The Ottawa Senators knocked a few to-do items off their list today, re-signing restricted free agents Jim O'Brien and Eric Gryba to two-year deals. O'Brien's is a one-way deal with a cap hit of $637.5k per year, while Gryba's is a two-way deal.
First, to O'Brien: The signing basically solidifies JOB's place as the team's fourth-line centre--which all but ends Jesse Winchester's time in Ottawa, unfortunately. O'Brien's made some massive strides in proving himself as a pro over the last few seasons, and his beautiful playoff overtime drop-pass assist is the most memorable. He'll also likely serve as a key penalty killer in Ottawa.
With the Sens' defence all but filled out, Gryba's more than likely headed to Binghamton to play his
second third full pro season. That Binghamton blue line is looking better and better: Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch, Andre Benoit, Tyler Eckford, Fredrik Claesson, Chris Wideman, Ben Blood and now Gryba. One of those guys (likely Borowiecki) will start the season in Ottawa, but at least one or two will find themselves the odd man out and heading to the ECHL's Elmira Jackals instead. There's a lot of competition on the back-end this season.
As an aside, let me be the first to thank the Senators for publishing contract value information on Twitter instead of copping out with typical "per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed" nonsense. In a cap-based league, fans are nearly as interested in the dollars associated with the signing as they are in the players, and those numbers are revealed eventually. Might as well get it done right away.