January 18, 2018

Unknown Canadians: Derek Roy

Okay. So if there is one member of Canada's 2018 men's Olympic hockey team you should probably have heard of it is Derek Roy.

Roy was a really good player in the NHL for 738 games, most notably in Buffalo with the Sabres. He was an underrated two way pivot, equally good at both ends of the ice.

How good? At one time he was on Steve Yzerman's radar for the 2010 Olympic team that was stacked with NHL superstars.

Yzerman invited Roy to the team's orientation camp in August of 2009 - effectively short-listing him for inclusion on the Olympic team for the Vancouver Olympics. Roy had earned his inclusion after strong showings with Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Championships. Both times Canada won the silver medal.

Roy also represented Canada at the 2003 World Juniors, again winning silver. In 2015, with his NHL career behind him, he returned to the World Championships and finally won that gold medal.

“I’ve played almost every level for Canada you can possibly play at,” said Roy. “So this is a great opportunity now to have played in pretty much every event. It’s awesome.’’

Each time Roy was a big part of Canada's success. His best days may be behind him, but he will again be counted on heavily to lead Team Canada at the Pyeongchang Olympics

“He is going to be a go-to guy for us,’’ Team Canada GM Sean Burke. “And he brings leadership.’’

Roy knows his NHL days are behind him. He's enjoying his vagabond end of his career, exploring European hockey and cultures. He knows these Olympics are not about him getting back to the big leagues.

“I’m just focused on trying to help my country win a gold medal,” said Roy. “It’s not about trying to get as many points as you can so that somebody recognizes you back in North America. It’s putting on the jersey and representing your country and doing every you can to help that team win. If people notice me, they notice me, but I’m focused on helping Canada winning gold.’’

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