Goodnight and Good Luck – Derek Roehl

After a rest over the bank holiday weekend, BOTW returns as we have a couple of farewells to do. We’ll get to Joe Rand at a later stage given we did the big retirement piece for him as we’re going to do something different, so it’s time to say goodbye to Derek Roehl.

The party’s over; Derek Roehl is off to pastures new.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

What have we lost?

Roehl is a player who tries to do a bit of everything. In a league with an import limit, this is the kind of player that you want because they are prepared to do a bit of all the work. The difference is having the ability to be able to do all of that. Roehl is able to score and make the pass. He’s not afraid to crash the net and has the hands and physicality to get there in the first place. He can do that bit of agitation that’s needed now and again as well.

What Roehl added to the Bison when he came in was a bit of old fashioned direct play. Petr Polodna had taken too long to start firing whereas Roehl stepped off the plane and immediately made an impact on the Bison’s style of play. Where Jakub Barton was arguably the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, Roehl was the opposite.

Where has he gone?

Chalk up another victim to the Bison’s move to NIHL 1 South changing the make-up of the Bison roster.

Who replaces him?

At the moment, it’s really hard to tell given that the roster has only 4 players and one import. Tomas Karpov and Derek Roehl do not play the same game so that’s not the right comparison to make here. What becomes the key for the Bison is what sort of import split that the Herd are going to go with. If the club are going with 2 import forwards than the Bison arguably find an import player like Roehl and some would argue that you should have just brought him back. You might want a more natural out and out scorer in that second import slot so there’s one on each of the top two lines but Roehl scored 20 goals in 44 games so are you wanting someone more like Karpov than not?

The other option is an import defenceman who you would want to have an attacking upside, someone in a Mindy Kieras mould though I venture the nearly 37 year old Kieras will not be on his way back to these shores. Either way, a replacement for the other imports the Bison have is going to be a massive task. Then again, the glut of British players now available will more than be able to fill those other positions.

Final thoughts:

40 points from 44 games; Derek Roeh’s time in Basingstoke started off well, tailed off a little bit in the middle then picked up again at the end. When the playoffs rolled around, the switch in the American’s head and he roared into life again. If the Derek Roehl of the first few games in Basingstoke had played like that for the duration of the season then Roehl would have had 80 points rather than 40.

I am convinced that Derek Roehl was playing hurt during this season. Hockey players all play hurt, that’s a given but I think there are games that Roehl played and didn’t do as well as he could have done because he should have sat because of injury.

There’s also the other factor that no player on a Bison roster since the appointment of Doug Sheppard has scored astronomical points. Even the year that the Bison won the title, the highest points scorer on the team was Rene Jarolin who was 10th and that included his numbers in MK. The next was Tomas Karpov in 19th. You don’t come to Basingstoke to pad your stats, you come to win games. You come to buy in to what’s going on and to Roehl’s credit, he bought in.

Roehl’s a charismatic guy and he plays a charismatic game that fans can easily get behind. He chucks his flat cap onto the ice when a team mate scores a hattrick, he gets on the mic to announce during the NIHL game, he sticks up for his team mates. Hockey is sport but it’s also entertainment and for his faults, Roehl is entertaining to watch in full flight.

We’ve talked about it on BOTW many times that players come and go. Hockey sees people appear and leave. That is true of Derek Roehl’s time at the Basingstoke Bison. He wasn’t here for a long time but he made us laugh and he made us smile. I guess that’s the point isn’t it.

Thanks Derek and all the best.


One Comment on “Goodnight and Good Luck – Derek Roehl”

  1. My one gripe is that he spent too much time in the penalty box for an import, but he gave loads of effort and was a great character

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