Former Sabre Mike Grier Retires

Mike Grier announced his retirement today in a statement from the NHLPA after a 14-year career that included two seperate stints with the Sabres, as well as time with Washington, Edmonton, and San Jose. Here is Grier's statement:

"I was very fortunate to be able to play 14 seasons in the NHL with some great players," Grier said in a statement released by the NHL Players' Association. "The memories and friendships that I have built during my time in the league will last a lifetime. I would like to thank my former teammates, family and fans for helping make my career so memorable for me. It was a great ride, and I am now excited and looking forward to my post-playing future."

Grier quickly endeared himself to Buffalo fans with his grit on the ice and leadership in the locker room. Never a monster goal scorer (his season high is 20 goals, which he reached twice) Grier was the kind of hard-working defensively responsible forward that Lindy Ruff loves. Said the coach (via WGR):

"Mike was one of the ultimate competitors. A big man that played the game hard, was great in the lockerroom, was well respected by his teammates and I think that if there's anybody you'd like to be like as a young guy walking into the lockerroom, you'd want to follow in Mike's footsteps."

After beginning the offeason by saying he would only return to hockey to play for Buffalo, Grier later opened up his options but still couldn't attract any suitors. He lives in Boston, and will await the day when he inevitably becomes a great coach.