Aug 21, 2013, 7:53 PM EDT
The first day of free agency is often marked by something bordering on lunacy, but every now and then, there’s a perfect match between a team and a player. Derek Roy might just be that guy for the St. Louis Blues.
A pivotal season
At 30, Roy’s career is at a fork in the road.
For years, he was a franchise player with the Buffalo Sabres, yet injuries and an off-year or two prompted them to trade him to the Dallas Stars. While he put up respectable numbers (22 points in 30 games), he never really “clicked” in Dallas, and the same can be said for his brief stay with the Vancouver Canucks.
Two or three years of turbulence helped the Blues sign Roy for a relative bargain at $4 million over one year, but they want him to be more than just a good deal.
Weak down the middle
It’s reasonable to argue that St. Louis has been faulty at the center position in recent years, at least compared to other areas that boast substantial talent.
The Blues have operated with Selke-quality winger David Backes at center for some time now, and that might be the case as well in 2013-14. Still, with Roy and Alexander Steen in the mix, it’s plausible that a weakness could actually morph into a solid strength next season.
Ken Hitchcock’s crew has weathered injuries and various surprises the last two seasons, so it’s probably not fair to say that they need Roy to produce.
A matter of expectations
That viewpoint probably changes if the Blues want to be a team that legitimately competes for the Stanley Cup (rather than a playoff spot), though.
In the end, both have a lot to gain or lose. At this point, St. Louis probably cannot settle for another first-round exit. Meanwhile, Roy stares down the prospect of becoming a journeyman player, particularly if this season doesn’t work out.
More from Blues day at PHT
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- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 15
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 13
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 7
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 22
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 37
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 38
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 42
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (70)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)