Oilers: Derek Roy Is Not An Option

Considering we are just ten games into the Derek Roy Experiment,  no one should be overly surprised by the fact many an Edmonton Oilers fan have fallen in love with the diminutive centre.

Arcobello Oilers
Mark Arcobello made himself known by starting off the season with ten assists, but can he keep up the pace? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

After watching the likes of Mark Arcobello and Leon Draisaitl struggle to create any sort of offence on a consistent basis over the opening third of the season, the long-time Buffalo Sabre has wasted little time in making his presence felt since being acquired from the Nashville Predators. As nice as his two goals and seven points may look on paper, those suggesting the Oilers would be wise to look at possibly inking him to deal prior to hitting the open market this summer are frankly out to lunch.

While he has certainly produced during his brief stint in Orange and Blue,  no one should be losing sight of what and who he is at this stage of his career. In a lineup that has seemingly been starving for a veteran scoring presence for what has to feel like an eternity for those who follow this club on a regular basis, one can certainly understand why so many are hoping the Oilers may have found a so-called diamond in the rough.

Please…Not Another Small Centre

With that said, counting on a small thirty-one-year-old centre who has lost a step and is nowhere near the player he once was would probably be the dumbest move this organization could make. Again, there is no question Craig MacTavish desperately needs to add actual National Hockey League talent to his roster but this group needs to add another “smallish forward” as badly as they need another “back-up” netminder to carry the load in goal in 2015-16.

While a player with Roy’s resume could be a decent short-term fit, his lack of size should make him an automatic non-starter.

For the remainder of the 2014-15 season, bringing such a player on board made sense and if nothing else, allowed the organization to finally send Leon  Draisaitl back to the Western Hockey League to what will hopefully turn into an appearance at the 2015 Memorial Cup with the Kelowna Rockets.

(Marissa Baecker/www.shootthebreeze.ca) An Edmonton Oilers fan looks on as Leon Draisaitl drives wide around Josh Thrower of the Vancouver Giants during his Kelowna Rockets debut, a 4-2 win at Prospera Place on Jan. 7.
(Marissa Baecker/www.shootthebreeze.ca)

Since arriving in his new home, the third overall pick of the 2014 Entry Draft has already scored three goals and registered six points in just five games. Not too shabby of a start on a team in which he knew all of one player, former Prince Albert Raiders teammate and good friend Josh Morrissey. In the grand scheme of things, playing meaningful games and at a relativity high level is something which should do nothing but a world-of-good for the kid heading into next season.

The McDavid – Eichel Angle

With any luck, Edmonton will be adding one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel to the mix this summer and if that is how things eventually play out, the priority to bring in a legitimate top two centre will be that much greater. While Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has taken a major step forward in his overall game during the first half of ’14-’15, the former Red Deer Rebels standout still needs a running mate up front and expecting either one of those kids and/or Draisaitl to fill that role in the immediate future would be downright foolish.

Jack Eichel (Maya Devereaux, Flickr)
Jack Eichel (Maya Devereaux, Flickr)

Be it via trade or the free agent market, MacTavish has to find that second line centre prior to the start of next season, not to  mention a starting goaltender and likely a pair of top four defencemen. Considering the Oilers decided to take a pass on both Roy and Mike Ribeiro during the of 2014, the chances of them targeting either one a year later and a year older would likely be next to non-existent.

While Edmonton certainly won’t be a preferred destination for any highly regarded unrestricted free agent, perhaps a few extra dollars and an opportunity at being used in a top six role would interest a player like Boston Bruins centre Carl Soderberg. At 6′ 3″ and twenty-nine years of age, the talented two-way pivot would be a perfect fit and likely check off nearly every box on the current general manager’s wishlist…something which Derek Roy simply does not do.

7 thoughts on “Oilers: Derek Roy Is Not An Option”

  1. Placing far too much importance on size. Not that Roy is a great fit, but his size isn’t the reason he isn’t. Ribeiro is having a productive year and will probably be paid well this summer.

    • With all due respect, size is a major concern when it comes to the Oilers. No one is suggesting to go out and grab a so-called “coke machine” but anyone who has watched this team play with any sort of regularity know they are far too easy to play against. They may be able to get away with smaller lineup in the Eastern Conference but not out West and unfortunately for them, that is the conference they play in. Clearly they need better players but adding guys with similar skill sets is not the answer.

      • Size is simply a component- and far from the most important one. Bergeron, Crosby, Datsyuk, are widely recognized by other players as very difficult to play against and none possess any significant size advantage over league averages. Gallagher, Zuccarello, and Marchand are not easy players to play against and all are considered undersized. And while LAK might be a larger than average team, Chicago is not and are as successful as anyone in the West.

        • We are basically saying the same thing, just in different ways. As I said, better players is priority No. 1 but size does matter. As far as Chicago goes, they are not a small team by any stretch but they do have a bunch of guys who are extremely difficult to play against and the Oilers do not.It makes a huge difference, especially at centre and on the backend.

    • Contrary to popular opinion, this organization really hasn’t ruined any first or second round picks. They have certainly made some questionable selections from the second round on but that is a complete different discussion. Obviously their handling of Yakupov has not been good but suggest he is a bust at this stage of his career is a bit of stretch. Outside of Nail, all the first rounders have developed into pretty good players or look poised to do exactly that over the next two to three years.

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