As a fan, I’m always impatient for prospects and young players to get their NHL chance. Come on, give the guy a chance! Call him up! NHL coaching staffs are pretty much the exact opposite, in that they play the weathered veterans shift after shift.

Why? We’re getting an excellent lesson in “WHY?” from Derek Roy these days.

arcobello ferguson griffins

Mark Arcobello was Derek Roy before the trade, a youngster himself in terms of NHL experience. Arcobello is a capable player, a surprising two-way type was can separate player from puck, pass with aplomb and help out offensively.

Derek Roy is a superior offensive player who also has miles and miles of experience and those two things trump Arcobello, at least at this point in their careers. On Friday night, Roy was able to cash a wonderful goal in the first period to put Edmonton up by one, a goal that started via a tremendous pass by Anton Lander. Roy also mentored Nail Yakupov during the game, and that mentoring of young players is also gold for the organization.

Veteran players can make a big difference, given the opportunity.


I’m not sure. Two players Edmonton acquired over Christmas—Roy and Rob Klinkhammer—have impacted the roster is a significant way. Matt Henderson wrote a terrific article for ON about Klinkhammer, and Nail Yakupov testified on Roy’s behalf in a big way post-game Friday. Benoit Pouliot, the third member of an emerging line, had nice things to say about both men:

  • Pouliot: “I thought we played pretty well, we contributed a lot (Friday)
    night. Derek I’ve been playing with for a bit now and
    I’m getting more comfortable with him now. Nail was great too, he was
    good on the forecheck, got in there and helped us out a lot by being in
    good position and helping us get the puck out of the corner and just
    creating something out there​.”

Veterans. Actual NHL players.


I don’t know. We talked at length over the summer about adding a veteran center, and Craig MacTavish is way smarter than me so he likely tried very hard to get something done.

It didn’t happen, and a coach and season are gone. I know Derek Roy is undersized and (apparently) too slow but I wouldn’t object to his signing a contract with the Oilers for next year.

Would you?

  • Harry2


    Are you trying to say that Mac coulnt have got a guy like Roy this past offseason? I find that extremely hard to believe.

    Lets call like like it is shall we? Mac gambled on LD and Arco and lost horribly. Mac has tobstart learning from these mistakes or we might aswell right off 15/16 as well.

  • vetinari

    We need more veterans, not less, and if signing Roy means also getting an effective and rejuvenated Yakupov to boot, do it. Their chemistry has been good and Roy is getting Yakupov to think the game differently while Yakupov’s speed is creating room for his linemates.

  • Derzie

    Really nice to see the players enjoying hockey. The cast off toys from other teams are coming in hungry and still with NHL skill. As a previous poster said, win-win. Also, it seems Eakins was one of the worst coaches to ever get behind the bench so the lift from firing him is very clear.

    But please, for the love of everything, do not give MacTavish ANY credit. Firing a bad coach, picking up castoffs from another team and promoting the only internal coaching option does not take skill of any kind. Every sentient poster on this blog could have done the same (and much sooner in the season, like the summer for instance). Management must go. The players and coaches be allowed to focus on winning and having fun playing hockey.

  • nuge2drai

    Imagine that. Playing Nail Yakupov with an experienced Center paid off immediately. Who could ever have guessed that making Nail the LEAST experienced player on his line would give him a chance to learn and develop as an NHL scorer?

    Comment via Matt Henderson

  • Armchair_Gm

    No way, roys playing like an older UFA he knows he has to play well for a half à season in ordre to.get what will most likely be his last big money contract. This is a team thats paying nikita jikitin and pouliot 4+ million. I bet they do a Gross over pay for Roy, and arcobello has à better season next year for the preds

  • No way that Roy is the answer – 5 teams in 3 yrs.

    Everyone settle down. After the initial thrust the true Roy will emerge.

    His production of 5 points in six game are impressive but I would be willing to bet that after 25 games he will slow down to probably to 5 points in 15 games rate.

    Mark my words.

  • flyin ryan

    The most logical thing to me is to let Roy continue to build his value up, getting his career back on track so to speak. If he does continue somewhere close to his current pace Mac T. should sit down with Roy before the trade deadline & say/ask would you like to go to a playoff team for the stretch run for a chance? With the understanding you have done a nice job for the Oil (assuming he continues) & the team would be very open to bringing him back in the summer. Get an asset or draft pick of some form for him, continue on the McEichel path for the rest of the year, & possibly bring Roy back. No brainer…

  • flyin ryan

    I’m all for having a player come here after the season is lost, build up their value by playing well and then trade him at the deadlne for prospect or pick.

  • ooj

    “Craig MacTavish is way smarter than me so he likely tried very hard to get something done.”

    You know what they say about assumption’s LT. You give the old boys way too much credit

  • Kevwan

    1) Does anyone thing MacT will make an offer?
    2) If an offer is made do you think he will accept or are we just going to get another pick at the deadline for him?

  • Zarny

    Roy had 63, 81, 70 and 69 pt seasons and 35 pt in 35 games in 2010-11 before his knee injury. He’s never been the same physically but it’s the same brain that executed at that level.

    @ 5’9″ 184 lbs I can see why MacT may have passed on Roy in July. Or perhaps Roy said no thanks and took less money in Nsh like Jokinen and Ribeiro.

    He’s not perfect. An older version of Gagner in many ways. Ideally the Oilers sign Roy to a 1-2 yr team friendly deal because otherwise they only have 2 NHL centers. If he has a good 2nd half Roy may want to hit the market. He’ll want term in Edm and I can see MacT wanting to wait until after the draft so we’ll see.

  • TheBirdOfAnger

    Not hard to make a decision on a point a game player….

    Lets revisit this at the end of the year.

    Lets call Roy our interim second line center, in the same way as Nelson is our interim head coach.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, second line centres do not exist in the NHL. They are unicorns. Even if and when a veteran, skilled, big body second line C pops up, which is never, the cost to get them is extreme, and they usually only go to contending teams.

    A good example is Kesler. But with only 29 points in 43 games playing for the best team in the NHL, he’s not exactly lighting it up.

    Or, how about Spezza, who has been used primarily on the wing this year.

    Or there was Lecavallier recently who is now a tire fire.

    And I shouldn’t say they don’t exist, but the ones that do were drafted and developed by the team they currently play for, and cost a boatload.

    Malkin, Coture, Zetterburgh, Stall, ect.

    The only big name second line c to come up as a free agent last year was Stasny.

    Point being, the Oilers are going to have to make due with the best option they can until one of Drai, or (McDavid/ Eichle / Strome) develops into that second line C. And for now, having a vet there, undersized or not, seems like a way better bet.

    • Zamboni Driver

      I actually like most of this piece.

      but if you think that RNH is better than McDavid/Eichel and that one of those two would be SECOND line centre, I think you’ve been chugging way too much Koolaid.

      Wanna know what a #2 centre looks like.

      Looks a lot like RNH.

      • Zamboni Driver

        Not really sure what kind of Kool aid I’ve been drinking. And yeah, maybe the Oilers get one of those guys and maybe one day they take over top line C. But I don’t think that’s going to be next year.

        After everything that has gone on with rushing kids into important roles on the NHL club, do you really see even a guy like McDavid having more success as our top line C than Nuge next year?

        That to me is kool aid drinking. Thinking a kid is going to come in and save the team by playing the most important position on the squad and excelling.

        But again, maybe in a few years? I never really thought of a line up two or 3 years down the road that has McDavid, Nuge, Drai, Gordon as our 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. If McDavid is as good as everyone says he is, that does make sense, and would be pretty tremendous for the team.

      • Zamboni Driver

        No way either of those guys will be ready to step in as a 1st line center. You are dreaming.

        Long term, we actually have too much depth at center, adding McDavid.

        McDavid, RNH, Dr. Drai, Gordon

        The real question will be how good is Dr. Drai going to get… I think too good to be someones third line center. Assuming this all happens, Dr. Drai will get dealt eventually to sure up our goal tending or defense.

        You heard it here first.