So Derek Roy's arbitration hearing is set for tomorrow, July 27th. So far this summer, there hasn't been much positive PR coming from HSBC Arena. Locking up Vanek, although a major step, might be the only "positive" thus far. After the initial heartbreak of bad breakups with #48 and #23, I have rebounded to the point of somewhat buying into the "we're going to be allright" mentality. I feel good about the opportunities presented to Paille, Gaustad, Hecht, etc. to step up and become leaders on the team. So the question is...will the next 24 hours bring an announcement on a new deal for Derek Roy? I found the signing of Lee Stempniak by St. Louis interesting this week. This deal should be a better indication of Roy's future contract than the situation with the Kings and Mike Cammalleri. I just looked at Stempniak and Roy's career NHL totals for comparison.
Stempniak 139 GP: .29 Goals per game, .56 Points per game
Roy 194 GP: .24 Goals per game, .65 Points per game
Similar comparables, maybe Roy's a touch more of an assist guy. Does it stand to reason that if Stempniak is 3/$7.5, that Derek Roy should be somewhere in the 3/$9 range? I know, this hasn't exactly been a 'reasonable' month in the NHL. And Derek Roy has the leverage of being the only remaining "offensive" center left on the roster, the key set-up man to Vanek. There are many who believe that the wheels were set in motion for Briere to leave town one year ago when he went to the arbitration market. Now it's deja vu all over again. The Sabres' locker room has seen their two leaders removed, "not taken care of" by management. Does Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn risk the same thing happening with Derek Roy? Have they learned anything in the last 12 months? Good thing no other team put an offer in on Roy, or they really would have been in trouble. My gut tells me that we'll hear something, and a contract will be settled prior to the hearing. I certainly believe it would be a positive step in rebuilding some trust and positive PR with the Sabres fan base. IF they agree to terms with #9, can we then try to convince them to take another look at that "we don't negotiate during the season" stance....