Mike Grier, who spent part of four seasons with the Sabres and was a key member of the 2006 Eastern Conference finalists, has been named an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils.
Grier has spent the past four seasons as a pro scout with the Chicago Blackhawks and also has helped coach at his high school alma mater in the Boston area.
"We are looking forward to having Mike join our organization," Devils coach John Hynes said in a statement. "Having played 14 years and over 1,000 NHL games as a forward, Mike will lean on his experience in leadership roles to work with our players. He was a highly-respected teammate and had the ability to relate to all players with his personality, demeanor and experience."
Grier played 1,060 NHL games on the wing, spending full-time roles with the Sabres in the 2005-06 season, as well as the 2009-10 and 2010-11 campaigns. Buffalo made the playoffs in all three seasons but what turned out to be Grier's final game in the NHL did not end well.
In Game 7 of the Sabres' first-round series in 2011, Braydon Coburn's shot deflected off Grier's glove and past Ryan Miller to open the scoring in the final minute of the first period. The Flyers went on to win the game, 5-2, and the Sabres have not been back to the playoffs since. Grier retired the following December when he was not re-signed for the 2011-12 season.
Although Grier's highs with the Sabres in goals (10) and points (22) were modest, his contribution in the dressing room was routinely lauded by former coach Lindy Ruff and former GM Darcy Regier.
Acquired from Washington in 2004, Grier was not re-signed by the Sabres in 2006 and spent three years in San Jose after signing as a free agent with the Sharks. He returned to Buffalo in 2009. In all, he played 241 games for the Sabres with 23 goals and 47 assists. For his NHL career, he had 162 goals and 383 points.
In addition to Ruff, Grier spent extensive time playing for longtime coaches Jack Parker at Boston University and Jeff Jackson of USA Hockey. Grier appeared in several world junior and under-20 teams under Jackson. Grier served USA Hockey as a coach of the 2014 All-American Prospects Game when it was played at KeyBank Center.
Grier's father, Bobby, was the associate director of pro personnel for the Houston Texans and has worked in several roles for the New England Patriots. His brother, Chris, is currently the GM of the Miami Dolphins.