Marco Roy: Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Work Out


With Anton Slepyshev signing his ELC, Bogdan Yakimov already
having a year in the AHL under his belt, and Darnell Nurse looking everything
like the stud the team believed him to be on the day they selected him, the 2013 Draft is
looking like a success story. Everything is breaking their way.
Everything except Marco Roy.

Marco Roy was a second round pick in the 2013 draft.
The 56th overall pick was the compensation the Oilers received in return
for developing Andrew Cogliano on behalf of Anaheim. Remember Cogliano? He’s the guy currently playing 16.5
minutes a night of hockey for the Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs.

Playoffs! Remember those? Nope, me neither. Moving on.

At 56 Marco Roy was picked ahead of his placement on a few
lists. For example, NHL Central Scouting had him listed as the 54th
best North American skater (meaning on the combined list he would be lower than 54). He was taken ahead of a few players like Adam
Tambellini (yes, I know) and Jan Kostalek who CC had rated ahead of him. That
said, Derek Zona made a consensus list for the 2013 Draft before it unfolded
and Marco Roy was rated 59th so taken at 56 might not have been
considered a great stretch after all.

As Bob Stauffer has repeated on his radio show Oilers Now a few times, there is some belief that analytics (via DarkHorse Analytics) played a part in the Oilers targetting Roy. Now, there is very little open and available statistical information that the QMJHL provides. The league has even made other sites that tried to provide what was possible to track based on gamesheet data cease and desist their operations. So whatever was used to make Roy a target will remain a Black Box secret for now.

Does that mean we shouldn’t trust analytics in scouting? Well maybe, but only if you think “normal” scouting never gets anything wrong. But we all know the old eye test has a pretty spotty track record at the draft table too. Things happen. It’s inevitable when we’re talking about kids.

The facts were that in his draft year Roy went 65GP,
29-38-67 then added 15GP, 6-13-19 in the playoffs. He was producing 1.075
points per game, had OK size, and impressed enough people to be rated close to
his eventual draft number.

As far as second Round picks go, the Oilers had made
worse bets before.


He came to camp and looked OK but when he got back to the
QMJHL he didn’t play. It came out later that he sustained an elbow injury at
Oilers camp and it cost him significant time. He returned to action from that only to
then sustain a severe concussion that sidelined him again for an extended period of

When all was said and done in his draft+1 season he had just
39GP, 14-21-35 then 20GP 4-8-12 in the playoffs. Producing just 0.80 points per
game as a 19 year old (Early November Birthday) wasn’t promising but he had the
injury trouble so at least there was an excuse.

He went back again this year to the QMJHL for his 20 year
old season without a contract in hand from the Oilers. They wanted to see more.
He needed to show more. This time he went to a Quebec Remparts team that was
getting loaded up to host the Memorial Cup. They lost to Rimouski in Game 7 of
the QMJHL final but only after a couple OT periods were needed. They are a good
team. And Roy does play a part in that.

The issue is that while he’s clearly able to help, the rate
at which he’s scoring is still low relative to his draft year. This past season
he produced 59GP, 26-24-50 with 14GP, 3-8-11 in the playoffs, or 0.84 points
per game.

Better than his injury plagued year. Still well below what
he did as (mostly) an 18 year old. Worse still, as a 20 year old skilled player he should be dominating, or close to it. 

He’s helping the Remparts but he was ranked eighth
on their squad in terms of points per game. It’s very concerning and the fact
that the Oilers haven’t signed him is telling. They have just a few more days, until June 1st, to get him inked to a deal before he re-enters
the draft.

I think it’s safe to say that if the Oil wanted him signed
they would have done so already. Considering both the fact that he has failed to stand
out at the CHL level and Edmonton’s glut of depth on the wing, signing Marco
Roy seems incredibly unlikely.


He should re-renter the draft this June where someone else is
free to take a gamble on him. However, I don’t believe this is a case where the
prospect or club didn’t feel there was a good fit. It looks more like the
Oilers simply aren’t convinced Roy has progressed enough to the point where an
ELC makes sense.

Now if the draft goes on and Roy goes unselected then it
might not shock me if the Oilers gave him a pro tryout in Bakersfield and maybe
even an AHL deal. But that’s not a guarantee and if they don’t we shouldn’t be

I don’t think Roy was a bad pick, not the way I feel like
Moroz was a bad pick. And good for the Oilers to recognize this isn’t trending the right way. Trying to force it by giving him an ELC for the heck of it may be a waste of resources. This scenario just
reinforces the simple fact that sometimes you can make a pretty good bet on a kid at
the draft and things just don’t work out.

A few injuries, one being a severe concussion, and the wind
can be taken right out of the sails on an otherwise promising prospect.

So the Marco Roy pick has turned out to be the only real
black mark on MacTavish’s 2013 draft to date. It’s a shame that the Oilers will
have nothing to show for developing Andrew Cogliano for the benefit of the Anaheim
Ducks, but that’s a lesson on the relative value of magic beans. 

At the end of the day, draft picks are just lottery
tickets. Sometimes you scratch to find you won the Jackpot. Sometimes you
scratch to find you have to Try Again. Well, perhaps I should say most of the time you scratch to find you have to Try Again. 

    • Dan 1919

      Agreed, at the end of the day everyone needs a paycheque to feed their families, and if working for the Oilers is the only one they can get then so be it, can’t blame him for staying. But it comes to the point where some of these guys should have the courtesy to resign and give themselves a fresh start with another organization.

      I think one of the contributing factors to MacT’s fall was his inability to surround himself with quality people. Howson is an example. Trying to outsmart the market and sign Columbus’ unwanted dmen who couldn’t stay in the lineup there and thinking they would be good enough to be a top four Dman here is both Howson and MacT’ fault.

      But let’s be honest, we all know Howson would have went to bat for Nikitan… he hung is boss MacT out to dry.

      • Agreed, but what other organization would give them a job? A little humility would be a good thing after all the years of arrogance from this Management Team. If they cant live off the millions they have already made, I suggest they get new financial advisers.

      • Smuckers

        I’m never one to miss out on an opportunity to bash MacT and you hit the nail on the head. I’m reminded of the line, “You can’t soar with the eagles when you hang out with Turkeys” – or something to that effect.

        MacT hiring a losing club’s executive is just icing on the cake to his dumpster fire of a term as GM.

    • pkam

      Does his pay cheque come out of your wallet?

      If Nicholson, Chiarelli, Lowe and MacT are all happy to have him around and Katz doesn’t mind to write him the cheque, who am I to question their decisions?

      • Partially, but all their paycheques come from the fans who have supported this garbage. A sacrificial lamb or two or three is in order. I doubt Nicholson or Chiarelli are thrilled with having the 3 stooges on staff (Doubt they would ask any of them for their opinion ,unless they want to know what not to do). It’s not like the entire league doesn’t know they should have all been canned years ago. Most organizations would have canned Lowe after his Six Ring , Know A Thing or Two About Winning, Tier 1 Tier 2 Blowhard Speech.I personally don’t care one wit about what any of these three have to say. The right thing for them to do is resign and leave town with what little dignity they have left.

        • pkam

          The Oilers owner and upper management have the authority to decide who they want to hire and fire. Being a paying customer doesn’t give you that authority.

          If you are so unhappy with a business, just stop being their paying customer.

          • Almost did. If they were not removed this past year, that would have been the final straw for me( and quite a few others I suspect). I will even eat a little crow on this. I believed all along that the “Forensic Audit” was just another load of Buffalo Bagels to go along with the rest of the BS customers have been handed for far too long. I was of the mindset that Bob Nicholson was just another DK sycophant.
            Thumbs Up to BN. I was incorrect, and I must admit a little shocked. When we drew the Gold Card I honestly thought we would be stuck with the 3 stooges for another decade or so. It is finally safe I believe to unpack all my Oilers Gear that’s been in a box in the basement for the last 7 years due to utter embarrassment of even being a fan of this gong show. I suspect you agree that any other organization would not have retained these people for long.

          • pkam

            You don’t have to be a fan if you are not happy with them. I don’t think they put a gun at your head to force you, do they?

            This is how I look at it. I am a customer of their product, like any other products that I purchase. If I am happy, I continue. If I am not, I look for alternative.

            If you want to fire someone, start your own business and be their boss. They are Katz’s employees not mine. If Katz thinks they are capable, who am I to tell Katz that they are not? Because I am a paying customer?

            If I own a business and a customer comes to me and tell me I must fire my manager because he thinks my manager is incompetent, he is basically insulting me, not my manager.

          • I don’t know if that customer has any proof. If he does come to you with proof of incompetence (which we have plenty of), would you not at least listen to what he has to say? If not , your business would not last very long.I have fired many incompetent people (once demanded by a customer, but he brought me proof). Some were given two or three chances,but if I let it go on for a decade or more , my company would be bankrupt. How about we have JW use this title for an article , but swap out Marco Roy and call it Lowe Mactavish & Howson, sometimes it doesn’t work out? I stand by my comments, no other team would have put up with this and none of them will ever collect an NHL cheque that doesn’t have an Oil Drop on it.

          • pkam

            This will be the last comment to this discussion.

            I’ll listen to customers but at the end firing of hiring of my employees is my decision. It is what I believe and not what my customers think or feel.

            If I am wrong, I pay the price, not my customers. How long can my business last is also my business and not theirs.

            Everyone can have different philosophy and way of doing business. You have your way of running your business, I have mine and Katz has his. Whether you or everyone in the world agree or not have no effect on how I run my business, nor how Katz runs his business.

            Bottom line, it is his business and his money. He has every right to hire whoever he likes, whether you or everyone else likes it or not. At the same time, you are the customer of his product and you have every right to stop if you are not happy.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Dem dar’s some passionate words, expressed by a Tier 1 fan.

          It’s like he still knows that Lowe and MacT are still very much involved in the day to day operations of this hockey club. Peter and Todd have only been added to spice things up a little. Katz is so loyal to Kevin, when Lowe offered to resign, Katz told Kevin he’d rather sell the team than accept his resignation.

      • MillHoodsHockey4Life

        Who are you? You are a paying customer. The source of revenue for the Oilers business. That’s who you are. And to companies other than the Oilers, that means something.

        • pkam

          I am a paying customer of the Oilers and many other companies as well, including TD Bank, Royal Bank, MasterCard, Visa Card, AE Card, a few big insurance companies, Toyota and Honda, and many more.

          Does it mean all these companies should listen to me who they should hire and fire?

          • So if they took all your money, and there was 0 accountability with the companies you named,(IE TD squanders or loses money from your investments) or( you buy a car from Honda and they don’t honor their warranty) would you continue to do business with them if their unqualified management team was costing you money? They do not have to listen to you, your only option is to spend your money elsewhere. We only have one NHL team in town. The others have options. Apples & Oranges. If his drug empire was run into the ground by these clowns they would have been fired in the second or third year, if that long.

          • pkam

            I have said in another comment, if you are so unhappy with the business, stop being their paying customer. That is under your authority. Whether the business hire or fire anyone is not under your authority.

            I know we only have one NHL team in town, but have you ever heard of something called monopoly? How many phone company or power company do we have in town? Do you think Telus or EPCOR will listen to you and fire their management team if you are not happy with them?

            You speak like you don’t have an option. Phone and power are basic utility that we are almost impossible to live without. Hockey after all is just an entertainment. Does your daily life depends on it? If they are not entertaining to you anymore, just don’t spend your money on it.

          • Very difficult to just abandon them after being a Fan for so long. Worse part is , none of this had to happen. Telus or Epcor would have acquiesced if they had this many complaints toward customer service, because customers have a choice and it would severely impact their bottom line. I would have personally liked to see the building half empty as the out for these guys, but we have the best fans in the world, and we all know this was not going to happen. Catch-22. You do raise some valid points but there is no way the Oilers would ever lose that many customers. It is the NHL and there are literally thousands that cannot afford to go, and would still be an awesome experience for kids that have never been to an NHL game. The seats remain sold regardless.

          • pkam

            Blogs are a forum for opinion. I think everybody understands they are not part of the decision making process but that does not mean we can’t, as fans with an expectation of success in an entertainment business, question the decisions made by management. We do it all the time.

      • elgruntus

        Don’t assume that he will be around much longer. Clearly the Oil have not performed and there are a number of areas (like most of them IMHO) that they need to improve. When you are brought into an under performing management team you don’t come in with guns ablazin’. Look at Bob N and the time he spent “assessing” the team. Once he completed that, he made significant changes at the very top (Lowe and MacT). Peter C, as POHO, will do the same as he learns the issues and, once he understands, he too will make change. I think Howson is next on the hit list followed by MacT (once his transition/learning period is complete). In pro sports the only thing that counts is performance. There are many people in the organization who have proven they are incapable. Katz, and then Bob N, started at the top of their respective food chains and now Peter C will do the same. “The fish rots from the head down” – all is going to plan.

      • Tikkanese

        If he goes to the games, buys Oiler merchandise or even watches Oilers on tv then yes, Howson’s pay cheque comes out of his and all of our wallets for that matter.

        We do not pay him directly but the money does flow from our pockets and eventually winds up in the pockets of Katz, Howson, KLowe, Hall, Nikitin, Nuge, Eric Belanger, Bob Stauffer and soon McDavid’s. Good with the bad, we pay for it all.

    • pkam

      So you think giving Moroz a contract was a bad idea, fine. I’m not going to argue that one way or another.

      Does giving Roy a contract fix that in some way that I’m not aware of?

      Here’s the thing:

      1. Don’t make mistakes. This is the ultimate goal.
      2. If you make mistakes, try not to make them again. This is the realistic goal.
      3. If you make mistakes, either ignore them or use some element of them to justify continuing to make the wrong decision. This isn’t the goal, but it’s what most of us do most of the time.

      Seems like signing Roy on the basis you mentioned is #3, and not signing him (if you don’t believe he’s good enough to be an NHLer but believe he’s better than Moroz) is #2.

      Pick #2 if you can’t pick #1.

      • Chet.

        Nice response! The issue stems from more of a useful player thought process.

        I look at some of the players that the previous staff handed contracts to and, from a personal standpoint, they have a player not signed that looks to be more useful than those others.

        But hey, let’s just see what happens after the Memorial Cup. Then everyone will actually know what is happening with Marco Roy.

  • Dan 1919

    Analytics are valuable information and they’re here to stay, the problem with them right now is how much credibility they’re given. They’re just another stat, stats have been around since the dawn of hockey.

    Call me a traditionalist, but FIRST comes a players on ice performance, from that you can pick apart individual stats such as shooting percentage, corsi, faceoff percentage etc.

    It seems today people are so excited with these new fancy stats that they will try to reverse that order and say, well overall he’s not that good, but his corsi is good so that overwrites the fact that he’s not very good at hockey.

      • Dan 1919

        “As Bob Stauffer has repeated on his radio show Oilers Now a few times, there is some belief that analytics (via DarkHorse Analytics) played a part in the Oilers targetting Roy… whatever was used to make Roy a target will remain a Black Box secret for now.”

        That’s fine, my comment was just a generalization triggered by the above text, as people were using the same type of logic against Derek Roy earlier in the season (apparently his corsi wasn’t impressive).

  • AdmiralPawPaw

    It’s the Oilers they only know how to pick in the 1st round. I could’ve thrown darts at the board and come up with better picks outside the 1st round.

    • Dan 1919

      They didn’t even have to draft in the first round, they just had to sit there and pick whoever central scouting said to when they had the top end picks… Hall and Nuge are great, but I can’t give much credit to past Oiler management for them being on the team.

      • pkam

        So Eberle, Paajarvi, and Klefbom are just reading from the central scouting?

        I am not trying to trash Chiarelli, but let’s compare his draft result since 2008 to Oilers.

        In 2008, the Bruins drafted Joe Colborne 16th overall and we drafted Eberle 22nd overall, who is better?

        In 2009, the Bruins drafted Jordan Caron 25th overall, we drafted Paajarvi 10th overall and Lander 40th overall. Paajarvi was great in Sweden and world juniors before he joined us in 2010. And he was great in 2010 as a rookie and in the WC that year. Lander has 28 pts in 132 NHL games and Caron also has 28 pts but in 153 games, and he has 0 pts in the last 2 seasons.

        In 2010, ignore Hall and Seguin, we drafted Pitlick 31st and Bruins drafted Jared Knight 32nd. Pitlick hasn’t been great so far but Jared Knight is even worse. And we drafted Marincin 46th overall that Bruins could have taken at 32nd.

        In 2011, they took Dougie Hamilton 9th overall which should be an easy one as Hamilton was ranked top 5 by central scouting.

        So other than the top 10 picks, what have the Bruins done better than the Oilers?

  • TKB2677

    THe Oilers have plenty of Roy’s in their system already. Meaning a mediocre talent who it’s 50-50 if they will ever see the NHL. Not signing him isn’t a big deal. As people mentioned, Moroz is a good example. I agree he was taken too early. Moroz and Roy if they make the NHL are destine for the bottom 6. If you aren’t scoring more than a point per game at the junior level, it is very doubtful you will score a lot at the NHL. 50 pts in 59 games for Roy isn’t very good. At least with Moroz, you get way more size. Roy is 6 ft, 183 vs 6’2, 214 for Moroz. Plus you get more toughness and physical play from Moroz. If you are going to have a few guys that are not sure things to make the NHL, I would rather invest time into a bigger body.

  • pkam

    Other than Nurse, Yakimov and Slepyshev, I believe the Oilers also signed Platzer, Betker, and Chase. It is a bit disappointed that Roy doesn’t work out, but I am very happy to see 6 ELCs from one draft.

  • bwar

    I think Roy is worth an ELC. He’s had some injury issues and still put up reasonable numbers. The oilers have worse prospects under contract and Roy hasn’t been a total bust.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I remember watching Marco his first camp at Millenium place. Thinking, there’s a kid who’s going to be able to play this game at the NHL level. Reminded me a little of a younger Shawn Horcoff at his first camp. Life is fragile and often turns on a dime like it may have in Marcos case.

    God speed to that kid. Hope he can fight back from the devastation of that serious concussion.

  • elgruntus

    I haven’t read anything definitive from the team on Roy. Are we sure that it’s the Oilers holding off on signing him? Could it be that he’s pulling a Reider? I don’t know….

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Me thinks judgment is out far too early on Moroz. This year will be another step for him as long as the organization puts him in a position where he plays consistently. I’m hoping Bakersfield uses all the first year pros more this year & signs fewer veteran minor league pros. Looks like this is what they’re doing. They did need those vets last year because they had a ton of 1st year pros in the lineup. I’ll reserve judgment on Moroz until after 15/16 season!

  • Draft failures are another reason the Oilers need to look at trades to fill in the holes. It occasionally works out that a player drafted in the 2nd round, or later, becomes a great asset, but more times than not, it is a miss.

    It’s always easy to look at the stats of a player a few years down the road and have 100% clarity on what should have been done when the decision needed to be made. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Even the best of GMs in the league don’t get it right a majority of the time. This is in no small part due to factors that are out of the control of the GM.

    As for Roy, He should be sent back into the draft pool for this year. He is not the type of player we need. He doesn’t have the intangibles that will bolster our current roster.

    There are only so many contracts that can be in place and I would not want to see one wasted on a guy that seems to need find his game again.

  • pkam

    Meh, from where I sit the farm is pretty lite on wingers at the moment. Am I missing anyone: Shlepyshev, Chase, Moroz, Pakarinen, Kessey, Hamilton, Osterle, and Platzer? I suppose that’s 8 plus if they pick up a certain Russian dynamo at this year’s draft in later rounds. No more Pitlick or Pinnizotto. I suppose they stopped looking for coke machines?

    It is too bad Pitlick got rail roaded by injuries, as he was an exciting and physical player. Well, bring on Greg Chase I guess.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      ^ya i saw that. every 3 seconds that i voted for Ebs, there would be 3 or 4 votes for Nyqvist. this is simply a case of Toronto fans voting for their own conferences’ team. Toronto has this weird love affair with all things Detroit for some reason?

      add into that the hard feelings of not just losing out on the McEichel sweepstakes, but losing the golden boy McDavid to *Edmonton*, and there is almost no chance for Ebs to win.

      • Gordie Wayne

        And if you download a free “autoclicker” you can set up your computer to do it automatically every 5 seconds…

        But that would be cheating, right? hmmm…..

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    Not sure how many of you get Sportsnet Magazine, but I got mine this morning, and the cover was disgusting. I flipped through a few pages and realized I won’t be reading anymore of it. Brought back too many bad memories.

    • ubermiguel

      “Magazine”? Did you get that get delivered from the 20th century in a time machine? I’m teasing, but you’ve got me curious, what’s on the cover?

      • Canadian Hockey Fan

        The cover had a picture of the Cup with the words: What it feels like to lose Game 7 of the SCF. I flip to the page to read the article and see a picture of Pisani, Peca, Torres, and Moreau. Need I say more.

  • pkam

    Gregor wrote:

    “At the end of the day, draft picks are just lottery tickets. Sometimes you scratch to find you won the Jackpot. Sometimes you scratch to find you have to Try Again. Well, perhaps I should say most of the time you scratch to find you have to Try Again”

    Absolutely correct. I find many fans and media as well overvalue picks. When one looks at the likelihood of a pick (outside of the top 10 or so) actually playing significant time in the NHL proven roster players look much better than a pick. Of course you have to be in the draft game or you will run out of players within a few year, so I’m not advocating trading away pick for whatever comes along. Just that some seem to put more value on them than is warranted. This seems very true for the Pittsburgh pick this year. The chances of actually getting a NHL player with the 16th pick over the last 20 years is less than 50%.