It’s a short-term fix, but the Vancouver Canucks finally filled their gaping hole at centre Tuesday – and they did it without surrendering goaltender Roberto Luongo in the exchange.
The Canucks acquired soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a second-round pick, plus prospect Kevin Cannauton, the 83rd player chosen in the 2009 entry draft.
Roy had only been in Dallas for less than a full season – the Stars acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres last summer for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy – and had been unable to sign him to a contract extension. The irony is that Roy became expendable in Buffalo in the first place because Vancouver traded them Cody Hodgson at last year’s deadline, creating a logjam down the middle for the Sabres.
Roy is on the small side – 5-foot-9, 184 pounds – and five years removed from his best season, which occurred back in 2007-08, when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games for the Sabres. He will turn 30 in May. In 30 games this season, he had 22 points and was playing just under 19 minutes per night.
In Vancouver, Roy will give coach Alain Vigneault some options at centre that he hasn’t had since Hodgson was traded away last year. Short-term, Roy will likely move directly into the No. 2 slot behind Henrik Sedin and when Ryan Kesler returns from injury, the Canucks will be three deep down the middle, a far cry from where they’ve been in recent days. For Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Sharks, the Canucks’ centre-ice corps consisted of Sedin (20:58 time on ice), Max Lapierre (14:21), Jordan Schroeder (13:00) and Andrew Ebbett (7:45).
Roy and the Washington Capitals’ Mike Ribiero were the two pending unrestricted free agents attracting the most interest on the trade market, with the deadline approaching at 3 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos was the first to report the Roy deal.
With Roy gone, attention now turned to Jaromir Jagr, who was traded to the Boston Bruins for a pair of prospects and a draft pick. Jagr would likely move right onto David Krejci's line and give the Bruins a little more offensive flair than they've had of late.