The offensively challenged Buffalo Sabres have a new challenge to meet, and it's a whopper. The team's leading scorer, Derek Roy, needs surgery on a torn quadriceps tendon and will miss the rest of the season.
General Manager Darcy Regier announced Friday that the center will have surgery in the next few days, with an expected recovery time of four to six months.
"You lose someone like Derek, and it leaves a pretty big hole in your offensive lineup," Regier said. "I think we're going to have to, as a team, the coaches and players are going to have to dig in and support and find ways to win."
Roy was hurt early in the first period of Thursday night's 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in HSBC Arena. He was carrying the puck into the Panthers' zone when Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov drove him into the boards.
In 35 games this season, Roy tallied 35 points, including 10 goals. He is tied for 14th in the NHL in scoring, the only Sabre sitting in the top 50.
The Sabres were already missing center Tim Connolly, who has a badly broken nose.
"Obviously, Luke Adam will see play on the Western trip, and then we'll have to reassess Tim Connolly's injury," Regier said. "In the interim, we'll address it internally and see if there's options from there."
The Sabres, who are off for the Christmas holiday, depart later in the weekend for a road trip to Calgary and Edmonton.