The Oilers have re-signed depth defenceman, Eric Gryba to a two-year contract worth $900,000 per season.
Peter Chiarelli continues to keep last year’s defensive group intact as he re-signed Gryba to a new two-year contract. Last summer, Gryba had to wait around a while before inking a new contract with the Oilers, but he will have no such delay this time around as he heads into July 1st with a fresh contract in his pocket. At 29-years-old, this two-year deal offers a little bit of security for a player that had to wait until late in the summer to sign only a year ago.
Last season, Gryba was used sparingly as he got into only 40 games with the Oilers, but this new contract shows that he could be a bigger part of the plans for the coming year. Having Andrej Sekera out until January meant that Peter Chiarelli had to fill out his top 6 with players that are capable of playing NHL minutes, and Gryba certainly fills the role of a guy that can jump into the lineup when needed.
Will he play a bigger role with Sekera out? Is Chiarelli done rebuilding his Top 4 before the season starts?
WHAT SAY YOU?
I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that Eric Gryba will never be confused with a guy like Erik Karlsson. On the offensive side of the puck, Gryba is more likely to score a goal off his face than he is with a coast-to-coast rush. We all know that Gryba’s bread gets buttered in his own zone and with his defensive play and toughness along the boards. He’s never going to be a guy that you want batting high in the order, but he is a player that can jump in and play effective minutes in a limited capacity.
Last year, Todd McLellan used Gryba almost exclusively in the defensive zone and on the penalty kill, a role he accepts and plays with relative predictability. While there are certainly areas in his game that leave you wanting, Eric Gryba is a decent bet as a #7 defenceman and he offers the Oilers another layer of depth that they sorely need. At less than a million bucks per season, Gryba’s deal won’t break the bank and symbolizes another step towards returning with the same defensive group as they had a year ago.
Do size and decent defensive play merit another contract considering the current roster? You tell me.
GRYBA’S CAREER SO FAR