After clearing waivers, Roy sent to AHL


Derek Roy has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Milwaukee, the Nashville Predators announced today.

The demotion of the 31-year-old forward comes one day after the demotion of another veteran, Viktor Stalberg.

Roy had one goal and nine assists in 26 games for the Preds. He started off well, with an assist in each of his first three games, but saw his ice time reduced dramatically as the season progressed. The return of Mike Fisher, plus the emergence of rookie Calle Jarnkrok, left Roy the odd man out down the middle.

From The Tennessean:

Roy, who had four straight seasons of 20-plus goals from 2006-10 in Buffalo, was placed on waivers for the first time in his career

“It’s a tough feeling and not a good spot to be in,” Roy said. “I’m just going to try and work my way out of it, and hopefully it’s for the better.”

Roy participated in Sunday’s practice at Bridgestone Arena and said he planned to discuss his future with his agent.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Roy said.

Roy is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $1 million.

Predators place Derek Roy on waivers


With the holiday roster freeze over the Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins made moves Sunday.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Predators placed center Derek Roy on waivers while the Bruins have waived winger Matt Fraser.

Roy, 31, has a goal and 10 points in 26 games this season while averaging 13:31 in ice time.

Fraser has appeared in 24 games this season with the Bruins scoring three goals. The 24-year-old is averaging 10:31 in ice time.

Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list


Nashville Predators GM David Poile’s unusual longevity came into the spotlight on Dec. 16 when he oversaw his team’s 3-2 shootout victory over Boston. It was 1,171st win as a general manager, which gave him sole claim on second place on the NHL’s all-time list, behind only Rangers GM Glen Sather (1,278 wins).

“It’s one of those things later on when you’re retired and look back on your career, it’s going to be very meaningful because it’s guys like Glen Sather, Harry Sinden and Cliff Fletcher,” Poile told the Tennessean. “It’s a pretty nice accomplishment that certainly reflects longevity for sure, obviously with a lot of good coaches and a lot of good players.”

Poile, who served as the Washington Capitals general manager before coming to Nashville, has managed to turn the Predators into a team that’s able to compete on a budget. From 2003-04 through 2011-12, the Predators made the playoffs in seven out of eight campaigns, although they never advanced beyond the second round.

They also haven’t made the postseason since, which prompted Poile to fire long-time bench boss Barry Trotz and replace him with Peter Laviolette. Poile also attempted to address the team’s offensive shortcomings by bringing Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Derek Roy on board. Combined with the emergence of Calder Trophy frontrunner Filip Forsberg and Nashville has been respectable enough offensively to allow its superior defense and goaltending to win games. The Predators entered the break with a 22-9-2 record.

After 21-game absence, Fisher (ruptured Achilles) back for Preds


After Mike Fisher ruptured his Achilles this summer, Nashville GM David Poile said a return by Thanksgiving would be an “optimistic target.”

Well, target met.

Fisher will make his season debut tonight when the Preds host the Oilers, the first time he’s played since April of last season. The return promises to be a boon for the surging Predators, who head into tonight’s action sitting atop the Central Division with a 14-5-2 record; Fisher had a great year for Nashville in ’13-14, scoring 20 goals and 49 points while averaging 19:45 TOI — the second-highest total of his 14-year career.

With Fisher back, Nashville will boast a wealth of veteran experience at center: Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy, Olli Jokinen, Matt Cullen and Paul Gaustad have all been playing there this season (along with rookie Calle Jarnkrok), so it’ll be interesting to see what head coach Peter Laviolette does with his lineup.

Updated: Looks as though Fisher will be the third-line center tonight with Jokinen and Roy playing his wings.

With Spezza signed, the list of UFA centers is looking pretty thin


Jason Spezza is no longer a pending unrestricted free agent. The 31-year-old center has signed a four-year, $30 million extension with the Dallas Stars.

With that, the list of pending UFA centers lost the only player who could be deemed elite. (Please, let’s not turn this into a discussion on whether Spezza is an elite center. That’s not the point of this.)

Who’s left?

Certainly some names you’d recognize, like Brad Richards, Mike Fisher, Antoine Vermette, Matt Cullen, Daniel Briere, Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll, Olli Jokinen, Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro.

While some of those guys might have been elite in the past, they’re not anymore.

To be fair, Fisher, 34, and Vermette, 32, should garner considerable interest should they get to free agency. How the former comes back from his Achilles injury will be particularly interesting to watch given his contract status. The latter, meanwhile, could be one of the prize commodities at the trade deadline.

Still, those two are No. 2 centers, maybe even No 3s on a good team. If you’re the GM of a club that’s lacking a real impact player down the middle, don’t expect July 1 to be the day you solve your problem.