JNFFT: Chris Thorburn vs Mark Stuart vs Matt Hendricks

Surprise, it’s a triple threat match!

Grinders always hold a special place in the hearts of some Jets fans, so it’s only fair to include three guys who weren’t exactly known for really anything else other than grit and grind hockey with the odd occasional goal to stun the hell out of everyone watching.


Mark Stuart will probably be best known for two things in his NHL career. For starters he was “the other guy” that came with Blake Wheeler when the Boston Bruins shipped him and Stuart to Atlanta in exchange Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik which will rank up there on the list of bonehead trades Peter Chiarelli has made. The other thing Stuart will be remembered for was his ability to throw bone crunching hits… even if it meant putting himself a bit out of position to do so.

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The underlying numbers on Stuart were always ugly, but it was his ability to hit and willingness to block shots that helped him to a 12 year NHL career where his biggest offensive season was when he had five goals and 17 points with the Bruins in 2008-09. Three of six seasons Stuart was in Winnipeg, he managed to hit double digits in points.

Thorburn has managed to have a nice 13 year career in the NHL, coming to the Thrashers in a trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins and then making the move north with the team to Winnipeg. Chris almost instantly became a fan favorite as part of the GST line along with Tanner Glass and Jim Slater which may have gained their fandom as much from the ability to make a catchy acronym as anything they did on the ice.

Again, like Stuart, Thorburn’s underlying possession numbers never looked good and his offensive totals were kind of offensive – his best season as a Jet came in the 2014-15 season with seven goals and 14 points. Thorburn was a gritty guy who rarely turned down a fight or didn’t stick up for teammates when needed. In fact in his last season with the Jets, Thorburn was among the league leaders in fights with 15.

Matt Hendricks had one season with the Jets – the tenth of his career – where he scored five goals and had 13 points this past year. He showed a surprising chemistry with Mathieu Perreault when Paul Maurice somehow thought Perreault would be ideally played on the fourth line and suddenly the forward went from “good riddance from Edmonton” to “maybe this guy was kind of important in Edmonton.” There was little doubt that teammates loved having him on the club, him and Dustin Byfuglien found a kinship in being outdoorsmen with a knack for catching the big one which may have been a bigger highlight for Hendricks than anything else he did on the ice.

Great Moments In Stuart History

Great Moments In Thorburn History

Great Moments In Hendricks History


It’s the Fan Favorite match you never knew you wanted until we presented it, right?

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