Reliable checking centreman Mike Grier was more of an icebreaker than most people realize. Though far from the first player of black African descent in the NHL, he did have his own distinction. Grier was the first American born and trained black player in league history. He developed close to home (for me, at least, as well as many of my readers) on Comm Ave, as a BU Terrier. There had been U.S. born African players before, but Grier was the first to develop in his home country. Somethimg that should set a standard in my opinion.