A LOT has happened to Shaun Grigg in eight years, on and off the football field.

On it, he's gone from fringe Carlton midfielder to Richmond premiership ball-winner (and part-time ruckman), since being traded to the Tigers at the end of 2010.

Off it, he's become a husband to Sarah and a father to Sonny (three years old) and Spencer (five months), in his most significant role yet.

His journey to flag hero started with a conversation with Damien Hardwick at the end of his last season at the Blues.

He'd found out midway through that year the Tigers were interested in him, and, after bouncing in and out of the Carlton side for four seasons, was keen to hear what they had to say.

Hardwick was coaching his first year and the team hadn't played well. It lost its first nine games, won six in total, and finished one rung off the bottom of the ladder.

But Hardwick didn't have to say much to convince the 2008 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee his future was at Punt Road.

"He just had a bit of an aura about him," Grigg said, of his first impression of the 207-game dual premiership player.

"I was a massive Essendon supporter growing up and I loved the way he played his footy.

"After his first year, although they didn't have the success they were after, it just really felt like the boys played for him and really loved being around him.

"The path he presented, he wasn't going to do a quick fix and rebuild, and he'd been a part of some successful clubs, Essendon and Port, and then coached at Hawthorn.

"I had faith in him that he knew what he was doing."

It was the start of a journey that saw Grigg become one of the most improved players in the League within two seasons.

By the end of his third year, he'd missed just one AFL game and had become an important cog in the Tigers' midfield with an ability to fill a run-with role when required.

His disposal - heavily critiqued early in his career - improved as his maturity grew, and he realised his best football came from not trying to be something he's wasn't.

"Flexibility in my game is one of my strengths. I can play a variety of positions," he said.

"I probably don't have an out-and-out strength like Dusty's big fend-off or a super long kick or anything like that.

"I just rely on my footy smarts and versatility, I suppose."

Playing in last year's premiership was unsurprisingly a momentous highlight on the way to this week's 200th game.

But it's his off-field world that he's most proud of, having gone from being a single Blue to family Tiger since 2010.

"I had just met Sarah around the time I've moved [clubs] so I've probably got a lot to thank her for," he said.

"I'm probably not the most patient person in the world but being a father has taught me a lot of that, and just to be grateful for the little things.

"It's just been a massive thing off-field and it's probably helped my footy."