The Bob and Dan Radio Program on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket has been hitting it out of the park lately with great Steve Ott and Mike Modano interviews, and they delivered again on Thursday in a big way with a lengthy sit down with new Dallas Stars' center-man Derek Roy, newly arrived from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy.
With Jaromir Jagr in presumably another country, Roy on the operating table as recently as last week and Ray Whitney who-knows-where, the Stars haven't exactly had a big press conference to introduce their new signings formally together, but this informal session with The Ticket proves just as (if not far more) informative as topics ranged from hockey to NHL '94 on Super Nintendo.
Top of mind, though, was his health and injury situation after the Stars let it be known last week that he'll need at least five months to recover from a procedure performed on their new #2 center's shoulder.
"I played the whole season on it," said Roy, "injured all last year. It was coming in and out [of the socket] through the season. So what you do is you strengthen the muscles around the area, the labrum, and you develop your strength back - And then it happened a couple more times so at the end of the season we decided to rehab it and work hard on it. Get it back to 100%."
That, of course, is not the end of the story.
"As the MRI showed when I got traded it was a lot worse than I expected it," he continued. "We elected to have surgery. Sat down and had a meeting with the doctors and the GM and we decided to have surgery. For me be at 100% and for me to help the Dallas Stars at my best surgery was necessary."
How bad the shoulder was, and a host of off-ice topics in the audio after the jump...
"Posterior labrum surgery," Roy called his procedure. "Just kind of go in an clean some stuff up and reattach the labrum, put some anchors down and - I'm no doctor, but that's the thing I got from the surgery."
Surgery, anchors, and proper healing and rehab should provide not only greater strength and longevity in his shoulder, but as he revealed to Bob and Dan, should keep his joints in their rightful place going forward.
"People don't realize how much players go through throughout a season," said Derek of his previous year. "Things like that happen in a shift and you pop it back and you just keep skating like nothing happened. The first time it's definitely the most painful feeling, and it's an awkward feeling because you have no control over your arm because it's out of the socket. After that it's not that bad any more and a lot of players will tell you that it gets easier and easier to slip out and it hurts less and less."
His arm was basically, by his own admission here, popping in and out while he was on the ice. The Sabres felt this did not require surgery. As Roy says, I'm no doctor, but that sounds like a concerning condition. He seems to be taking it all in stride as his recovery gets under way.
"Yeah, I guess the hardest part was to put the sling on me while I was sleeping, the doctor said. It's a contraption I'm going to have to live with for the next three weeks."
It's been a tumultuous summer for the 29 year old, and the parallels with Steve Ott's trading are striking. Both were pillars of their organization for the better part of a decade, both similar in age, and both were surprised and seemingly saddened to be moving on from the only NHL organization they had ever known, though both had heard the whispers in the periphery for months.
"A little bit of a surprise," Roy said of the trade, "but at the same time my agent told me don't be surprised if you get traded this summer. I was shocked at first because I had been there so long. I had been there my whole career and I have a lot of good memories back in Buffalo, but you know, this is a new chapter of my life and I'm excited to be a Dallas Star and I'm excite to get going. We don't play here much. I think I've only played here a couple of times in my career in nine years with the Sabres organization so...it's a tough move but it's exciting at the same time. This being my first trade, even throughout junior and all growing up and whatnot. No trades."
He has been traded now, and it will be a tough one to live up to given the player that went out in exchange, his health coming into this season, and the possible work stoppage that will shorten what he can do in terms of putting together a resume for his next contract, that he'll need about 11 months from now.
From a Dallas viewpoint the most concerning part of the trade is his contract-year status. Not wanting to think that Steve Ott was moved for a short-term rental, even shorter in light of the shoulder surgery, Bob and Dan asked Derek about his long term future and how he views the Stars' encouragement to get the surgery rather than get on the ice as soon as possible.
"That was very classy of them to want me to have surgery and to want me at 100%...to value my needs for the organization. I love the city. I've been treated like first class ever since I got here. The surgery went really well. The doctors took really good care of me. I feel comfortable here. So yeah, I'd love to spend a long term here and I'm really focused on what I have to do this season to prepare and get ready and be at my best and help the team in any way that I can."
The Stars will have to push the decision on whether or not to extend a "long term" deal to him well into 2013 if the current time frame on his recovery and the CBA situation holds form. Either way, Derek knows that his various injuries hamstrung him (unfortunate pun) last season to sub-par offensive numbers - A problem he's hoping to avoid with a proper summer of rehab.
"Yeah, most definitely," he said when asked if he was hampered last season. "The other injury that I had with my hamstring toward the start of the year affected my skating - And I think my best asset as a player is my skating, being first on the puck, being quick, in and out of piles, getting toward the net. Those are my biggest assets and without my speed it was tough to generate so - And obviously the shoulder affected it a little bit but there's no excuses in hockey. You just have to go out and play through it. I'm looking forward to being healthy."
And any idea who he might want to skate with when he's finally able?
"It would be a great dream come to to skate with Jagr on one of my sides. I used to play with Nintendo with him when I was a kid growing up."
Well, Jamie Benn might have something to say about that, and he played with Jagr on his Sony Playstation when he was growing up.
Further evidence that you should listen to the entire 30+ minute interview are the following discussion points as Bob and Dan helped us all to get to know Derek Roy...
- Buffalo fans in particular might want to listen as several minutes are dedicated to discussing what he said about Lindy Ruff at the end of the season. Apparently Roy is a fan of coaches talking directly to players, not calling them out in the media. Roy then, ironically as he admits, had to go through the media to deliver that message.
- The pregnant pause when they ask him "Are you single?" is worth downloading the file alone.
- Discusses why he wears a Yankees hat, though he isn't a Yankees fan.
- He's an avid golfer.
- He's claimed number 11 here in Dallas, but is wavering on the choice. Also adds, jokingly and lightly that Steve Ott "already stole my number in Buffalo"...
- He'll kick your ____ in NHL '94 on Super Nintendo, and he'll tell you that to your face, evidently.
- His background is very french. He grew up in Ottawa. His name was pronounced like Patrick Roy's name for much of his life before he told the PA man in Kitchener to say "Roy" like we know it to be pronounced now. Listen to him pronounce it three different ways. He's fluent in French, but dreams in English.
- He tells the tale of managing a strawberry patch with his little brother.
- He discusses chugging a Pepto Bismol on the bench. (Look this up on the internet, it really happened). Heartburn gets even pro athletes sometimes, it seems.
- His "shack" in Canada is really quite something. Look that up on YouTube.
- He has a friendship with Adam Richmond of Man vs Food.
- And more. He's a pretty interesting dude.
Thanks go to BaD radio for doing a great, varied interview with the newest Dallas Star. Funny thing about a 30 minute discussion involving the player that came here for Steve Ott: Adam Pardy wasn't mentioned a single time, which is somehow fitting.