Then and Now: Martin Grenier

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In the 1999 NHL Entry Draft there was a string of four straight defenseman taken in the second round with picks 42 to 45. Two of those turned into blue liners who have played at least 450 NHL games in Mike Commodore, who was taken 42nd overall by the New Jersey Devils, and Jordan Leopold, who was taken 44th overall by the Anaheim Ducks. The other two were Andrei Shefer, who was taken 43rd overall by the Los Angeles Kings and never took part in an NHL game, and Martin Grenier, who was taken 45th overall by the Colorado Avalanche and played in 18 total NHL games.

Grenier never took part in a game for the Avs, as he was part of the famous trade that landed Ray Bourque his first and only taste of the Stanley Cup. In March of 2000, the Boston Bruins shipped Bourque and Dave Andreychuk to Colorado in exchange for Grenier, Brian Rolston, Sami Pahlsson, and a first-round pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. The B’s took Martin Samuelsson with the pick, who played a total of 14 games for Boston.

The Canadian rearguard also never played a game for the Bruins, as he signed with the Phoenix Coyotes in the summer of 2001 after he spent the 2000-2001 campaign with the Quebec Remparts and Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL.

The 6’5″, 245-pound d-man took part in eight contests for the Phoenix Coyotes between the seasons of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 before being dealt to the Vancouver Canucks. In July of 2003, Phoenix traded Grenier to the Canucks in exchange for Bryan Helmer.

Grenier took part in seven contests for the Canucks during the 2003-2004 season, and scored his lone NHL goal in his career against Rick DiPietro on February 3rd, 2004, before being traded yet again.

On March 9th, 2004, the New York Rangers traded for a pair of now former Flyers, as they dealt Martin Rucinsky to the Canucks for R.J. Umberger and Grenier.

Grenier had two helpers in 12 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL after the trade in 2004. The blue liner also had seven points in 23 games for Hartford, as well as two assists in four games for the Charlotte Checkers when they were an ECHL club in 2004-2005. In his final seasons with the Rangers’ organization, he posted 12 points in 76 games for the Wolf Pack in 2005-2006.

In the summer of 2006, Grenier signed a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The defenseman spent most of the 2006-2007 season with the Philadelphia Phantoms, as he suited up for 57 games with the Flyers’ affiliate. He had two goals, a helper, and a minus-17 rating. The gigantic d-man also provided 156 PIMs, as he fought the likes of Dennis Bonvie, Cam Janssen, and Wade Brookbank.

In 2006-2007, Grenier also took part in his final NHL games, as he competed in three games for the Flyers. He saw action in the Flyers’ 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 4th, 2006, Philly’s 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 6th, 2006, and the Flyers’ 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on November 9th, 2006.

Grenier was minus-1 in 8:17 TOI in the loss to the Caps, minus-1 in 2:29 TOI in the loss to the Maple Leafs, and minus-1 to the 3:15 TOI in the loss to the Isles.

The defenseman stayed with the Flyers’ franchise for the 2007-2008 season, as he took part in 34 games with the Phantoms. He had a goal, two assists, a plus-1 rating, and 78 minutes spent in the sin bin during the regular season before he helped the Phantoms in the postseason.

In the 2008 AHL playoffs, the Phantoms beat the Albany River Rats in seven games before falling to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in five games. Grenier saw the ice for three of the games, as he posted an even plus/minus rating while failing to provide a single point.

Grenier left North America following the 2007-2008 season and joined Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 campaigns.

In 2008-2009, Grenier was teammates with Flyers’ picks Nikita Korovkin and Andrei Popov, as well as Oleg Kvasha. The d-man led the team with 211 minutes in the penalty box, as he posted two goals and six assists in 46 tilts to help Traktor Chelyabinsk advance to the postseason.

Ranked as the 12th seed in the 16-team field, Traktor Chelyabinsk took on the fifth-seeded Atlant Moscow Oblast in the opening round of the playoffs and were swept in the best-of-five series. Grenier registered two PIMs and a minus-1 rating while taking part in each game.

In 2009-2010, the former Flyer provided similar numbers to his first season with the club, as he produced eight points in 46 games again. He did decrease his PIMs down to 177 and posted a minus-6 rating. Unfortunately for Grenier and company again, Traktor Chelyabinsk lost in the first round of the playoffs again, as they were eliminated by Metallurg Magnitogorsk in a four-game best-of-five series in the opening round.

After taking the 2010-2011 campaign off, Grenier returned to playing in North America, as he became a member of Jonquiere Marquis of the LNAH. He was a member of the squad for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.

In 2011-2012, Grenier helped Jonquiere Marquis finish atop the seven-team league, as he produced 13 points in 44 games. He also recorded 222 PIMS during the regular season.

Unfortunately, Jonquiere Marquis was upset in the opening round of the playoffs, as the fourth-seeded Windsor Wild eliminated Grenier’s club in six games. The former Flyer failed to record a single point in the playoffs, but he did rack up 16 PIMs.

Although Grenier’s numbers dropped in 2012-2013, he was a member of a Jonquiere Marquis club that would go on to win the La Coupe Canam, the LNAH’s trophy for the playoff winners.

Grenier had just three goals in 36 regular season games, as his PIMs decreased to 154 and his plus/minus rating dropped to minus-1. In the 11 games it took for Joniquiere Marquis to win the title, Grenier had an assist and 50 PIMs.