Knowing what we all know about Darcy Regier, it’s silly for us to assume Roy will be playing elsewhere in 2012-13. Here are five reasons why the Sabres should consider keeping Derek Roy. [read more]

Derek Roy

Should he stay or should he go?

It seems all but a foregone conclusion that the Buffalo Sabres will trade Derek Roy when the NHL offseason officially begins.  In fact, Roy’s imminent departure is pretty much the only topic where disgruntled Sabres fans universally align.  In a town that appreciates grit and hard work, it’s hard for the fanbase to warm up to a player whose “go-to” move seems to be drawing a diving penalty.

Scott Michalak from puts  “getting rid of Roy” at the top of his offseason checklist.

Trade Derek Roy: this is the perennial favorite, so we’ll get it out of the way, right away. We don’t like him here, and so we tend to, as fans, undervalue him sometimes. However, GM’s don’t. He’s a fine 2nd line center in this league. He’s certainly movable, and can fetch a good commodity – be that a pick, prospect, player, or him as part of a package for a 1st line player. If I’m playing Bucky Gleason playing GM For a Day, I’m getting Roy out of town. It will at least make the readers happy.

Knowing what we all know about Darcy Regier, it’s silly for us to automatically assume Roy will be playing elsewhere come the 2012-13 season opener. But aside from Regier’s famous inability or unwillingness to move unproductive or unpopular players, here are five reasons why the Sabres should actually consider keeping Derek Roy.

1 – Point Production

Dude puts up points.  Even factoring an awful 2011-12 season, Roy averages .77 points per game for his career.  By comparison Thomas Vanek has averaged .81 ppg in his career. Jason Pominville .79 ppg. Danny Briere .79 ppg.

On average, Roy is good for about 63 points per 82 games. An average season would have had him ranked the league’s 44th leading scorer last year. You could say he would essentially be most teams’ second or third leading scorer. 

2 – Bang For Your Buck

Roy has one year at $4 million dollars left on his contract.  For an average season, Roy’s production costs about $63,000 per point.  While at face value, that number may make you want to vomit in your mouth a bit, it’s actually pretty good value if you have a look at which breaks this down.

3 – Don’t Sell Low

Roy’s value is at an all-time low.  He’s coming off an awful and injury plagued season.  Many think his 2010 season-ending torn quad tendon injury lingered into 2011 and ended up causing even more issues this past season.  If career average is a better indicator of a player’s future performance, then the  memory of last year might be clouding Roy’s likely contributions this coming season.  You just never sell a stock when it’s at the lowest value. 

4 – 3rd Line Center Role

Roy’s best seasons came when he had Danny Briere and Chris Drury playing ahead of him at center.  He had an offensive feast (153 games, 53 goals, 91 assists, +50 in 2006-07, 2007-08 seasons) when matched against opponents’ 3rd defense pairing.  Call me crazy but Tyler Ennis is starting to look a lot like Danny Briere, and Cody Hodgson is showing signs of an all-around game that brings back visions of Chris Drury.  If those two start taking up top two center icetime, Roy’s return to the 3rd line could be the best thing to happen both for him and the team.     

5 – The Power of the Almighty Contract Year

You don’t have to look any further than the Sabres own Drew Stafford to witness the downside of the “contract year” phenomenon.  But the phenomenon cuts both ways, and let’s not forget that a big part of the disappointment with Stafford’s 2011-2012 season was the monster year he posted in his – you guessed it – contract year. With piles of cash dangling ahead, guys (in all sports) routinely find a way to kick into overdrive and hit career highs while playing out the last year of a contract.  As Samuel Johnson said, “Nothing more wonderfully concentrates a man’s mind than the sure knowledge he is to be hanged in the morning.” Millions of dollars in Roy’s next contract hang on this upcoming season, and few things seem more reliable than his at least trying to rise to the occasion. And that effort just might be enough to earn him a bigger contract elsewhere, and help the Sabres accumulate enough regular season points to give us all something to watch next May.


  1. Look at reason #5, “The Almighty Contract Year”. This makes a very case for limiting ALL contracts to one year. If a player truly likes where he’s playing,then he will make every effort convince management to resign him for another year. If not, then he’s free to go wherever the money is best and good luck. To limit outrageous salaries, all increases should be capped at a maximum of 5% of the previous year’s contract.More food for thought.

  2. With all the numbers stated, I still stand by the idea he needs to go. If you want to see a better product on the ice, and you want the young players to learn how to play the game right, you get him out of the locker room as quickly as possible.

    For a better team in the near future you need the to rid yourself of the 3 R’s


    • Yeah but when it counts. And he has to play elite teams and players. He disappears. Roy needs to go. A.S.A.P. How many points does he have against the better teams and in the playoffs? I bet not a a lot. He needs to go and we need a #1 center.

      Buffalo Sabres centers

      #1 ?
      #2 Hodgson
      #3 Ennis

  3. I don’t like Derek Roy but I agree that he should not be traded…right now. I’d wait until January or February and hope that he has a comeback season. That would increase his value. If he has a good season, we might be able to get a decent pick (just look at Gaustad for a #1) and a prospect.

  4. If Roy is a piece u can use to move into the top 5 of the draft or as part of a package with high return you move him. However based off last year I feel regier holds him until the deadline for more value. Either way 82 regular season games is the most you will see Roy as a sabre. Hopefully if they hold him that translates into some playoff games as well. Talented forward, but lacks the it factor to be a dominant center.

  5. I disagree. Especially if the argument is that he will be a third line center because you’re counting on Hodgson and Ennis to suddenly turn into Drury and Briere. Drury and Briere were a perfect storm. They had the perfect playing style for the perfect, and all too short, early-post-lockout “era” of the NHL. Not to mention that both are just below hall of fame players, and if the Flyers ever win the cup with Briere on the team, Briere would be at least be considered for the hall. Ennis and Hodgson have a long way to go to be in the same sentence.

    I also don’t think his value is as low as suggested. There are plenty of teams who would love him as a #2 or #3 center, especially based on your “point production” and “bang for your buck” arguments.

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