Derek Roy was walking down the tunnel at American Airlines Center in Dallas after morning skate when he came to a fork in the road.
His natural response was to turn right and head towards the Dallas Stars dressing room and for a moment he looked to be headed that direction. Then the light bulb flickered on and Roy veered to the left to the visitor’s room to join his Vancouver Canucks teammates.
“I really had to think about that one,” laughed Roy, seeing that I caught his momentary lapse in direction.
Roy is now seven games into his time with Vancouver and judging by the good-natured ribbing he got during his media availability Thursday, he’s fitting right in.
The Dallas Stars video team asked Roy what he did during his day off in Dallas Wednesday and before the 29-year-old Ottawa, Ontario, native could even digest the question, he was bombarded with an assortment of ohhhhs and ahhhhs and catcalls and screams and yells and barking, there was even barking.
“Are you guys done?” he smiled.
Yes, Roy is just one of the guys.
The newcomer, traded to the Canucks from the Stars on April 2nd, did three things during his day off; you can decide which one garnered the abuse from his teammates.
Option 1 – “I packed some clothes, mostly. Honestly I didn’t have much time to pack before I left.”
Option 2 – “I went driving around, made sure both my cars worked, and drove around the city.”
Option 3 – “Did some therapy with one of my trainers.”
If you selected options 1 or 3, bang your head on your desk.
Ryan Kesler is still trying to slow his heart rate down after joining Roy for a cruise in his black Ferrari 599 yesterday afternoon.
“It was quite the ride,” said Kesler. “He didn’t let me drive, no love. But that thing can move.”
You can say the same about Roy on the ice.
In his first seven games with the Canucks, the 5-foot-9, 184-pound forward has a goal and two assists, alongside a plus-3 rating, with 10 shots. Coach Alain Vigneault shifted Roy from centre to the wing to play Kesler and Jannik Hansen two games ago and that experiment has yielded some exciting results with the trio having combined for five points (3-2-5) in a win and a shootout loss.
“The first game was good, we moved the puck around, got it towards the net and got a lot of opportunities,” assessed Roy. “Second game St Louis played us pretty hard so we had a lot of d-zone time, but we’ve just got to make sure we get out of our zone cleanly and get into the offensive zone and work them there.”
Roy said the overall adjustment to changing teams so late in the season was aided in that his brother, R.J., lives in Vancouver, and it’s comforting to return to his home and native land.
“It’s good to move close to family and be in Canada. I miss Dallas, obviously, everyone here was first class, this organization is great as well and the fans in Vancouver are awesome.”
The fun he’s having with his new Canucks teammates has certainly helped him settle in as well.
“It’s a good bunch of guys here, they made it so easy to come to this team. It’s not easy getting traded, especially coming to a team mid-season or towards the end of the season, you’ve just got to try and fit in right away and they made it so easy for me to come in here and fit in.”
Here’s hoping there’s no confusion from Roy come game time as to which direction to be attacking.
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