Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig Mactavish decided to show he understands the situation in Edmonton is dire by making a major move on the last Monday of 2014.
Mark Arcobello is a talented player who is capable of playing at the National Hockey League level, but he wasn’t helping the Oilers. Arcobello, who has 12 points in 36 games this season, has only played in 78 NHL games throughout his career.
Exchanging Derek Roy, 31, formerly of the Nashville Predators, for Arcobello brings desperately needed experience to a young Oilers roster. Derek Roy is now just one of two players on the Oilers with more than 600 NHL games under his belt, the other player being Captain Andrew Ferrence.
Experienced players are essential to any team’s success. They are the guys who can help bring out the best in the youth. They understand the ins and outs of the NHL and can be strong leaders. Having played in 49 post-season games, Roy is now one of the few Oilers with significant playoff experience.
Roy is offensively capable. In the 2007-2008 season, Roy recorded 81 points in 78 games. While numbers like that are in Roy’s past, it is clear that with the right line-mates Roy can still put up strong numbers for the Oilers. The center from Ottawa averages about 29 points per every 40 games throughout his career.
Right now, it’s hard for young players to adjust to the NHL in Edmonton because they lack experienced players from which to learn. Roy is now in a position to help players like Leon Draisaitl develop into strong players. Mark Arcobello, through no fault of his own, simply could not help players adjust to the NHL the same way an experienced players can.
Adding Derek Roy and Matt Fraser in one day – both claimed off waivers from the Boston Bruins – is clearly a positive sign. The Oilers sent a message: the Oilers leadership understands that they need to work on their roster and that they are open to change.