In just a matter of a few days, Terry Pegula will own the Buffalo Sabres officially, and his name will start to appear attached to contracts, deals, trades, and free agents. We as fans are going to have to get use to the fact that some of our “core” players will no longer be on this team. I for one welcome that change.
Since the official announcement of the sale from Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn to Terry Pegula, there has been a rumored “short list” of players that current ownership cannot touch – obviously a group of players that Pegula thinks he needs in order to establish at least somewhat of a winning tradition here in Buffalo. My favorite idea on who should be listed on that list, well for some there is only one name that should be on it.
As I was sitting here wondering if the Buffalo Sabres were going to be able to make it to four wins in a row for the first time tomorrow against the New York Islanders, the thought came to my mind, of how this team would look without some of its “identity” players.
The first player that came to mind is none other than Derek Roy. We are getting a glimpse right now of what this team will look like without Derek Roy on the roster, given his season ending injury. Derek Roy last saw action in the December 23rd loss to the Florida Panthers, a game that saw him play just under two minutes of ice time before sustaining his injury.
Since then, the Buffalo Sabres have gone 13-5-1, and have surged back to within three points of a playoff spot. Prior to his injury, and with him in the lineup, the Buffalo Sabres had gone 14-17-4.
This is not to say that Derek Roy was the reason the Sabres were three games below .500 and sinking fast. The story being told on the ice was quite the contrary, as Roy was producing a point a game right up until his injury, having ten goals and twenty-five assists in thirty-five games.
You could easily make the case that with Roy in the lineup, the Sabres record might be better than 13-5-1 since his injury, but this isn’t the article where I argue that Derek Roy isn’t worth keeping on the team. I have no problem with the game that Derek Roy plays, when he does it consistently. If I could get the Derek Roy from the start of this season for 82 games plus the playoffs every year, I wouldn’t complain in the least. What I am trying to get at, is there is hockey life in Buffalo after Derek Roy.
Too often we have fallen in love with our unsung hero, our underdog player, when in reality they would be nothing more than a second or third line player at best, or a role player on other teams, yet they are put on a pedastool here in Buffalo and made a top six forward. We could have gotten rid of Derek Roy long ago, and done just fine without him; and possibly could have been better.
It’s getting down to the trade deadline this year, and teams that have injuries that are impacting their roster are looking to make deals in order shore up their rosters because of the injury, a.k.a the Pittsburgh Penguins. While they have not said they are going to lose Sidney Crosby for the season, the longer he stays away from the ice, the more likely it is going to turn into an early summer for number 87. The Buffalo Sabres at the deadline are either going to be in a selling mood on the deadline, or looking for some toughness for their roster; none of which has anything to do with Derek Roy being out of the lineup.
While injured this year, Derek Roy could be an attractive player for a team that is rebuilding themselves and needs a point a game player like Derek Roy, and at 4 million dollars for the next two seasons, the Buffalo Sabres could work out a deal with another team for prospects, veterans, or picks, depending on who they could package Derek Roy with. Roy might be the ace in the whole player that the Sabres need to package some of their unwanted players just to get them out of town.
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