Derek Roy’s next contract


At this point it seems reasonably probable that the Edmonton Oilers will re-sign free agent centre Derek Roy. Roy has posted 21 points in 39 games, has enjoyed reasonably good chemistry with Nail Yakupov and wasn’t moved at the trade deadline despite his UFA status.

How much will he cost?

Contracts Past

Roy shouldn’t cost very much at all. If we look at his last few contracts and the platform year for each, this season really isn’t all that exceptional for the player:

  • Summer 2007: six-year, $24.0 million contract after scoring 63 points in 75 games (0.84 PPG)
  • Summer 2013: one year, $4.0 million contract after scoring 28 points in 42 games for Dallas and Vancouver (0.67 PPG)
  • Summer 2014: one year, $1.0 million contract after scoring 37 points in 75 games for St. Louis (0.49 PPG)
  • Summer 2015: TBD. To date he has scored 31 points in 65 games (0.48 PPG)

In raw point totals, Roy is behind his pace from last season with the Blues, a pace which earned him a one-year, $1.0 million deal with the Predators. He also cleared waivers earlier this year, with every team in the entire NHL passing him over.

What He’s Done for Edmonton

Craig MacTavish2

Derek Roy has really added an element that has helped our hockey club. He has a game that lends experience to our game. He doesn’t self-destruct. He’s meshed well with Yak and formed a chemistry with Yak. Derek isn’t a needy hockey player; he thinks the game very well, he puts the puck in the right areas and he’s able to complement Nail very well.

Craig MacTavish, February 20, 2015.

There’s probably something to MacTavish’s comment above. Roy has seen 700-odd games in the NHL and been part of two reasonably deep postseason runs. It’s possible to overstate the value of experience, but few things contribute to grace under pressure more than extended exposure to pressure. Roy played a leading role under Lindy Ruff in Buffalo both when the Sabres were a good team and then later when they weren’t; he’s seen highs and lows and it’s hard to fault Edmonton’s G.M. for thinking that has value on a young team.

But before we get too excited about Roy’s successes in Edmonton, it’s worth looking at the counterargument.

First, let’s remember the way shooting percentage can play people for fools over a small sample. Since joining the Oilers, Roy is a 17.7 percent shooter, a figure he has never topped over a full NHL season. It’s easy to get overly high on a player converting at that rate, just as Roy’s 2.9 shooting percentage in Nashville likely led some teams to underrate him. Interestingly, Roy is a 12.4 percent shooter on the season as a whole, right in the range of his career number of 12.1 percent. It would do well not to get too excited just yet, because Roy is outperforming his career numbers so far in Edmonton, and history suggests he won’t keep scoring goals at this rate.


Aside from this shooting percentage spike, the other big thing Roy has done in Edmonton is mesh well with Nail Yakupov. That has value, but it must be remembered that a) Yakupov generally hasn’t had the advantage of playing with veteran pivots and b) it only has value to the Oilers. A big shooting percentage spike over a half-season and chemistry with Yakupov aren’t the kinds of things that Roy can take to other teams on July 1, and we don’t know that Yakupov wouldn’t do just as well with Vladimir Sobotka or Artem Anisimov or someone else of that calibre.

Roy is also a small centre on a small team.

Overall, Roy is in a similar position to where he was last summer, where in a down year for centres he had to wait two weeks to land a contract and that contract he landed was what most teams would comfortably pay their fourth line centre. He has value to the Oilers (even if it perhaps isn’t as a second line option) and at the right price and term it makes good sense for Edmonton to sign him. If he’s looking for significant term or big dollars, he’s probably out of luck.


  • paul wodehouse

    I would be comfortable giving Roy a 1 year at 1.65. I feel while not perfect Roy is a veteran guy who can take minutes in the 2nd line centre spot allowing Leon to get a year of AHL experience. His chemistry with yak and their play has been exciting to watch.

    I would offer Philly Marincin, Pitts 1st and Montreal’s 2nd and try to pry Simmonds out of Philly to play with Roy and yak and we have added size to our top 6.

    • KSC10032

      We don’t have enough depth on defence to trade Marincin away. Losing Petry, Smid and N. Shultz has really weakened our backend. NN and Ference have not worked out and J. Shultz will need more time.

      We have LOTS of Wingers and not enough Dmen.

      • Oilers4ever

        If you think Marincin and Montreals 2nd rounder would be enough yer smoking something. 2nd rounder could be a bust and Marincin has sucked this year. So not a chance. Marincin and Pittsburghs 1st…. maybe… if your lucky. Simmonds was almost at 30 goals and likely gets there without the injury. 30 goal scorers dont grow on trees and a suspect dman and a pick that could be nothing isnt enough to secure that. Think about it. If your Philly, do you send a 30 goal scorer with big size away from a dman who may never crack your team and a pick that could be a big fat zero. Not a hope in you know what unless you wanna lose your job…

        • The Last Big Bear

          The last time Simmonds changed hands it was for an All-Star and team captain #1C in his early 20s, who managed to be both a 30 goal scorer and get nominated for the Selke as the league’s best defensive forward.

          That was the price for Simmonds then, and it would probably take a similar return now to pry him out.

          Simmonds is bigger than Hall, scores more than Hall, fights more, hits more, and will actually play defence if his team loses the puck, instead of coasting back for a linechange, or floating at centre ice.

          You could throw Hall and Klefbom into that deal, and Philly would still hang up the phone.

          Next to Milan Lucic, Wayne Simmonds is probably the 2nd most coveted power forward in the NHL. You are not going to get him for a pick and a prospect.

  • paul wodehouse

    I like Roy for a one year cheap contract. The convention is Roy is making Yak better …. BUT what if Yak is making Roy better?

    We need to give Yak a proper centre, to build this asset. In 2014-15 he has had a very raw rookie centre and a waiver wire pick-up. We need to be serious and get Yak the best centre possible to play with…

  • KSC10032

    A logical starting point is to offer the same contract he is on now, and see how negotiation unfold.

    One of the things smart teams have realized in the “cap” world is that you have to be willing to walk away from bottom-half-of-the-roster players if the cost (in value for the dollar terms) gets too high.

    IMO — the Oilers have shown particularly poor judgement in this regard over the past years. This has to be corrected if this team is ever to genuinely compete.

  • PlayDirty

    Without overhyping or undervaluing him, let’s take him for what he is and give him an appropriate contract. He could be an excellent mentor that puts up some moderate points until our skill develops. I liked seeing him with the A last night.

  • toprightcorner

    I am of the opinion that outside of the obvious positional weaknesses we keep talking about ( Goalie, Defence, Centre) which the Oil management have yet to fully address—when we were the most down and out and desperate for relief—-we were all yelling for just 5 or 6 REAL NHL players. Oiler management HAS addressed this with the addition of Derek Roy and Benoit Pouliot and Mark Fayne and Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks. That’s 5 and to think we would not sign Roy who had done everything asked of him-is unconscionable.

    As much as the “not so young stars” these five are the core of a team on the rise. Oiler management fans and press alike should embrace these guys as the way to the bright future

    Forget the numbers these guys are growing together—-honour these guys!

  • tileguy

    If he’s looking for significant term or big dollars, he’s probably out of luck

    True Dat, his only value may be at training camp pushing others for a job.

  • 916oiler

    Sign him, 1-2 years. $2 mill ish.

    Since meshing with Yak, Yakupov is scoring at a 60 point per season pace over the last quarter of the season.

    This allows Draisaitl a year in the AHL which I hope they do.





  • Serious Gord

    he has precisely one NHL team interested in his services. one year for little more than league minimum. Take it or leave it.

    And he should be only viewed as a max one-season option. Next year will e another year in the wilderness with mact klowe in charge. One can only hope that instead of going backwards or nowhere like the team did this season, that the team can actually make developmental progress. Perhaps roy can help in a small way in that regard.

    But he only makes a small unphysical team smaller and less physical so get what they can out of him regarding yaks progression and continue looking for real answers to those to above issues.

    • tileguy

      Not sure on your evaluation prowess there Gord. Roy plays with a tenacity and will that makes him reasonably difficult to play against. Especially as a 3rd line option. He’s fine.

  • BlazingSaitls

    Todd Nelson is a far superior coach to Eakins but MacT was right in one sense; the addition of Roy has made an immense difference to the Oilers lineup.

    As soon as Oilers got Roy the bench started smiling again and the Oilers started having fun again. Never underestimate the power of smiling, happy Yak and the influence it has on the team.

    I can give two craps about the race to the bottom. Let the Leafs, Yotes, and Sabres play mired in misery. Had the Oilers played that way what chance, if any, would they have at signing any free agents? Its bad enough without purposefully losing.

    Even though the wins haven’t be there the last half of the season, the intent to win is obvious. Since the addition of Nelson and Roy the team is playing to win, the team is smiling, the games are fun again.

    I got four words for MacT about Roy.

    Sign the man dammit!

    (2yr deal @ 2.5m, with incentives. 1st year-1.4m with scoring incentives. 2nd yr-1.1m flat rate. 1m potential bonus for maxing on the scoring incentives)

  • S cottV

    It’s gonna be another year or two minimum – outta the playoffs, regardless, so might as well appease Yaks apparent comfort with Roy.

    Hopefully – 3 seasons from now, LD is a reasonable one – two punch with Nuge, to successfully compete against top Western Conference counterparts. Nuge should be there by then, but LD is probably 5 years away from entering his prime.

    3 to 5 more years – is a long time to wait for any kind of real dominance in the middle at 1 and 2c. In the meantime, at best it will be hanging in there, which doesn’t bode well for the playoffs – in conjunction with no top end d man and goaltender.

  • S cottV

    No rash moves, please! If everything remained as it is right now, I would offer him $1.5 for one year or $1.0 for two years.

    Still neeed to sign another decent center man for next year [ forget big names here],something in line of Vermette,Sobotka,Soderberg,Brodziak,Santorelli, all are UFA;s and I am sure some will resign with current teams.??

    Draisaitl, AHL, Strome? AHL. Would leave you with Nuge, Roy, Lander and your back to square one, needing another decent center.
    There really is no one else down in OKC.

    One major problem for the team is that outside of Gordon, the F/O percentage sucks big time, including Roy.

  • tileguy

    I would re-sign him for a similar contract to the one he signed this season. If he wants to try and get something better, he can see what’s out there but I doubt he will be much of a commodity on the open market. Even with Roy in the fold, I would like to see us add another veteran centre.

    If we at least sign Roy, second line centre becomes less of a concern and we can focus on addressing the obvious holes on D and in net first. We have too many holes to fill in one off-season so some short-term stopgaps might be needed at certain positions.

  • Ever the Optimist

    Sobtka owes the Blues 3 years is it if he comes back? If. Big If.Aem Anisimov costs you assets and no assurance that he blends with Yak. ROY on the other hand is a 700 game plus NHL center who is averaging .48 ppg playing with Yak who has come alive with arrival of ROY and Nelson.

    So what should the Oilers do? Get rid of ROY and Nelson? Have we been watching the same team since Nelson took over?

    Give Nelson a couple of legitimate defencemen and goalie who’s game begins at the start of the season and this team may just may have a fighting chance next year. At least they won’t be going to tank battle with a can of silly string.

    Derek Roy has not faltered since MacT made his comments. He has not faded. He has taken nothing for granted. He has continued to compete. To mentor Yak. To be a good teammate.

    What more can we ask for him to do for this team? Then the question is who can we bring in who will do what ROY is doing for us right now at the same price point? And can we assured we’ll get a guy who can do the same thing?

    If its me ROY is the guy who is the transition guy we all have been bitching we need while guys like Draisatl and Yakimov and possibly Strome pend time in Bakersfield.

    IS a 5 million dollar a year free agent or 4 or 3 really what this team needs moving forward when what we really need is a guy like ROY.

    ROY is the exact guy we need. Sure if he was bigger we all would bitch less. But 700 plus games of experience you cannot get in free agency everyday of the week.

    Roy has earned the coach’s trust and the gM’s trust. His teammates trust. And almost as importantly he has earned the trust of the fans who pay to watch this team.

    JW what more can you ask of ROY?

  • toprightcorner

    MacT should look at adding a better 2C and hopefully bigger than Roy, if he can’t I would be fine with him signing Roy in August for another year at the same $1 mill.

    I would also be fine if the signed Roy to be the 3 liner either him or Lander moving to the wing. That provides the depth required at center when injuries arise.

    Draisatl should play in the AHL for most of the year and if the Oilers draft an center other than McDavid, they should go back to junior or college for another year. These young centers should start on the wing for at least their first year in the NHL.

    • Oilers4ever

      Oilers wont get McDavid unless they fluke out and win the draft. Buffalo too far behind now. We’ll likely overtake Toronto as well. Be thinking 4th overall maybe 3rd.

  • The Last Big Bear

    $1.25M x 1. Max! Roy has helped Yak true but, he is small, slow, weak on face offs and weak on defence. Gagner was/is better and Oiler fans ran him out of town. Love affair for Roy will be over before Nov next season.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I’m not too sure what a fair 2 year deal for Roy would be, but anyone who questions whether or not the Oilers should resign him is completely overthinking this.

    Yakupov seems to have found a mentor in Roy. The Oilers absolutely NEED Yak to pan out, so why even risk disrupting the on and off ice chemistry they have going.

    The guy has 21 points in 39 games since he joined the team. If you think that isn’t good offensive production then your expectations are too high.

    I think it is also worth noting that he is only 30 and he now spends his offseason working out with Gary Roberts, so there’s no reason to believe his performance should drop off much in the next few years.

    The Oilers are weak at the centre ice position. Roy has been a good centreman for the Oilers. So sign Roy. In my mind the problem is the Oilers need Roy more than Roy needs the Oilers. I think he could find a job somewhere else in July, but the Oilers have a shortage of guys who have played 700 games.

    2 years at 1.75 per?

  • The Last Big Bear

    Since Darnell Nurse will be playing in Edmonton next year. Let’s do the following:

    1. Edmontons own 2nd rounder for Malcolm Subban

    2. Pittsburghs 1st rounder and and Montreals 2nd rounder + our third rounder for Wayne Simmonds.

    3. Draft Strome. Big 6’3 centre man. I’m salivating!!!!

    4. Offer Derek Roy the NHL minimum. Take it or leave! Chances are he’ll be on waivers by Christmas this year anyways.

    5. Getting tired of Taylor Halls emotional faces. It really brings the team down. Sulk sulk sulk. I imagine we can probably get the “cheech” and a prospect for him. By “cheech” I mean Lucic.

    6. Have the Oiler brass huddled around in a committee room and discuss Shea Weber trade scenarios. That’s always fun!!!

  • I see little downside to making a multi-year commitment to Roy. Worse case scenario he helps mentor the next wave of centers (Dri, yak2, Strome*) and create internal competition at the position.

    If it can be had at a value I’d like to see Roy stay for 3-4 years.

  • Ever the Optimist

    getting Roy at 1 to 1.5 mil for another 1 year deal would be ideal. He should be expected to be in the 4th or 5th center spot. This would provide us with injury relief and a guy that will push for playing time.

    Competition ???? what a concept

  • Ever the Optimist

    Are we really having this discussion? People are really questioning why the Oilers should or should not sign Roy. An actual NHL veteran who has improved the play of a lost first overall selection. Geeze how stupid can a fan base be? He’s not going to cost much to the team and having him mentor the young top six players like Hall, Nuge and Yak is priceless. Remember when a guy at the end of his career signed here. Adam Oates came in here and all he did was teach Horcoff and Stoll how to win face offs and take the next step. He inadvertently almost won us a Cup. Guys like Roy have a place in the NHL, his veteran presence and leadership has been welcome for the top six. Sign him 2 years at $1.75 a year and let Draisaitl and our other prospects finally get proper development.

    • Ever the Optimist

      Exactly. Excellent point about Oates. The Oilers should have learned over the years that it isn’t good enough to just put together a “skilled” lineup. You need a handful of guys that have prepared for, played in, and recovered from 700+ NHL games. Young skill rarely develops properly if their isn’t a mentorship program in place.

  • bazmagoo

    I’d sign Roy for either one year at 2 million or two years at 1.5 million. He’ll get offers in that range based on his career resurgence, his pedigree, and his position in my opinion. We’ll have to overpay like we always have to, but I think that’s enough. Internal competition is good! Let Leon fight his way through the AHL for a season or two. Let Strome do the same if we end up drafting him. Stop rushing our prospects! #craigsonit

  • bazmagoo

    Roy still has some game. Signing him to a 1 year deal will just make him more attractive for another team to snatch next year i.e.Petry…I say sign him for 3 yrs, say 2M+, or 1.5M plus bonuses …..See what happens to his game if we show him we believe in him. I bet he lights it up next year…