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The Edmonton Oilers appear unlikely to bring back Derek Roy, according to a report. Roy found chemistry with Nail Yakupov last season, which some believed would be enough for the Oilers to take another shot on the veteran center.
According to a report from the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, the Oilers will not be bringing back the Roy for the 2015-16 campaign. With Edmonton’s current depth down the middle, which is set to include Connor McDavid following the June draft, there doesn’t appear to be any room left for Roy, Matheson reported, which means the pivot will likely head for unrestricted free agency on July 1.
After signing with the Predators last off-season, Roy had stumbled out of the gates and registered a mere one goal and 10 points through 26 games, far from the production Nashville was hoping to get out of him. After averaging the lowest ice time of his career with the Predators, Roy was placed on waivers and, the following day, traded to the Oilers in exchange for Marc Arcobello.
What was a fairly simple, low-risk trade at the time actually ended up becoming quite a move for the Oilers as Roy found chemisty with Yakupov, who had struggled all season, almost immediately.
Over his time in Edmonton, Roy scored 11 goals and 22 points, while Yakupov went from scoring four goals and eight points before Roy’s arrival to 10 goals and 25 points after the Oilers landed the center from Nashville.
One of the more interesting things to note is that Todd Nelson was reportedly asked by Yakupov not to split up he and Roy. The pair finding the score sheet helped Yakupov gain some confidence, which some believed would be enough to land the 32-year-old Roy another deal in Edmonton.
Roy’s 2014-15 contract was a cap-friendly one-year, $1 million deal which he signed with the Predators, so whoever wants to land Roy this off-season will likely be getting a pretty nice deal for a depth center with some playoff experience. He’s not an especially sound possession player, but offensively, Roy has shown that he continues to have the playmaking ability that made him a star with the Buffalo Sabres.
Roy’s last great season came in 2007-08, when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games for the Sabres. Since leaving Buffalo, the team which drafted him, in 2012-13, Roy’s best campaign came in 2013-14 with St. Louis. As a Blue, Roy notched nine goals and 37 points.