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*Mike Grier was born on this date in 1975. He is a former Black professional ice hockey winger and current National Hockey League general manager.
Michael James Grier was born in Detroit, MI. Grier was raised in Holliston, Massachusetts, where he attended and played hockey at St. Sebastian's School. At age 9, he appeared in Sports Illustrated "Faces in The Crowd." In 1982-1983 he racked up 113 goals and 104 assists in 52 games."
Grier's father, Bobby, was the Associate Director of Pro Scouting for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). Before that, Bobby Grier was a running backs coach, director of pro scouting, and vice-president of player personnel for the New England Patriots of the NFL. Grier's brother Chris currently serves as the general manager for the Miami Dolphins, a position he has held since 2016. Another notable athlete in the family is Pro Bowl NFL defensive lineman Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier.
He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the ninth round (219th overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He spent his early playing days with Boston University. During his time at BU, Grier's NHL rights were dealt to the Edmonton Oilers. After leaving college, Grier immediately cracked the Oilers lineup as a checking-line right-winger, scoring 32 points. During his time in Edmonton, Grier was best known for provoking Chris Simon of the Washington Capitals in 1997. Grier allegedly made derogatory comments about Simon's Ojibwa heritage, and Simon allegedly responded with a racial slur directed at Grier and struck him in the head with his stick. Grier played six seasons with the Oilers organization, including two in which he scored twenty goals.
On October 2, 2002, Grier was traded to the Washington Capitals for a pair of draft choices. Washington traded Grier on March 4, 2004, to the Buffalo Sabres. He finished the season with Buffalo, scoring nine points. Grier set a personal record, scoring four game-winning goals for the Sabres, and contributing to their run to the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals. Grier was then signed to a free agent deal by the San Jose Sharks, where he recorded 16 goals, including three shorthanded, in his first season with San Jose. He scored nine and ten goals in his next two seasons with the Sharks.
On August 10, 2009, Grier returned to the Buffalo Sabres. Grier's biggest contribution to the Sharks and Sabres was his penalty-killing ability. San Jose ranked 14th, 1st, and 4th in penalty killing in the three years he played there. In the 2009–10 season, Buffalo was second in the NHL in penalty killing. He was in the top penalty-killing units of both teams. Grier played his 1,000th NHL game on November 3, 2010, against the Boston Bruins, becoming the 254th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
After not being re-signed by Buffalo for the 2011–12 season, Grier announced his retirement from the NHL on December 1, 2011. After retiring, Grier served as a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks and an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils before the New York Rangers hired him as hockey operations advisor on May 19, 2021. Grier also coached at Saint Sebastian's School, where he played high school hockey. He also coached his son's Boston Jr. Terriers 03 AAA team. On July 5, 2022, Grier became the general manager of the San Jose Sharks. This move made him the first Black general manager in NHL history.