This not how it was supposed to be.
When the Dallas Stars acquired Derek Roy during the offseason, one of the big issues people may have had with the trade was Roy’s expiring contracting. Then came the news that Derek Roy would need shoulder surgery.
But everyone said the right things. Roy indicated he was thankful to the organization for allowing him to have the surgery and get healthy. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk indicated that he was confident that he could resign the 29 year old center to an extension, solidifying the second line center spot.
Hope is a cruel thing.
Roy has appeared more and more in trade rumors and news has begun leaking that contract talks are stalled between the Stars and Roy. With the latest news, from Renaud Lavoie of RDS, confirming that nothing has changed.
Unwilling to let a talented center like Roy walk in free agency, it appears more and more likely that Nieuwendyk will look to trade Roy before the April 3rd trade deadline.
So, who’s buying?
The Vancouver Canucks have been relentlessly connected to Roy’s name, as they’re desperate for help down the middle.
Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Pierre LeBrun identifies division rival Anaheim Ducks in Tuesday night’s Insider Trading as another team looking for center help and interested in Roy.
If losing Roy is inevitable, Nieuwendyk is likely to seek a defenseman or a young prospect (preferably a center) in return.
Vancouver features an intriguing prospect in Jordan Schroeder, who’s been seeing time on Vancouver’s third and fourth line. Defenseman Keith Ballard, who has been a healthy scratch more often than he’d like, is an example of a player who could use a change of scenery. But his $4.2 million cap hit through 2015 isn’t an easy thing to swallow.
If Anaheim really is desperate for a true second line center, would they be willing to part with a talented prospect like Peter Holland? Could Nieuwendyk squeeze a first round pick out of the Ducks, who fully expect to make a deep run into the playoffs? In an outrageous trade market, who knows what the price could be.
At this point, it seems that Roy, who’s sure to command a hefty salary in free agency, would simply rather not commit long term to the Dallas Stars. It’s unfortunate, as Roy has played in all situations for the Stars and who’s 3 goals and 16 points are 4th on the team. He’s filled the role of second line center behind Jamie Benn perfectly.
However, this is the business. The loss of Derek Roy will sting, but it’s something the Stars can survive. Cody Eakin would make a serviceable second line center and Vernon Fiddler, who played on the third line for the entirety of last season, would take back that spot without a hiccup. The fourth line spot could open up for a player like Tom Wandell, Colton Sceviour, or any center prospect that may be acquired via trade.
It isn’t preferable and certainly puts a dent in the Stars playoff hopes, but it’s better than watching Roy (much like Brad Richards) walk away for nothing.