When the Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Kris Russell, the belief was fellow blue liner Eric Gryba wouldn’t make the team, but that won’t be the case.
Gryba and Edmonton reportedly agreed to a one-year, two-way deal Tuesday that includes $450,000 guaranteed. That’s how much he will make if he plays at the AHL level. Should he stay with the Oilers in the NHL, his salary will be bumped to $950,000.
The 28-year-old defenseman was in Oilers camp on a professional tryout and was in line to make the team as late as Friday until Edmonton signed Russell to a one-year deal worth $3.1 million. Even Gryba’s agent, Rick Curran, didn’t have a positive outlook to the Oilers adding Russell.
“Looks like Gryba suffers the fallout from the Russell signing,” Curran said according to the Edmonton Sun.
But Oilers general manager Pete Chiarelli brought back Gryba too to provide the team some blue line depth.
He is entering his fifth NHL season and second with the Oilers. He had one goal and six points with an even rating in 53 games in Edmonton last season. The defenseman also posted a 49.2 Corsi For Percentage in 2015-16.
Prior to coming to Edmonton, the 28-year-old spent three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. In his four-year NHL career, he has four goals, 29 points and a plus-17 rating. Gryba appeared in the postseason with the Senators in 2013 and 2015. In those 10 playoff games, he has no points and a minus-2 rating.
However, because the Oilers signed Russell, Gryba is probably headed to the AHL. In order for that to happen, the 28-year-old will have to clear waivers first.