Roy was already on the outs in Nashville, with the club putting him on waivers on December 28 after the annual roster freeze thawed out. The Predators had signed him as a low-risk forward, inking him to a one year deal worth $1 million in July.
But Roy’s move to the Oilers continues the revolving door status the forward has gone through as of late. In fact, Edmonton will be the fifth team he’s played for in three seasons. In Nashville, it was a matter of being squeezed out of the lineup thanks to the return of Mike Fisher. The club didn’t want him to languish on the fourth line and neither did he, so off he went.
Roy’s time with the Predators didn’t exactly help his case for a firm roster spot in Music City. He had just a goal in 26 games, a long way off from his 81-point season with the Buffalo Sabres in 2007-2008. Of course, that season isn’t exactly the norm for Roy. He’s a quality forward, but hardly an elite presence.
That the Oilers traded for Roy is striking some as perplexing, given the fact that he was on waivers from Nashville. But Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish actually has a method to the seeming madness.
Sending Mark Arcobello and his one year contract worth $600,000 over to Nashville in exchange for Roy and his one year contract worth the aforementioned $1 million cuts down on the money the Oilers have to absurb and doesn’t add a contract to the 50-player list. In other words, they get Derek Roy for $400,000 and don’t have to worry about topping out the roster.
And Nashville gets to save on the cap, which is a win for them when you consider the position they were in when it came to Roy in the first place.
Is it possible this is a smart move for the Oilers? Yes. Roy isn’t a scoring dynamo by any extent, but he’s a solid presence and he knows his stuff. The Nashville numbers aren’t impressive, but there is a reason for it: lack of ice time. Roy only skated about 13 and a half minutes per game with the Predators and he was moving down in the depth chart.
Given time and space in Edmonton, the 31-year-old can prove he’s still capable of putting the biscuit in the basket. He won’t put up 2007-2008 numbers, but he may provide the offensive spark so necessary in winning games.