Not a huge surprise, but there hasn’t been much contract talk between Derek Roy and the Edmonton Oilers.
“Nothing to report,” Roy’s agent, Rob Hooper, told PHT on Wednesday. “Very quiet to date.”
It’s easy to understand why. Few teams have undergone more front office changes than Edmonton this offseason — Bob Nicholson was brought in as CEO, Peter Chiarelli was hired as GM and former Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan became the team’s new head coach.
So it stands to reason that, with all this changeover, Edmonton’s decision-makers haven’t had a ton of time to reach out to free agents. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see how the conversation goes once — or, if — they reach out to Roy.
The 32-year-old did enjoy a bounce-back campaign after getting traded to the Oilers in late December. Roy scored 11 goals and 22 points in 46 games, averaged nearly 17 minutes per night and developed some good chemistry with Nail Yakupov, who assisted on eight of Roy’s markers.
“I was waiting for a center for three years,” Yakupov said of playing with Roy, per the Edmonton Sun. “It’s the first time I’ve had a really good center and I’m really happy for it.
“It took us a couple of games to get used to each other and now we’re pretty comfortable. It’s easy to play with him. He can move the puck and he’s really smart. All I have to do is try to get open for a shot.”
Of course, all of this occurred under the Oilers’ old regime. Roy was acquired by now-assistant GM Craig MacTavish — it’s still unclear how big a role he’ll have under Chiarelli — and thrived playing for interim head coach Todd Nelson, who will reportedly explore other head coaching gigs now that McLellan is aboard.
Roy’s efforts also came prior to Edmonton winning the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, which meant winning the rights to OHL Erie superstar Connor McDavid — who, like Roy, plays center. Edmonton also has 19-year-old center Leon Draisaitl, currently starring with WHL Kelowna at the Memorial Cup, looking to get back to the NHL next year.
Should he head to free agency, Roy would be in a class loaded with veterans. It would be curious to see how much his mini-revival with Edmonton sparked interest league-wide, especially after disappointing stints in St. Louis and Nashville.