According to the Oilers’ Twitter account, the team has activated Oscar Klefbom from the Injured Reserve and placed Eric Gryba on waivers for the purpose of assignment. Will he make it down to Bakersfield? Time will tell.
When Andrej Sekera finally returned and Klefbom replaced him on the IR, it was only a matter of time before the Oilers would run into a logjam on the backend. In the end, Eric Gryba was the odd man out as Brandon Davidson has provided the team with steadier defending and Yohann Auvitu’s versatility could see him bouncing up to a forward position.
GRYBA ON WAIVERS
After grabbing Brandon Davidson on waivers and watching Yohann Auvitu climb the depth chart, there hasn’t been much room in the lineup for Eric Gryba. Davidson has been a calming influence on the third pairing, and Yohann Auvitu’s versatility seems to be the reason that we’re talking about Gryba being on waivers and not him. Back on December 1st, Cam Lewis wrote about how the Oilers should keep Auvitu on the roster over Eric Gryba based on his skating and ability to move the puck.
With the Oilers finally getting healthy, they had to make a decision on who would stay and who would go, and it was the bearded grillmaster that drew the short straw. Gryba had clearly been passed on the depth chart as he hadn’t played since December 6th against the Flyers. Like Auvitu, Gryba can be an adventure in the defensive zone, but the difference is that he doesn’t have much else beyond his defensive play, and when that’s not happening he has a real problem. As a result, Gryba will make his way down to Bakersfield unless someone puts in a claim.
Tonight will mark the first time all season that the Oilers have had a healthy roster. Think about that for a second. We’re 37 games in (going on 38) and we haven’t had a chance to watch the team as it was intended until now. Considering where the Oilers are at in the standings, getting their two best defencemen back in the lineup and healthy could be the pickup this team needed.
Before hitting the IR, we had heard rumblings about Klefbom battling through injury but it wasn’t until yesterday that we found out it was his shoulder. Needless to say, having shoulder issues makes a lot of sense when you start piecing together the holes in Klefbom’s game. The weak, inaccurate shot makes a lot more sense. The timidness going into the corners gets checked off the list. The fact that he was playing through problems is admirable, but the Oilers need him to be playing without hesitation. Hopefully, the time off has helped him get there.
Now, the question will be whether or not that week off was enough time to get that shoulder back to where he needs it to be. Gord knows the Oilers need him to be playing at his best.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 12/29/2017 – 2:32pm MST