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Fourth-liners that stuck for years

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Old
06-19-2013, 05:45 PM
  #1
turkulad
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Fourth-liners that stuck for years

I would love to hear some stories about fabled fourth-liners that managed to both thrive in the role, refrain from advancing up the ranks onto a third line or higher, and still be such a consistent and essential part of the team for years they stuck there and weren't substituted for fresh incomers. Are there any?

From the modern era, I might wanna use a guy like Shawn Thornton as one example, but are there guys that would've done something like double that time for a single team and got a good name for himself while doing so?

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06-20-2013, 12:13 AM
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Passchendaele
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I'm thinking, Kirk Maltby.

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06-20-2013, 02:24 AM
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King Forsberg
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Tie Domi.

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Old
06-20-2013, 08:26 AM
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JaymzB
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Craig Berube played over 1000 games in the NHL. had a career high of 18 points.

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06-20-2013, 08:33 AM
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RockemSockemProberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
I'm thinking, Kirk Maltby.
I was just going to say, Malts. Maybe Draper, but he played a bit of third line as well. Here's to the Grind Line!

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06-20-2013, 08:50 AM
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gifted88
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Maltby was first to come to mind for me as well.

I can think of lots of examples of 3rd liners but not really 4th liners. Would Bob Gainey count?

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06-20-2013, 09:33 AM
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brianscot
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How about Jay Pandolfo? Or did he play higher up in his early NJ years?

Those Stanley Cup winning Devil's always seemed to have effective 4th line types.

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Old
06-20-2013, 09:43 AM
  #8
ted1971
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Dave Brown

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Old
06-20-2013, 10:05 AM
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turkulad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97980208 View Post
I was just going to say, Malts. Maybe Draper, but he played a bit of third line as well. Here's to the Grind Line!
I was thinking about Draper myself too, but I saw his stats and thought that him being only a fourth liner with those kinds of stats would be a weird thing.

I'm really interested in this sort of a thing, because for me at least it seems like whenever there is a player that "starts" on the fourth line, any of these things should happen: either he elevates his play and becomes suitable for a different role and rises up the ranks; he keeps his level of play to a point where he gets replaced with someone younger, eager and lower in the development and moves on to another team, just because it's a natural rotation sort of a thing; he excels as an "elite" fourth liner in a way that his value rises too much for a team to retain him, so they have to move him elsewhere where people are willing to play more for him, justifiably for not. This is just a trail of thought I seem to have so I could wrong too.

Maltby sounds like a good example and so does Domi, and I'd be interested especially in hearing about some older players from previous eras that made a name for themselves somehow - maybe through a locker room character, or some other way? I dunno. People that were fixtures in the bottom line but never get mentioned anywhere.

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Old
06-20-2013, 10:17 AM
  #10
Cursed Lemon
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Came to post Maltby. lol

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06-20-2013, 10:17 AM
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I wanted to say Glen Sather but your requirement was that he has stuck with one team and Slats bounced around quite a bit.

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Old
06-20-2013, 11:50 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianscot View Post
How about Jay Pandolfo? Or did he play higher up in his early NJ years?

Those Stanley Cup winning Devil's always seemed to have effective 4th line types.
Pandolfo was a third liner for the majority of his time in NJ - starting sometime before the 2003 playoffs.

I don't think they had a regular 4th liner. All their long term 4th liners (Randy McKay, Jay Pandolfo) ended up spending significant time on the third lines later on.

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06-20-2013, 12:25 PM
  #13
begbeee
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PJ Axelsson maybe?

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Old
06-20-2013, 12:28 PM
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Mike Hudson stuck around for 416 NHL games, largely by virtue of being a Mike Keenan guy (he played for Keenan three times, I believe).

What line would Shjon Podein have played on?

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Old
06-20-2013, 01:06 PM
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tarheelhockey
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PJ Axelsson maybe?
He played quite a bit in the top-9 though.

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Old
06-20-2013, 01:08 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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My guess is that it would be a lot more common to find "career fourth liners" during the goon era of the 1970s and 1980s.

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06-20-2013, 01:13 PM
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tarheelhockey
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How about Rob Ray for the Sabres...

889 GP (his entire career save 11 games for the Sens)
40-50-90
3189 PIM
Best season: 8-8-16 and 350 PIM in 1991

In an average 82-game season he put up roughly 4 goals, 5 assists and 8 points, yet he still managed to play 14 seasons in Buffalo.

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Old
06-20-2013, 01:46 PM
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begbeee
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I tend to agree this gonna be a goon.
Craig Berube, Rob Ray & Jim McKenzie.

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Old
06-20-2013, 02:36 PM
  #19
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
I'm thinking, Kirk Maltby.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 97980208 View Post
I was just going to say, Malts. Maybe Draper, but he played a bit of third line as well. Here's to the Grind Line!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gifted88 View Post
Maltby was first to come to mind for me as well.

I can think of lots of examples of 3rd liners but not really 4th liners. Would Bob Gainey count?
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkulad View Post
I was thinking about Draper myself too, but I saw his stats and thought that him being only a fourth liner with those kinds of stats would be a weird thing.

I'm really interested in this sort of a thing, because for me at least it seems like whenever there is a player that "starts" on the fourth line, any of these things should happen: either he elevates his play and becomes suitable for a different role and rises up the ranks; he keeps his level of play to a point where he gets replaced with someone younger, eager and lower in the development and moves on to another team, just because it's a natural rotation sort of a thing; he excels as an "elite" fourth liner in a way that his value rises too much for a team to retain him, so they have to move him elsewhere where people are willing to play more for him, justifiably for not. This is just a trail of thought I seem to have so I could wrong too.

Maltby sounds like a good example and so does Domi, and I'd be interested especially in hearing about some older players from previous eras that made a name for themselves somehow - maybe through a locker room character, or some other way? I dunno. People that were fixtures in the bottom line but never get mentioned anywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Came to post Maltby. lol
i feel like maltby (and draper if we count him) are misleading because on any other team those guys would be third liners. they just happened to play almost their entire careers on a very deep detroit team with three scoring lines dotted with hall of famers ahead of them.

also raises the question of how we define fourth liner. i think there were years when draper may have literally played on the fourth line (behind yzerman, fedorov, and larionov) but actually had more icetime than larionov with his heavy PK load. maltby sometimes averaged more than 15 minutes/game too. can a guy really be a fourth liner if he is playing more than a quarter of the game? logically, somebody at his position must be getting less icetime than him.

and then later on during the datsyuk/zetterberg era, draper centered the third line and helm centered the fourth, right?


but one guy that immediately came to mind is tim hunter. played on the fourth line of a SC finalist eight years apart ('86 and '94) and won a cup on calgary's fourth line in '89. never really rose up the lineup, but in addition to being an enforcer also just made an 800 game career out of a steady, gritty, heavy-hitting, forechecking, crease-crashing, and defensively responsible guy you'd want on your fourth line, and a great locker room vet to boot.

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Old
06-20-2013, 03:52 PM
  #20
struckbyaparkedcar
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Adam Mair was a solid fourth liner between 2002 and 2008, and stayed in the league on reputation for three seasons after that.

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Old
06-20-2013, 04:28 PM
  #21
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PJ Axelsson maybe?
He actually played ont he 2nd line quite a bit, in a defensive role. I loved and raved about the guy.

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Old
06-20-2013, 06:22 PM
  #22
LeBlondeDemon10
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Gainey played mostly on the 2nd and 3rd lines throughout his career. At times, he played on the first line such as in the 1975 NY's eve game with Lafleur and Mahovlich. He likely played on the 4rth line early in his career but my memory doesn't go back that far.

Chris Nilan had a decent length of a career and I believe he mostly played on the 4rth line.

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Old
06-20-2013, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gifted88 View Post
Maltby was first to come to mind for me as well.

I can think of lots of examples of 3rd liners but not really 4th liners. Would Bob Gainey count?
Other than enforcers, most 4th liners that lasted a long time, were in most cases pretty much 3rd line types.

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Old
06-21-2013, 12:33 AM
  #24
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Originally Posted by brianscot View Post
How about Jay Pandolfo? Or did he play higher up in his early NJ years?

Those Stanley Cup winning Devil's always seemed to have effective 4th line types.
Pandolfo was playing 18 minutes/game at his peak. Pretty much 2nd line minutes.

Likewise, Draper and Maltby were playing 16+ minutes. Same with Axelsson.

Adam Mair was a good call of a recent non-goon to play 500+ games in an almost exclusively 4th line role. Craig Adams would be another one.

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Old
06-21-2013, 02:18 PM
  #25
ted1971
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Mike Hudson stuck around for 416 NHL games, largely by virtue of being a Mike Keenan guy (he played for Keenan three times, I believe).

What line would Shjon Podein have played on?
In Philly Podein was a 3rd liner.

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