At the trade deadline, Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish said the team was unlikely to deal pending unrestricted free agent Derek Roy. They were in the, “process of reaching out to him to see what his feeling is in terms of getting into a relationship” with the team moving forward.
They, in fact, did not deal Roy and he finished out the 2014-15 season, having played 46 games for the Oilers since being acquired from Nashville on December 29. He averaged just under a half point per game with Edmonton, recording 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points.
“I think I just came in here and tried to work as hard as I can in all areas of the game and got better as the season went on and felt really comfortable with myself on the ice. And I was healthy, which is the main thing. Going into the off-season, I’m healthy so that’s a great start and I’m going to get back to work and get ready,” said Roy.
Now the sights turn to potentially locking up the 31-year-old centre, who has provided a much-needed veteran presence beside Nail Yakupov. Roy confirmed on Sunday that his representation has had talks with the Oilers.
“Yeah, there have been some talks and I’m just sitting in the background and waiting for some news. Hopefully, we’ll get something done,” he said.
Roy felt welcome in the Oilers locker room right from the first day. It is well-documented the impact he has had on an individual like Yakupov and on the team, as a veteran.
“The guys were welcoming right away, so that was great. I came in and then right away the guys were great from the practice to the game on the first day and I felt welcome right away, which is a huge thing. My competitiveness and the way I work hard every day in practice, I don’t know, maybe rubs on some of the guys and it was a fun process,” said Roy.
The centre has played 738 regular season NHL games in his career, scoring 189 goals and adding 335 assists. He has 49 games of NHL playoffs experience, recording 27 points in the post-season.
Whether or not the two sides reach an agreement is yet to be determined.