Derek Roy’s idol wasn’t an NHL player, but someone much closer to him: his brother. In this week’s Getting To Know, Roy talks about how he wanted to make it because his brother was passed over as “too small,” and a memorable playoff run in 2005-06 that ended in heartbreak.
Status: Edmonton Oilers center.
HT: 5-9 WT: 184 pounds
DOB: May 4, 1983 In: Ottawa, Ont.
First Hockey Memory: “Growing up, seeing my older brother play, he’s a year older than me. He played hockey – that’s why I wanted to play hockey too. Going to the rinks with my older brother, looking up to him and trying to beat him and be better than him is what I remember.”
Hockey Inspirations: “My dad kinda put us both in it. He played junior hockey and stuff, and never made it. He basically was too small to make it, back in the day when there was a lot of checking and physical play. That was a lot of inspiration – to try and make it as a small guy.”
Last Book Read: “I think it was Michael Jordan: The Life. Inspirational book.”
Current Car: “Right now I drive a Ford…what’s it called? (Roy asks Rob Klinkhammer, who replies, Edge Limited Edition.)”
Greatest Sports Moment: “We had a couple of long playoff runs. And we lost game seven in the Conference Final in Buffalo. And coming back home and seeing all the fans – they were lined up for about a mile or so. And they were all cheering and stuff. So it was a good moment for the town of Buffalo and it was my second year in the League, so it was a good moment.”
Most Painful Moment: “Losing that game seven (in the Eastern Conference Final to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06).”
Favorite Uniforms: “I’ve always liked the traditional ones – Original Six.”
Favorite Rinks To Play: “I’ll have to say Ottawa or Toronto.”
Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “Every game is different. Every game is a different battle — a different opportunity. Every day you wake up with maybe a different injury, a different thing you gotta deal with. Every game is a different challenge. It’s a fun game to play, fast-paced, exciting. It’s an enjoyable game to play.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “I’d say Teddy Purcell is up there [smiles]”
Most Memorable Goal: “That’s a tough one. I scored a big goal to tie up a game in the second round of the playoff. Late in the game, about a minute left in the game. Against Ottawa. And that was my hometown. It was one of the games that I had a five-point night. So that was a memorable moment.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “I remember in major bantam we were in the finals. I remember they pulled their goalie and I had a complete breakaway from the red line in. And the puck jumped on me as I shot it and it just shot in the corner – in front of like 500 people there watching the game [smiles]. Maybe some scouts there too. Pretty embarrassing.”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Football. I moved to Buffalo and started watching the NFL.”
First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: “Mike Hough coached us in junior. He was one of the assistant coaches who helped out a little bit, in one of my first years of junior. I looked up to him and he gave me a lot of good advice.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “So many moments. Practices and games. Guys going out there with their skate-guards and falling. Just someone falling in warm-up. Weird stuff happens. The game of hockey is fun and we just try to have fun with it.”
Strangest Game: “I think that playoff game (in 2005-06), the first game of the second round against Ottawa. The game that we won. Big score. It was 7-6 in overtime. Usually you don’t see that kind of hockey. And I think there was like three or four goals in the last minute of the game. So it was up and down, up and down, we won it in overtime. We scored right away in overtime. That was a weird game.”
Mark “Scoop” Malinowski is the author of the new tennis books “Facing Federer” and “Facing Hewitt” which are available at amazon. He’s currently working on “Facing Probert.”