Edmonton Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba is used to playing in front of massive crowds in some of the world’s biggest, fanciest rinks.
But, even still, the Saskatoon-born Gryba said there may be some goosebumps when he takes the ice Wednesday at SaskTel Centre for an NHL preseason game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Gryba said the Saskatoon arena still holds fond memories from his days playing minor hockey.
“It was always cool when you were a young kid and for whatever reason you play a tournmanet or you get a special opportunity to play a game on the big stage, so to speak.”
While the rink is special to him, Gryba said he’s especially looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the stands.
“There’s a lot of friends and family that aren’t always able to make it out (to Edmonton) during the regular season. So this is a great opportunity for them,” he said.
Gryba is expected to be joined in Wednesday’s lineup by Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.
McDavid helped carry the Oilers to the NHL Playoffs last season, and Gryba said opposing teams should prepare themselves to be tested even further by the 20-year-old phenom.
“I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of Connor McDavid. Every day and every year, he’s getting better,” Gryba said.
The complete roster for the games can be seen below: