Gryba Retires; Palmieri Day-to-Day With Injury

A roundup of some Devils-related news for today.

Eric Gryba, who spent ten games as a Devil last season, has retired. The 31-year-old defenseman made the decision last Sunday after being released from a professional tryout with the Calgary Flames this past Thursday.

Gryba said on Twitter (as relayed by NHL.com): “I want to thank all my teammates, they’ve been unbelievable, all the staff, the coaches … and the fans everywhere from Binghamton to Ottawa and Edmonton and New Jersey and Bakersfield and everywhere in between. Thank you guys so much for all the support over the years but it’s time to hang ‘em up.”

The seven-season veteran of the NHL said that wear and tear on his body was the major factor in the decision. “It’s been a lot of great years and a lot of great memories, but the body is starting to fail a little bit and I feel it’s time to move on and do the next chapter in my life.”

Gryba was selected by the Ottawa Senators 68th overall in 2006 (third round) and ended up playing 289 games for the Sens, notching seven goals and 36 assists (43 points).

He played the majority of last season with the Binghamton Devils of the AHL and notched seven points (two goals and five assists) over 47 games. He played in ten games at the NHL level. He was signed as a free agent by the Devils on July 1, 2018 after playing with Edmonton prior.

Good luck to Gryba in his future, be it in the game or elsewhere.

In another bit of news reported on NHL.com, Mike Morreale is reporting that Kyle Palmieri is day-to-day with a lower body injury.

The article reports that Palmieri had an assist over 16:04 of ice time against the Rangers last Friday, but did not play on Saturday’s game against the Islanders (although that most likely had little to do with the injury).

The article did not specify whether the injury was suffered in practice or in a game situation.

And finally, Morreale had an article up on NHL.com that talked about Nico Hischier saying that Jack Hughes (both number one overall draft picks) just needs to remain focused in his rookie season.

The advice to Hughes was just a part of an overall interview that Nico did with Morreale.

Nico mentioned that Hughes simply needs to not “be shy about playing [his] game and having fun.” He also stated that Hughes is “going to be fine” and that “(h)e’s going to be good.”

Hischier went on to talk about his goals as an NHL player for both him individually and the team. In addition, he talked about his offseason workout routine and about John Hynes’ methods of motivating both him and the team.

In an interesting question, Morreale asked Hischier which NHL award he thinks he might have the best chance of winning. Nico kind of downplayed it and said that it is more about the team, but did say that the Selke Trophy could be a goal for him due to his trying to be a good two-way forward.

Overall, it was a good interview and one definitely worth checking out on NHL.com.

Free Agency 2018

Free Agent Frenzy officially hit us today as NHL teams opened their wallets and players made some of the biggest decisions of their professional lives.

The biggest fish of the day, John Tavares, pulled a Zach Parise and went home to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs leaving Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders in a bit of a lurch. Tavares will be getting $77 million over 7-years from the Leafs as he tries to guide them to their first Stanley Cup since 1967. There were a few other names out there too.

James van Riemsdyk, the Middletown, New Jersey native and the second biggest catch of the day, returned to the club where he began his NHL career. He moved from the Leafs back to the Flyers. He got $35 million over 5-years from Philly as per TSN. Paul Stastny went from the Jets to the Golden Knights in a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” type of move ($19.5 million over 3-years according to TSN) and a bunch of goalies moved from team to team in a game of musical chairs. Former Devil Scott Wedgewood was one of those, going from Los Angeles to Buffalo.

On the Devils front there was not too much noise. They began early by re-signing goalie Eddie Lack to a 1-year contract worth $650,000 according to TSN. Lack will remain the third goalie behind Cory Schneider and Keith KInkaid, likely.

The Devils also signed defenseman Eric Gryba from the Edmonton Oilers organization to a 1-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level ($350,000 guaranteed) according to a press release put out by the team and announced by GM Ray Shero.

Gryba is a 30-year-old native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who spent the last three years in the Edmonton system following five with the Ottawa Senators organization. He was drafted with Ottawa’s third choice, 68th overall in 2006 and then traded to Edmonton on June 27, 2015.

Last season, he spent time between the Oilers and the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. At the NHL level, he played 21 games, netting two assists for two points and 31 penalty minutes according to the press release. In the AHL, he played in 24 games and had 27 PIMs.

If sent to Binghamton, the right-hand shooting former Boston University standout does have some history there. He was a 2013 AHL All-Star with the Binghamton Senators and also won the Calder Cup with that team in 2011. He also won a NCAA national title with the Terriers in 2009.

In 279 total NHL regular season games, Gryba has seven goals and 36 assists for 43 points toal and 358 penalty minutes. He is also a plus-16. Add to that 13 playoff games where he has 35 PIMs. At the AHL level, he has played in 207 games and has 14 goals and 25 assists to total 39 points plus 332 PIMs and a plus-15 plus/minus rating. All of this information comes from the Devils’ press release on the matter.

Beyond that, it was a lot of addition by subtraction for New Jersey. TSN reported that the Boston Bruins signed defenseman John Moore to a 5-year, $2.75 million deal. Also per TSN, forward Michael Grabner left for the Arizona Coyotes for a 3-year, $10.05 million contract.

The Devils still have Patrick Maroon as an unrestricted free agent, but he has been linked to his hometown St. Louis Blues. Although he does have New Jersey connections (his mother is from the state and he spent summers as a kid with family in East Rutherford of all places), he grew up in St. Louis and his son still lives in that area and goes to school there, so the Blues might be more of an attractive situation for him.

Other than that, the Devils have not made any other moves. Should that change, we will try to keep you updated here.