Derek Roy has 5 points in 6 games so far as an Oiler pic.twitter.com/N2TJ47mlpT
— HG. (@HG_Personal) January 11, 2015
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.
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.
WILL ROY BE DEALT?
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.” Source
Veterans. Actual NHL players.
WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG?
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.