Derek Roy is gone and if I'm sure of one thing it's that the Sabres will be better without him.
Post 2007 what has been the book on the Sabres? Small, skilled, not so tough to play against, lack heart. Seem to be capable enough when the going is pretty easy but turn it up to eleven and they disappear.
That rather critical description of the team applies singularly to Derek Roy. About halfway through the 2007/08 season I was told by someone I trust that Roy could be heard from time to time in scrums telling opposing players to take it easy, it's just a game.
There were the party invites handed out in the locker room right after a team meeting about how important the next stretch of games were.
My favorite is the ridiculously good run the Sabres put together after being dog meat for the first 35 games of the season while Roy scored a point a game. Their getting hot right after his injury could have made you wonder if they were better off without him. Being a regular Roy critic by this point, I didn't want to rush to a judgement on this, thinking maybe it was just a coincidence that the Sabres got stupid good after he left the line-up. Then I heard that one veteran player had called it, predicting that the Sabres would be better off without Roy.
Take it easy, it's just a game is embarrassing. To the guy saying it and to his team. Really? Take it easy, it's just a game is what you tell your kids when they can't clear a level on Angry Birds. Saying that on the ice in an NHL game is an invitation to have a graphite stick stuffed into your esophagus.
The party invites, I was told, were to a Toga Party. That might have seemed like a cool idea the first weekend you went away to college.
The Sabres being better without him the season before last might speak for itself, but the veteran player expecting it to happen pushed it way over the top. 26-10-6 was their record from January 1st to the end of that season. Roy left the lineup December 23rd.
You, of course, can do whatever you like with all of this. Dismiss it as the jaded rambling of someone in the media out to get a guy on the team or just trying to find something interesting to talk and write about.
If that is how you view all of this I don't really know what to tell you. I wouldn't necessarily blame you for being wary of people in the media who may have an agenda.
You know what my agenda is?
Liking my hockey team.
That got easier for me when the Sabres traded Derek Roy.