The Edmonton Oilers pulled out of the station with two centers and mud, and lordy they were singin’ the blues before the lights of town faded in the distance. By the time Derek Roy arrived, it was looking mighty grim.
ACTUAL 14-15 (OILERS): 46GP, 11-11-22 .478
DEREK ROY BOXCARS, THREE YEAR TREND
DEREK ROY FANCY NUMBERS, THREE YEAR TREND
- What did Roy do well? When he played with Nail Yakupov, the Russian scored well. According to Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, Yak played about half of his 5×5 time this year with Roy while scoring 71% of his points with the slick center. The funny thing is, Yak scored 23% of his points with Mark Arcobello, with only 18% of his overall ice time.
- So Yak scored 94% of his points in about 70% of his time? Yes.
- Who was the center who didn’t help? Yak had one goal in 181 minutes with Leon, and about 60 minutes with each of Nuge and Lander saw Yakupov blanked. He didn’t piss a drop.
- They should bring Roy back. I’m not sure. The lottery win gets Edmonton their 2C, and now (without adding anyone) the C depth chart could be Nuge, McDavid, Lander, Gordon, Draisaitl. I’d like to add someone like Carl Soderberg, who could play C or W and has more of a two-way resume.
- So, Yak finally gets his veteran C and you flush him! Well, things change. You could sign Roy for Yakupov and move Lander to the wing on a line with Gordon, but even then I’d probably rather add someone like Justin Williams to play with Hall—McDavid.
- Why don’t you like Roy? I like him fine. However, he’s one dimensional and the Oilers are going to have another rookie at center. A depth chart of Nuge, McDavid, Soderberg/Lander/Gordon just makes more sense to me.
- Why? Well, Nuge and Soderberg can play multiple roles and Lander could slide up to 2C in a pinch but can also check and PK. Gordon is the tough minutes option. If you go with Nuge, McDavid, Roy/Lander/Gordon there isn’t going to be a lot of special teams minutes for Roy—and he’s not any screaming hell at evens, despite the Yak spike—a spike Arco pretty much matched. McDavid takes Roy’s job the moment he’s drafted, that’s how I see it.
- How was he in the faceoff circle? Not good, 43.6%.
- What is he good at? Roy is a savvy veteran with great acumen and anticipation in the offensive zone.
- That has value! You bet. A Derek Roy isolation camera would show a guy who knows where to go in the offensive zone and how to find and be found. There’s little doubt he’s above average, even in the NHL.
- Anything else he does well? As an Oilers center his shooting percentage was 14.1, but he’s 11.9% for his career so it wasn’t crazy out of time with his career number.
- Is there any scenario you see the Oilers bringing him back? Sure. Edmonton may feel Connor McDavid is best suited to playing the wing and that a C depth chart of Nuge, Roy, Lander and Gordon (with Leon in the AHL) is the way to go.
- Music! Sign him up! Okay. Where does Hall play?
- On the second line, I don’t want to break up Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle and having two scoring lines is the way to go. So, Hall’s center would be either Derek Roy or Anton Lander. I think there is a chance Edmonton signs Roy—MacT mentioned three scoring lines—but it means McDavid or Draisaitl as a lock for center and it means Lander moves to wing or Gordon is out the door.
- How so? If we run the line like this: Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle; Hall—McDavid—Purcell; Lander—Roy—Yakupov; Hendricks—Gordon—Klinkhammer, it could work. Now you have Lander out of position and Draisaitl in the AHL pushing hard, so you might see Lander on the 4line or Purcell out the door by mid-season. All fine, but I’d still like to see Carl Soderberg in there to play multiple roles, as needed.
- Do you think Roy signs with Edmonton? Yes. I suspect that’s exactly what happens.
- Who will get squeezed out of the top 9F? Probably Lander, we’ll talk about this when we get there.
- Whatever happened to Roy, he used to be a big time offensive force? Injuries. Roy is 5.09, 184 and that’s an issue. Around Christmas in 2010, he suffered a quad injury and hasn’t been the same since. Quoting news reports at the time “carrying the puck into the Panthers’ zone, Roy was driven into the boards by defenceman Dmitry Kulikov.”
- Ouch! Yeah, it’s too bad. Roy has found a way to make himself useful and he’s a hard working guy, but the things he can’t do (Roy has a tendency to be on the wrong side of the puck more than you’d want from a veteran) are the things this organization needs badly.
- Will you be discussing Roy with your guests today? In a manner of speaking, yes. I’ll be joined by Scott Cullen at 10:05, we’ll talk about Connor McDavid and his impact on the hockey world in general, Edmonton specifically. At 10:25 Jason McKee (head coach/GM of the Spruce Grove Saints) joins me to discuss the hockey factory that is Edmonton and area. At 11, I’ll be joined for a ’round table’ discussion by Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal, and Darcy McLeod from Because Oilers. We’ll talk about the draft lottery, McDavid and the draft, and the summer needs plus how to fill the holes in a quick hurry.
- 10 this morning, TSN1260? That’s the ticket!
- Why this song? The irony of it fits Derek Roy very well. It was written by Dickey Betts about a girl he was seeing (Boz Scaggs’ GF, apparently) and inspired him to use a name from a headstone (Elizabeth Reed) at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia. Ironically, Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were buried in the same cemetery as Elizabeth Reed Napier in the years that followed. Legend also has it the band would often go to the cemetery to write!
- Weird! I know. Anyway, it’s a lovely song, one of several instrumentals by this incredible band.
- How does it fit Roy? Well, there’s some irony in Roy’s story. It’s ironic that his production matches (in many ways) Mark Arcobello’s and yet most Oilers fans would view Roy as a game changer—the GM clearly feels this way too.
- Anything else? There’s also a ridiculous twist on the lottery win. MacT basically said contract negotiations are underway (Roy confirmed there had been contact) and one imagines the Oilers are far enough along that a deal gets done.
- Why is this ironic? Well, McDavid’s arrival probably means more attractive free agents will be willing to come here. Carl Soderberg is a far better match for this team, Justin Williams would be a great add. I suspect neither will be in the discussion by July 1, as Edmonton will have drafted McDavid, signed Roy and found out Leon is lifting Jeeps in order to make the team this fall.
- This lottery win is turning into a curse! I KNOW!
- Are you starting to get used to the fact Edmonton won the lottery? Not yet, not really. I think I’ll believe it when the young man puts on the jersey and smiles for the camera.
- Who will call his name? Might be Nicholson.
- Who will be on the stage? Katz, his son, Nicholson, MacT, Lowe, Howson, Bob Green, Stu MacGregor (probably), Messier (probably).
- I hear there’s some petition to keep Katz’ boy off the stage? Yeah, saw that. Absolutely a bad idea and mean spirited. I’ve never bought into the public displays against Kevin Lowe or Craig MacTavish, and think the trade Taylor Hall people are wrong as wrong can be, but it’s all fair play to talk about in the clear light of day. But going after Katz’ son? Too far, people. As a Father, I’ll tell you true: Stop it. It’s beyond the pale. Rip on management, rip on players, rip on Katz. Leave the young man alone. You’re better than this, surely.