He adds more than muscle
Enforcer Andre Roy also is a crooner, clown and scorer for Lightning.
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 15, 2002
TAMPA -- Bet you didn't know Andre Roy could sing.
Granted, the warble that sometimes comes from the back of the team bus or the locker room shower is not for everyone, but the Lightning left wing belts it out loud and proud.
Bet you didn't know Roy could play guitar. Or that he is a huge jokester. You would still be laughing if you saw the impersonation he did of a bombastic professional wrestler before his first game in Ottawa last season after he was traded to Tampa Bay.
"I'm like that. I've always been the clown in class," Roy said after Thursday's practice at the St. Pete Times Forum. "I like to make people laugh. It keeps guys loose. I like to have fun."
Roy's ability to entertain isn't the only talent he is demonstrating this season. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound enforcer is proving he can do more than fight. Roy has had one brawl, a rematch from last season against the Rangers' Sandy McCarthy, in his second game of this season.
The altercation earned him 19 penalty minutes. In six games since he has zero. With two goals and six points he is on pace for 19 goals and 56 points, far beyond his career highs of seven and 16 set last season.
The difference is Roy's intention to play a well-rounded game, his surprisingly good hands and coach John Tortorella's insistence he contribute more than an occasional punch to the head.
"He'll get plenty of opportunity to get involved in the other stuff, and we expect him to step up in those areas," Tortorella said. "But it's all done within the confines of the team concept."
It is one thing to say that, quite another to put it into practice.
Roy, 27, said his concentration can be jarred when things get rough on the ice, or when players start yapping. It was verbal sparring between he and McCarthy after the two fought in April that prompted Roy to leave the penalty box to try to fight more.
A wrestling match with two linesmen later and Roy was suspended for 13 games, the final six of which were served to start this season.
After fighting and body-slamming McCarthy to the ice in October, the yapping started from the New York bench. Tortorella grabbed Roy and said, "You're playing great, don't get into that stuff."
Not that Roy's teammates mind his ability to pummel people.
"Even when a guy like that is not fighting, when he hops over the boards, the other team knows it," right wing Sheldon Keefe said. "It creates more room for other guys, and it makes room for himself."
"Everyone knows I will fight," said Roy, who has 556 penalty minutes in little more than three full NHL seasons. "But it's good to get the attention that you can play. Not many people know that."
More blistering slap shots like the one that beat goalie Brian Boucher during Monday's victory over the Coyotes and the secret will be out.
It is no secret to Roy's older brother Marc, who said he watched Andre play at the rink in their hometown of Lafontaine, Quebec, almost every night until the owner watered the ice, and always thought "he has skills like Lindros."
Marc, 31, also is well aware of his brother's value as an entertainer.
"When there is an awkward moment, he will always throw a punch line," Marc said.
Lately, they are coming more often than punches.
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