Mike Grier is one of those wingers who isn’t the most dynamic player, doesn’t score a lot of goals, and isn’t a “one-man” show, however his play is defined by his experience, his grit, and his smooth playing skills on the ice.
The 36 year old veteran winger is coming off his 14th season scattered around the NHL. Recently with Buffalo, he’s also played with Washington, Edmonton, and a place where Predators fans remember him very well: San Jose.
From all reports, Grier won’t be returning to Buffalo either, where he has spent his last two seasons. From Sabres blog, Die By The Blade,
“He’d be particular about where he goes at this stage of his career,’’ noted Fee, his client training with strength and conditioning aficionado Mike Boyle, Grier’s pal from BU. “It’s not just about playing, but being a good fit.’’
It sounds as if Grier knows the Sabres have little or no interest in bringing him back for another season, and is looking for anyone willing to take on an aging winger who could be a great locker room presence for a younger team looking to add some experience and grit.
The Sabres have lost some leadership and experience from the locker room with the departure of Grier.”
Predators fans may not agree with dumping one aging veteran to bring in another, however Grier would almost be a perfect fit in the Nashville system. Grier finds ways to get himself in front of opposing goaltenders, plays a intense physical style of hockey, can do a mean muscle-flex after scoring a goal,
and he’s not afraid to throw himself through the glass in an attempt to lay a clean check:
Grier, for being a serviceable third or fourth line winger, is an inexpensive option as well. His last two contracts were for $1.2 million in 2009-2010 and $1.4 million in 2010-2011. A very small price to pay for a physical veteran willing to play where he is needed and lend his experience to younger players around the league. Plus, word is he’s a great locker room guy.
If the Predators can get an inexpensive chippy veteran player, who can contribute to Nashville’s “scoring by committee” approach, and essentially replace Belak’s locker room presence, how is it not a winning scenario?