Eric Gryba was a much maligned member of the Ottawa Senators blueline corps. His size and lack of mobility drew criticism, but he continually got the confidence of coach Paul MacLean in many situations.
He played the 5th most games of all the Senators defensemen (57) , and was the only one above even in the +/- rating, with a +9. In just his second full season in the NHL (well if you count the lockout shortened 2013 season) he recorded 2 goals and 9 assists
- Set career highs in assists (9) and points (11) while tying last season’s goal total with 2.
- Averaged 17 minutes per game
- Added a physical element to the blue line
- Mobility and lack of puck moving ability limit his overall effectiveness
Eric Gryba will be a restricted free agent in July, and the Senators will have to tender a qualifying offer of at least $660,000 to retain his rights.
Gryba is never going to be an offensive, or even considered a two way, defenseman. He is still learning how to play in his own end, but making strides and will become a solid defensive defenseman who won’t break the bank. The question is whether or not there is room for both him and Mark Borowiecki on the same blue line? Borowiecki’s one way contract kicks in next season so there will be competition for that tough stay at home ice time.
GRADE – C : To use a bit of a cliche, Eric Gryba is what he is. Although he will improve in the aspects of what he does, he won’t be much more and his ceiling is limited. But on the flipside, unlike some other defensemen on this team you know what you can expect out of him every night.