March 20, 2017 4:34 pm
Updated: March 21, 2017 2:09 pm

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba escapes hockey grind by shed hunting

WATCH ABOVE: As a way to escape the hockey grind, Edmonton Oilers defenceman has been spending time shed hunting.

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He’s an NHL hockey player that has dedicated his life to the sport. But for Eric Gryba, his first memories are hunting and fishing with his dad and it’s still a huge part of his life.

“Before dogs, I was the early retriever for ducks in the ponds, so I was going in to get them as a kid. It’s been a long heritage within our family and grandfathers and all that, so it is kind of ingrained in me,” the Oilers defenceman said after practice Monday.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oiler Eric Gryba bids adieu to his beard; raises $22K for charity

On his last couple of days off Gryba has been out looking for antler sheds. He spent about three hours out in the bush on Sunday, but came up empty handed. But on his previous trip, he picked up three sets of antlers.

He keeps them as momentos and jokes his dogs like to chew on them. For Gryba, getting out there – even in the grind of the season – is therapy.

“Place of tranquility, basically. You go and get away from the game, get away from the grind, the hustle and bustle of the city, and you kind of just let everything go,” he said. “It’s amazing what that can do to your anxiety and your overall well-being.”

Gryba is also the co-founder of a duck call company called Capital Waterfowling.

Watch below: The pressures of being a professional hockey player, or any high level athlete for that matter, can be taxing. Players need a release valve so to speak, something to take their minds off the day to day grind. And Edmonton Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba is no exception. Kevin Karius has the details.

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