Defining A Grinder

What is a ‘grinder’? Commonly, a grinder is a player who demonstrates continuous hard work, ferocity, and intensity in their game. Sure, a grinder is not always the best skater on the ice, the most skilled, or a team points leader; but, a grinder always leaves everything they have on the ice night in and night out. A grinder is a player that everyone hates to play against, but loves to have on their team.

This is not to say that a grinder can’t be the best player on their team, in fact, many great NHLers are famous for the extensive grit. Whether it is allstar Sidney Crosby, powerhouse Wayne Simmonds, or leafs’ rookie Zach Hyman; all these players exemplify the definition of a grinder on the ice.

Leafs’ forward Zach Hyman battling Montreal Canadiens’ defencemen Alexei Emelin along the boards.

Often, teams compose a third line grind line, which is where our blog gets its name. This line is commonly pitted against other teams’ top lines and given the tough task to wear out opposing teams’ top players. Sure, grinders may not be the flashiest bunch, but never doubt that when it comes to putting the puck in the net, keeping it out, and the occasional fight, a grinder will not back down to the challenge.

Every Wednesday, we will be highlighting a grinder that has shown hard work, charisma, and guts on or off the ice. Stay tuned for next weeks Third Line Grinder. Want to make a suggestion? Just email us at



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