I started watching the Buffalo Sabres in 1999, when they went to the Staley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars. I was only 9 at the time, so I don't remember that many details. But the years I have the fondest memories of were those two seasons out of the NHL lockout , from 2005-2007.

The Sabres made back-to-back Eastern Conference Final appearances, but both times it ended in heartbreak, especially 2006. The Sabres lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in 7 games, and it was amazing considering they had lost four of their top six defenceman by game 7 and were also playing without their hottest forward Tim Connolly.

One of the players Sabres fans remember most from those teams is Derek Roy. On social media today, Derek Roy announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Roy played for the Sabres from 2003-2012 and enjoyed his best season during the 2007-2008 season when he scored 32 goals and had 81 total points. He was also a key player in those two playoff runs from 05-07, playing often with Thomas Vanek and Maxim Afinogenov. He was originally drafted in the second round by Buffalo in 2001.

Roy also played with the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, and Edmonton Oilers. He ended his career playing professional hockey in Europe (2015-2021). Roy is 38 years old and will end an 18-year career in pro hockey.

Roy was a lot of fun to watch those days, especially playing with Vanek and Afinogenov. The NHL was the most wide open its been in the last 30 years those first two years out of the lockout and Roy benefitted, along with the rest of those Sabres teams.

Derek Roy was one of the last players from those 2005-2007 teams still playing. Ryan Miller just retired two weeks ago, and the only remaining player from those teams still playing in the NHL is defenceman Andrej Sekera, who is playing for Dallas.

We wish Roy a happy retirement!

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