BUFFALO — The Dallas Stars’ decision to have Derek Roy undergo shoulder surgery and miss four months doesn’t mean the Sabres traded damaged goods, general manager Darcy Regier cautioned.
If the Sabres hadn’t dealt Roy for winger Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy last week, the center, who was originally hurt last preseason, wouldn’t have underwent the procedure.
“We’re very confident in the decision by our medical staff,” Regier said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center during the second intermission of a prospect scrimmage. “He played with it last year. He could’ve played with it next year. It was a decision by the Dallas Stars. It was as simple as that. We were very comfortable with his situation and remain so.”
He noted: “It was elective, and it was a choice.”
Regier said he spoke with counterpart Joe Nieuwendyk prior to the trade and went through all Roy’s medical records. The Stars made their decision following an intense physical in Dallas.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, in his first chat with local reporters since April, said Wednesday's surgery surprised him. When Roy got on track a bit late in the season after struggling for months, Ruff considered the shoulder a non-factor. Roy never indicated any serious issues, either.
“I’m a guy that suffered three or four shoulder injuries,” Ruff said. “I know what it’s like dealing with it. I know what it’s like playing with it. You are the only guy that knows if you can keep playing, and once your shoulder pops out, it has a tendency to come out again.
“In Derek’s case, we thought we got him through the year. We thought he was going to be good to go on.”
Of course, other players – most notably goalie Ryan Miller and winger Thomas Vanek – have played through or returned early from ailments. There could be a perception around the NHL the Sabres push players to perform injured.