04/04/2013 10:44 AM
By Cassie Burgess
Transition isn’t always easy a thing. For athletes, transition is dealt with on a day-to-day basis from when they play, who they play, and where they play. One of the biggest adjustments the Binghamton Senators have to face is when they finally get the call to join their parent club up in Ottawa. Although the change is always a positive one that the B-Sens look forward to, it also has its challenges.
“The media is a huge thing. There are so many people watching you in Canada,” Erik Condra stated. “Canada loves their hockey. It is in the newspaper every day. That is definitely one of the hardest things to adjust to coming up here.”
In addition to the balancing all of the media, professional hockey players are also required to conform to the NHL schedule, something that Kaspars Daugavins is still getting used to.
“The biggest adjustment is the travel here,” Daugavins said. “You don’t just play on the weekends you pretty much play every day. You definitely have to learn how to take care of your body.”
Travel likely has become even more of an adjustment for Daugavins. The forward was placed on waivers on March 26 and was picked up by the Boston Bruins. He'll now have to adjust to new teammates in a new city.
Yet, sometimes the more trying adjustments aren’t always so obvious. In Mika Zibanejad’s case, the transition from the AHL to the NHL was not the difficult part.
“It was not such a big thing to do to come here [to Ottawa] from Binghamton as it was to go to North America,” Zibanejad confessed. “Obviously Binghamton’s a little bit smaller than Ottawa but it’s not that big of a difference. Like I said the biggest adjustment was moving to North America.”
Like Zibanejad, Eric Gryba was one of over a dozen players recalled to play in Ottawa this year. Since, Gryba has played 22 games with the Sens tallying three assists and his first National Hockey League goal. When asked how it felt for him to finally get that initial NHL goal, he gave a very modest answer.
“I mean it’s always nice to score, but it’s not my job to score them, it’s to stop them,” Gryba stated. “Bu you know it’s nice to get rewarded every once in a while.”
Having spent the last four seasons with the B-Sens, Gryba had grown accustomed to hockey in Binghamton. Though getting the call-up on February 14, for him, was just another step in his hockey career.
“It’s been a great experience,” Gryba smiled. “It’s been a lot of fun but there has also been a lot of learning. It’s all fun and games but you got your ups and downs no matter where you are.”