Sabres GM Regier on pushing injured players to play: “It’s not the reality”

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After learning Derek Roy would be out ’til November following shoulder surgery, Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier answered questions on Wednesday about how much his club knew of Roy’s injury — and what Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk knew about it.

The answer? Everything was up front.

“He played with it last year and he could have played with it again this year,” Regier told the Buffalo News. “It was a decision by the Dallas Stars. It’s as simple as that.

“I spoke to Joe before when we went through all the medical records prior to when we made the trade. [Roy] was rehabbing, he played with the shoulder last year and he would have played going forward.”

Regier called Roy’s surgery “elective” and that he’s “very confident in the decision by our medical staff.”

That led to questions about Buffalo’s reputation for rushing players back from injuries, and pushing injured players to play through their ailments.

More, from Mike Harrington:

Regier bristled when asked if Roy’s surgery is a sign the Sabres have a pattern of pushing injured players to keep playing. It’s widely agreed that Ryan Miller came back too early from his concussion last year and that Thomas Vanek pushed through injuries to his shoulder and chest – and then admitted on his personal blog in mid-April that he also had a bad ankle sprain.

“It could be the perception,” Regier said. “But it’s not the reality and I’m very comfortable with our position.”

Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff noted Roy finished the year strong (17 points in the final 26 games) and didn’t think the shoulder limited his play down the stretch.

“I was surprised first of all, from the exit physicals and where he finished,” Ruff said. “In Derek’s case, we got him through the year, we thought he would be good to go on.”