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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

It was easy for Pittsburgh Penguins fans to overlook the addition of Andre Roy this offseason.

While the Penguins were busy building a powerful offensive threat, they knew they needed to add more of a physical presence, too.

Enter Roy. The hulking 6-foot-4, 221-pound right winger is not afraid to assert his presence.

“It’s always good to have a physical presence. I think every team needs that. Sometimes it can change games,” he said. “I know what my role is. I can play the game, but obviously sometimes you need to go in and give a little boost to the guys by either getting in a little scrap or giving some good hits. I know that’s part of my role and I will be looking forward to doing that.”

The five-year NHL veteran has the ability to score on opponents as well as bruise them. In 2002-03 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Roy produced a career-best 10 goals and 17 points as well as a team-best 119 penalty minutes. Roy played in only 33 games in 2003-04, but racked up 78 penalty minutes.

However, it was in the Stanley Cup playoffs where he made his presence felt. Roy played in 21 playoff games and helped the Lightning capture its first Stanley Cup championship. Roy tied for third in the playoffs with 61 minutes. He scored the winning goal for Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Islanders. Roy hopes his playoff experience will rub off on the Penguins’ young players.

“Not only me, but there’s a couple other guys. It always helps to have guys who went there because there’s always guys who are nervous or who don’t know really know how to approach it,” he said. “I have been there once and I would be glad to help out the younger guys. It’s important to have experienced guys around and I think we have a good bunch of guys who are there to help the younger guys.”

When in the dressing room, Roy is amazed at all the big names he sees. When he looks to the right, there’s Mario Lemieux. When he looks to the left, he sees Mark Recchi, Ryan Malone, Sidney Crosby and John LeClair, among others.

“Our lineup looks like an all-star game,” Roy said. “I am really excited. With all the signings, we should have a good team, if you look at it. I think we’ll be really competitive, so I am excited to be here and be a part of it. Hopefully, we can bring this team back to the playoffs. We are headed in the right direction.”

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