Another man has spoken in the Nicolas Roy sweepstakes, and he isn’t as optimistic as Cape Breton coach and GM Marc-Andre Dumont appears to be in getting the Mario Lemieux trophy winner to report to Cape Breton Island.
Nicolas Roy’s father, Nick, said that his son will wear the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles jersey if he is selected first overall in the QMJHL draft Saturday in Chicoutimi, Que., but he will pursue other options if Cape Breton doesn’t trade his rights to a Quebec team.
Roy reportedly wants his son to be taken by a Quebec team so he can complete his schooling in the Quebec school system. He doesn’t want his son to have to deal with finishing his education out of the province of Quebec. Also, the drive from Amos, Que., to Sydney, N.S., isn’t exactly a quick 20-hour one.
Roy said that it isn’t a question of the team or the city in particular, it’s just that he wants what's best for his son. Heard that one before, but Roy, as an educator at an Amos school, may understand a little better the difficulties of school-by-correspondence, especially in a place where the language is predominantly English. Roy said that they aren’t “the Lindroses” like some are led to believe, but adviser Pat Brisson and the family are simply doing what’s best for Nicolas’s education; read: leverage.
Roy added that any of the 12 teams in Quebec would be fine, so long as his son could stay within the province's school system. He cited Nathan MacKinnon, picked by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in 2011 and traded to Halifax, as a player who used the same angle to get moved to a team closer to home. Roy said that if MacKinnon was picked by another Maritime team, he would have reported, but by chance it was the Drakkar making the pick.
This season, by chance, it’s the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles making the first pick, and that doesn’t work for the Roys, who added that plenty of other Quebec players have cited the same thing, including Frédérik Gauthier in Rimouski, Laurent Dauphin in Chicoutimi and Kris Letang in Val-d’Or.
Roy declared that they made up their minds about Nicolas’ future weeks ago, and they aren’t budging, apparently. Dumont, who was the coach of the Val-d’Or Foreurs nearby for parts of four seasons, will have to use his knowledge of the area and his selling abilities to convince the Roys to come to the party.
If not, and if the Screaming Eagles have a (very) sudden change of heart, the most likely Quebec teams poised to make a move at the draft on Nicolas Roy include the Shawinigan Cataractes, who pick second in the draft and have four second-round picks. The Gatineau Olympiques and the Val-d’Or Foreurs each have three picks in the first round. Cape Breton holds the first pick and two picks in the second round.