On Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers re-signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year deal worth $900,000 annually.
Appearing in 40 games last season - and three more in the playoffs - Gryba tallied two goals, four assists, and 65 PIM, skating primarily on the bottom pairing.
In this role, he was fairly effective. While not contributing much offensively (ahead of only Kris Russell on a points-per-sixty basis), the veteran rearguard’s possession numbers were quite competent. By both FF% and CF%, Gryba sits on the good side of 50%. His GF% was, however, the lowest on the team - but at least some of that can likely be explained by his team-low PDO of 98.3% (all stats courtesy stats.hockeyanalysis.com).
With the injury to Andrej Sekera, Gryba figures to play a more prominent role to start the 17-18 season, likely to draw in beside Darnell Nurse on the third pair. Quite frankly, the Oilers could do worse here. This is a third pairing that, if utilized correctly, can provide the Oilers with some decent minutes next season. Last year, the two posted a respectable 52% CF% in just under 300 minutes together, but we have to hope their GF% numbers improve, as despite these positive possession numbers, they were outscored almost 2:1.
That said, a low-term, low-dollar deal to a guy who knows the club, is gigantic, right-handed and young-ish?! I’ll take it. Given what’s gone down over the last couple of weeks, this feels OK. It does kind of make me hate the Russell deal even more though, but we’ve been through that. I mean, he’s better - or at least as good - and cheaper but whatever IT’S NOT ABOUT KRIS TODAY.