Sharks hire Mike Grier as 1st Black GM in NHL history

Posted: 06/07/2022 in NHL
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The San Jose Sharks hired Mike Grier as general manager on Tuesday, making him the first Black GM in NHL history.

Grier had a 14-year career as a player, including a three-year stint with the Sharks. After retiring, Grier worked as a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks, an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, and most recently, a hockey operations adviser with the New York Rangers.

He replaces interim general manager Joe Will, who took over for 19-year veteran Doug Wilson. Wilson temporarily stepped down for medical reasons before leaving his post for good.

Grier spoke on the significance of his accomplishment at his introductory press conference.

“It’s something I’m extremely proud of,” Grier said. “Since my playing days, the league itself has gotten more and more diverse. There’s more Black players in the league and minorities in the league. There’s more women and minorities in front office, and scouting, and coaching positions.

“From my standpoint, that’s something I’m happy to see and excited to see. For me, my job is to do the best job I can for the San Jose Sharks organization, and if I do that, hopefully, it opens the door to give other opportunities to other minorities.”

The Sharks have missed the playoffs three seasons in a row and recently fired head coach Bob Boughner with the draft and free agency around the corner. Before its current drought, San Jose had only missed the postseason twice since 1997.

While Grier knows plenty of work lies ahead to bring the Sharks back to contention in the Western Conference, he doesn’t anticipate a full-scale rebuild.

“We’re not looking to tear this down like Arizona or some teams have done in the past,” he said. “Yes, there’s some challenges with the salary cap, but I think the majority of the league is dealing with the flat cap, and they have their issues. For us, we’re not looking to rebuild.”

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