So, just having a conversation about what different players can add to (or detract from) a team, and now my curiosity is piqued:
What do you think is the most important thing a fourth-line player can contribute?
As an addendum, who do you think is (are) the best at doing the most with the least?
Every fan is going to be biased to the players on their favourite team, naturally enough. But that could be the result of simply not hearing of the "other" players on other teams, rather than having the best players ourselves. So, credit where it's due!
Try to keep it reasonable: if the player you like has top six ice time on their team, he's not really a fourth-liner. Likewise someone averaging out 3-4 minutes over the season: that's a goon, not a player. If you insist that Riley Cote can skate, or that Scottie Upshall plays like a fourth-liner, then go ahead. Just be prepared to defend your choice.
A good fourth-liner should bring, first and foremost:
Hitting. When you play seven minutes, your job should be to wear the opponents down! (48 votes)
Annoyance. Drive 'em to distraction, get them off their game. (13 votes)
Checking. The goal is none against. Period. (53 votes)
Control. Eating the clock while the stars rest for the next shift. (28 votes)
Intimidation. Hit our star, will they? Time for an answer... (9 votes)
Scoring. Points from every line makes our boys impossible to shut down. (12 votes)
163 total votes