Derek Roy of Buffalo Sabres Out 4-6 Months with Quad Tendon Injury


It’s official: The Sabres’ most consistent player and top point producer will watch the rest of the season from the press box, as center Derek Roy has been diagnosed with a torn quad tendon. He will undergo surgery and will miss four to six months.

Roy suffered the injury seven minutes into Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers. Roy was hit along the boards by Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and did not return to the game.

The Sabres’ playoff hopes were already fading away, and now it seems like playoffs are out of the question for this year.

The Sabres were already inconsistent with Roy in the lineup. Now the Sabres will look more like the Portland Pirates of years past, with youngsters Luke Adam, Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe looking to fill the void left by Roy, who this year has been the unquestioned top-line center.

General manager Darcy Regier has a history of being patient, many times overly so, in making trades and deals. But with Roy out for virtually the remainder of the season, Regier will have to make a move for this team to be consistently competitive against the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Roy has been the Sabres’ best player since the first game of the season, when he scored two goals in the opener against Ottawa. In 35 games, Roy has 10 goals and 25 assists to lead the team. Only Thomas Vanek, with 13, has more goals than Roy. Roy has also led the Sabres in point scoring for each of the past three seasons.

Regier will now be able to thoroughly examine his supporting cast with his two top centers out in Roy and Tim Connolly, who is undergoing facial reconstruction surgery. Drew Stafford, Jason Pominville and Ennis need to step up their games and produce on a consistent basis.

It may be much to ask that of Ennis, who is a rookie, but there is no denying he has the skill set to be a top-line forward in the NHL, as he is tied for third on the team with nine goals. Stafford has had a good season with nine goals and 14 points in 20 games. Pominville only has six goals in 26 games.

There will be more pressure than ever on Regier to make a move. It has been rumored that Dallas Stars center Brad Richards is available. The Sabres will need to give up some assets to get him, but that is the nature of the business. No matter who it is, the Sabres definitely need a top-line center, which is ironically the Sabres’ stated No. 1 task in the offseason.

Currently the Sabres’ top center is Adam. They could also move Ennis to the middle if need be. However, it is pretty easy to see that this scenario is not going to fly come playoff time, if the team even makes it that far. The Sabres are already struggling to score goals. With Roy out of the lineup long-term, that struggle will be prolonged, barring any roster moves.

It is time to find out once and for all whether this group of players is capable of overcoming the injury to its scoring leader and dealing with adversity.

For further updates on the Sabres, follow me on Twitter @RichLunghino

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