Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Marco Roy played in 14 of 18 playoff games last season with torn ligaments in both of his knees and totaled two goals and 11 points in the process.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Marco Roy follows his shot against the Indy Fuel during the third period Saturday night at the Coliseum.
Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Marco Roy was a second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2013 and spent much of his career in the AHL.
Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am
Roy stepped up in big way
Forward fought through playoffs with torn ligaments in both knees
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
Marco Roy isn't particularly big or intimidating at 6-foot-1, 182 pounds, and it's easy to lose sight of him among bigger, more formidable looking teammates. But that's only if you don't know the story because his stature in the world of the Komets' fans right now is huge thanks to a performance in the playoffs last season that was nothing short of otherworldly.
The brief summation is this: Roy was so banged up he could barely walk, let alone skate, yet he took to the ice for 14 of 18 playoff games and somehow found a way to total two goals and 11 points. And that doesn't even begin to account for the things that weren't tracked by ECHL statistics, such as blocked shots, hits or faceoff victories.
Or, how about just the way that inspired his teammates? And consider it wasn't just that he was playing through all this; he was dealing with the rigors of minor-league travel, too.
“How hard was it? I can't explain it,” said Roy, who had grade 2 tears of the medial collateral ligaments in both knees. “I was playing with two braces on my knees, so I was like a robot. I had no mobility. I lost all my speed, my agility. It makes you so much slower. That was hard mentally. So I was battling not only my body, which was hurting, but it was hard mentally.”
In the Western Conference finals, Roy, a forward, totaled two goals – both game-winners – and five points though Fort Wayne fell in the controversial overtime of Game 7 when it allowed a power-play goal to the eventual-champion Colorado Eagles in Loveland.
“I couldn't walk after the games. I was so sore. And in the mornings, man, it was so hard. I can't tell you it was easy,” Roy said.
Roy's recovery didn't require surgery, just time, rest and rehabilitation, and he said he feels great now. He returned last week from training camp with Laval of the higher-level American Hockey League.
A second-round draft pick of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers in 2013, Roy has spent much of his career in the AHL, but his stint with the Komets last season may have reminded scouts of his offensive capabilities, since he totaled 17 goals and 48 points in 45 regular-season games. He also played 13 AHL games last season with San Jose and Utica, scoring two goals.
“I had the mindset to come here again, be a leader on the team and be good every night. I want to be the best player on the ice and make the team win. That's my mindset this year,” said Roy, who was born in Boisbriand, Quebec. “And I want to score some goals and be good defensively. I want to play in every situation – I want to be on the ice 4-on-4, power plays, everywhere – and I've prepared myself for that this summer and I'm happy to be back here.”
Cognizant the Komets lost so many of their top players from last season – including league MVP and leading scorer Shawn Szydlowski, team MVP Gabriel Desjardins, Garrett Thompson, Mason Baptista, Ryan Culkin, Bobby Shea, Daniel Maggio and Michael Houser – Roy sees his role being much more significant heading into the season opener at 7:30 p.m. today against the Indy Fuel in Indianapolis.
“A lot of guys left and there are a lot of roles (remaining) to be filled. I think me and all the veterans left from last year need to step up,” Roy said. “We have good players left and all the new guys on the boat, we need to show them how to play the Komets' way. That's our goal for the beginning of the season. There are some good players here and it will be fun to work with them and get the team on a high note for this weekend.”
Just 23, Roy has plenty of time to get back to the AHL or even the NHL. And now that the Komets have an affiliation with the Vegas Golden Knights, he hopes scouts will be on hand to take notice of what he does at Memorial Coliseum.
“It's always my goal every day to do something to get better,” Roy said. “I want to have the right mentality and to work hard after practice. I still have to get better at everything. My mindset is to be positive and, every game, to do something on the ice to help the team win. It's part of my growth as a player. It's my goal to get called up and play in the AHL and in the NHL, someday.”