Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 13, 2012

Sabres defend Roy trade

By Bill Hoppe, john.donofrio@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BUFFALO — The Dallas Stars’ decision to have Derek Roy undergo shoulder surgery and miss four months doesn’t mean the Sabres traded damaged goods, general manager Darcy Regier cautioned.

If the Sabres hadn’t dealt Roy for winger Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy last week, the center, who was originally hurt last preseason, wouldn’t have underwent the procedure.

“We’re very confident in the decision by our medical staff,” Regier said Thursday inside First Niagara Center during the second intermission of a prospect scrimmage. “He played with it last year. He could’ve played with it next year. It was a decision by the Dallas Stars. It was as simple as that. We were very comfortable with his situation and remain so.”

He noted: “It was elective, and it was a choice.”

Regier said he spoke with counterpart Joe Nieuwendyk prior to the trade and went through all Roy’s medical records. The Stars made their decision following an intense physical in Dallas.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, in his first chat with local reporters since April, said the surgery surprised him. When Roy got on track a bit late in the season after struggling for months, Ruff considered the shoulder a non-factor. Roy never indicated any serious issues, either.

“I’m a guy that suffered three or four shoulder injuries,” Ruff said. “I know what it’s like dealing with it. I know what it’s like playing with it. You are the only guy that knows if you can keep playing, and once your shoulder pops out, it has a tendency to come out again.

“In Derek’s case, we thought we got him through the year. We thought he was going to be good to go on.”

Of course, other players — most notably goalie Ryan Miller and winger Thomas Vanek — have played through or returned early from ailments. There could be a perception around the NHL the Sabres push players to perform injured.

“It’s not the reality,” Regier said. “I’m very comfortable with our position.”

Ruff called Roy’s nine-year run “great for our organization.”

“Derek was a good player for us,” he said. “I mean, he was a good player for us last year. He logged a lot of minutes. He was our top forward up front in minutes. I think with the serious injury (torn quadriceps) and the shoulder injury he suffered in training camp, it set him back a bit.

“But I’m pretty sure he can recover and again be a player we had at least a year ago or two years ago.”

Notes: Regier said the Sabres have chatted with Shane Doan’s camp. The veteran winger, arguably the best unrestricted free agent left, has delayed his decision as Phoenix sorts through its financial turmoil. … Ruff on 6-foot-8 tough guy John Scott, who the Sabres signed earlier this month: “It might give you the toughest guy in the league right now.”