Tootoo and separated his shoulder. When he returned from that, he was sent to the minors on a conditioning stint, recalled, and then promptly hit by Matt Cooke. Still suffering the effects of that injury, he played again, and got hurt again. This season, Roy was hurt in training camp and then dispatched to the minors.
Roy has been a disaster in Springfield this season. Through 30 games, he has eight points and a team-worst (tied with Taylor Chorney) -21 rating. He isn’t playing top competition, but he’s still getting killed. Somehow, though, the injuries haven’t stopped him from playing a physical game or even fighting.
Roy’s long been a player I’ve pulled for; his anger at being demoted to the minors, along with his willingness to play a physical game or to take a hit makes it awfully difficult to dislike the guy. Still, at this point it looks like injuries have decreased his effectiveness to the point where an NHL career is no longer in the cards. I’d say it’s a good bet that Roy doesn’t get a two-way contract next season, although he may get an AHL contract from the Falcons.
NHL Contract Status: $500K for 2008-09, pending RFA
AHL Performance Compares To: Nathan Oystrick