BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It wasn't a headline-blaring quote, or an overly negative statement. But Sabres center Derek Roy spiced up a normally cliche-filled day by pointedly criticizing Lindy Ruff's coaching style. The comment came as the team cleaned out their lockers and held a final team meeting following the end of their season.
Roy, a regular target of Ruff's ire during this season and his career, was asked about Ruff's style of being hard on players both inside and outside of the dressing room.
"Behind closed doors it's fine. It's not fun, but it's good to be hard on your players. Behind closed doors, on the bench. I'm not a coach, but I don't think it's right thing to be saying it to the media," said the veteran center.
Roy has often drawn the ire of the coach and Sabres fans for a perceived lack of effort. This season, which Roy admits he was still not 100% healthy, produced just 17 goals and 44 points. Those numbers are below the standards Roy has set in previous seasons.
Doctors told Roy the quad ligament/knee injury he suffered last season will not be completely healed until next year. He admitted that a pulled hamstring during offseason workouts slowed him down, as did a preseason shoulder injury.
Asked to describe his relationship with Ruff, Roy said "behind closed doors, it's good. He expects a lot of me and wants me to be a leader. I try to bring that in practices and games."
Roy says he doesn't mind when that happens, as long as it's not said outside the team.
Roy will enter the final season of his contract in 2012-13.
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