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

7:38 AM ET
  • ESPN

Mike Grier has been named general manager of the San Jose Sharks, becoming the first Black man in NHL history to hold the position.

The Sharks officially announced the hire Tuesday.

 

Grier, 47, played 14 seasons in the NHL for four different teams, including the Sharks, before retiring in 2011. He spent this past season as the New York Rangers' hockey operations adviser and also worked as a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks from 2014 to 2018.

Grier is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier, who has held that role since 2016.

 

Grier will replace Sharks interim GM Joe Will, who took over in November when longtime GM Doug Wilson left the team because of medical reasons. Wilson officially stepped down in April after 19 seasons with the club.

The Sharks hired Grier four days after firing head coach Bob Boughner and his staff. The firing came late in the NHL offseason for a coaching change, as eight other head-coaching vacancies already have been filled, but Will said in a statement that the new GM should "have full autonomy" to hire the next coach.

Once a dominant force in the Western Conference, the Sharks have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, the longest drought in franchise history.

 
 

San Jose has a veteran corps of players with various levels of trade protection in their contracts. San Jose is paying defensemen Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- all over the age of 32 -- a combined $26.5 million against the salary cap through 2025.

 
Edited by Brewin Flames
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San Jose Sharks Hire Mike Grier

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After news broke yesterday that the San Jose Sharks would be hiring Mike Grier as their next general manager, the official news came today from the club. Grier himself announced the historic hire in a short video for fans:

Really excited to get to work and be back in the Bay area. I know there have been lots of ups and downs but I’m ready to work hard, get at it, and get this thing back on the tracks. We’re going to start winning some games in the Shark Tank and get it going again. See you soon.

Grier, who played three seasons for the Sharks during his long playing career, is the first Black general manager in NHL history. He isn’t the first Grier to hold a sports executive position like this though. His brother, Chris Grier, is currently the general manager of the Miami Dolphins, while his father Bobby Grier worked for years with the New England Patriots in various roles.

 

Over a career that spanned 1,060 regular season games, Grier registered 162 goals and 383 points, while receiving Selke Trophy votes on five different occasions. The two-way winger retired in 2011 and a few years later was working for the Chicago Blackhawks as a scout, while also coaching at the high school level. In 2018 he was named an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils, and last season he served as a hockey operations coordinator for the New York Rangers.

 

Though his front office resume isn’t that long, Grier’s name has been floated in searches for the last few years as his profile as a future general manager grew. Chris Drury, who brought Grier into the Rangers, gave a strong endorsement to Sharks’ president Jonathan Becher during the search, according to Corey Masisak of The Athletic. He’ll now take over a franchise that has had just one full-time GM in nearly two decades. Doug Wilson, who led the team for the past 19 seasons, stepped away to focus on his health, leaving Joe Will there on an interim basis.

 

Some would also say he’s coming into quite a mess, given the Sharks’ lack of recent success and huge, long-term contracts on the books. Five players carry at least a $7MM cap hit for the club and only one of them (the recently-extended Tomas Hertl) is under the age of 32. Timo Meier is heading into the final year of his current deal and will need a $10MM qualifying offer to be retained as an RFA next summer, and the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2019.

 

There are other changes to the front office coming, according to Becher, and one would expect many to the roster and coaching staff as well. Just a few days ago the team fired head coach Bob Boughner, giving Grier “full autonomy” to make the staff. David Quinn, who has a connection to Grier through their shared alma mater of Boston University, has been floated in the early stages as a potential candidate.

 

The roster though will be more difficult to rearrange. Eight different players hold some sort of trade protection in their contracts, including basically all of the expensive ones. The organization is also dealing with the uncertainty surrounding Evander Kane’s grievance, which is still not scheduled for another hearing and could take quite a bit of time to resolve.

 

Grier will have his work cut out for him as he moves into this new position, starting with the team’s first-round pick later this week. The Sharks are scheduled to select 11th overall

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Congrats Mike Grier!
Alright now!

Let's see what he can do with this disjointed and aging San Jose roster!
With Bob Boughner and his staff all gone, Grier can now install a new coaching core of his choosing.... good a place as any to try to jump start the San Jose Sharks.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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First black GM.... Congrats to Grier.

 

Why no black head coaches? Dirk Graham broke the glass ceiling nearly a quarter of a century ago are you telling me that no qualified candidate has come along who is black? NHL head coaches- the last Bastion of the white boys club....

 

And out on a limb, why no women bench coaches? None as head coach, none running special teams, none at all on the benches. I know there are a few teams patting themselves on the back for hiring women as the video review coach, but seriously, why none on the bench?

 

 (sound of me climbing off the soapbox, cursing loudly as I stub my toe on it while pushing it back in the closet).

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18 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

First black GM.... Congrats to Grier.

 

Why no black head coaches? Dirk Graham broke the glass ceiling nearly a quarter of a century ago are you telling me that no qualified candidate has come along who is black? NHL head coaches- the last Bastion of the white boys club....

 

And out on a limb, why no women bench coaches? None as head coach, none running special teams, none at all on the benches. I know there are a few teams patting themselves on the back for hiring women as the video review coach, but seriously, why none on the bench?

 

 (sound of me climbing off the soapbox, cursing loudly as I stub my toe on it while pushing it back in the closet).

 

For a bit, I was screaming about women being allowed to be refs and linesmen.... but then, after seeing what large, sizeable refs have to deal with when altercations occur (and THEY get beat around sometimes too), I backed off from that and realized, equal rights aside, most women aren't suited for that.
The physics simply don't work. :bigteeth: 

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20 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

First black GM.... Congrats to Grier.

 

Why no black head coaches? Dirk Graham broke the glass ceiling nearly a quarter of a century ago are you telling me that no qualified candidate has come along who is black? NHL head coaches- the last Bastion of the white boys club....

 

And out on a limb, why no women bench coaches? None as head coach, none running special teams, none at all on the benches. I know there are a few teams patting themselves on the back for hiring women as the video review coach, but seriously, why none on the bench?

 

 (sound of me climbing off the soapbox, cursing loudly as I stub my toe on it while pushing it back in the closet).

 

All joking and messing around aside, I would love it when we get to the day when we are well passed the "first INSERT RACE" coach/gm/ower" or "first INSERT GENDER" in the same.
If the person can do the job, whether they sit or stand to use the restroom, or what country their family tree takes them back to shouldn't matter.

Rooting for Mike Grier, NOT because he is a black man in the GM seat, but rather, because he has a chance to put yet another competitive NHL team back on the ice, and THAT is always good for the league.

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2 hours ago, yave1964 said:

Why no black head coaches? Dirk Graham broke the glass ceiling nearly a quarter of a century ago are you telling me that no qualified candidate has come along who is black? NHL head coaches- the last Bastion of the white boys club....

 

My gut says Maxime Fortunus is on the starting blocks...

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Something something town grier. 

 

Anyways, it'll be interesting to see if he starts with some major moves or sets up some picks in future years. Either way some sort of renewal is very needed

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
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  • 1 year later...

Interested to see how he does turning this franchise around all I gotta say is good luck yer gonna need it hahaha this is like Mission Impossible the Sharks literally have the worst roster on paper I've ever seen in real life or in video games...

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/24/2024 at 6:59 AM, thegx.ca said:

Interested to see how he does turning this franchise around all I gotta say is good luck yer gonna need it hahaha this is like Mission Impossible the Sharks literally have the worst roster on paper I've ever seen in real life or in video games...

I'm bumping this for the props to Grier.

 

In 2 years he has refilled the cupboards with cornerstone franchise level superstar pieces and gotten rid of some albatross contracts. If you told me 2 years ago he would move Karlsson with minimal retention and get a 1st out of it, I would have called it crazy talk.

 

Macklin Celebrini, Will Smith is a hell of a 2 C one/two punch

 

William Eklund, Igor Chernyshov, Quentin Musty, Kasper Haltunen. Combination of skill and power forwards of high floors and high ceilings 

 

More two way C Depth with Bordeleau and Bystedt.

 

Sam Dickenson, Leo Wallenius, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Luca Cagnoni, Henry Thrun....lots of high end D , although short on RHD

 

And the plan is to suck another year with a nice deep draft upcoming which we have 2 more 1st rounders in.

 

Rebuilding is a multi year affair and I'm happy as a clam with what I see.

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On 6/29/2024 at 1:44 PM, J0e Th0rnton said:

I'm bumping this for the props to Grier.

 

In 2 years he has refilled the cupboards with cornerstone franchise level superstar pieces and gotten rid of some albatross contracts. If you told me 2 years ago he would move Karlsson with minimal retention and get a 1st out of it, I would have called it crazy talk.

 

Macklin Celebrini, Will Smith is a hell of a 2 C one/two punch

 

William Eklund, Igor Chernyshov, Quentin Musty, Kasper Haltunen. Combination of skill and power forwards of high floors and high ceilings 

 

More two way C Depth with Bordeleau and Bystedt.

 

Sam Dickenson, Leo Wallenius, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Luca Cagnoni, Henry Thrun....lots of high end D , although short on RHD

 

And the plan is to suck another year with a nice deep draft upcoming which we have 2 more 1st rounders in.

 

Rebuilding is a multi year affair and I'm happy as a clam with what I see.

And now he's signed Toffoli to play with Celabrini so that's not too shabby haha not too shabby at all...they'll get outta the basement this year I think...

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Unfortunately, Grier was on that 2002-2003 Capitals team that ignominiously lost 4 straight to Lecavalier/StLouis et al  after winning the first two in Tampa Bay.  (Losing G3/4/6 at home, ouch!)

 

Which directly led to the end of the Bondra Era and rebuild and no playoffs until 2007-08.  One of the bigger playoff failures of many in club history.

 

But hey…learning experience.  Maybe makes him a better coach if he figured out what went wrong back then.  I wish him good fortune in SJ.

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Not a Sharks fan but, helluva job by Grier, that roster, in my mind is borderline playoffs team.

With the additions they added.

 

And i think, what an amazing luck of the draw for Celebrini.

zero pressure for playing too big role from the get go, he'll either start 2nd line or 3rd line

also gets to play with quality NHL players.

 

Completely different scenario what lets say Bedard had with his rookie season.

He was forced to 1C and he played with AHL level team.

 

Granlund had his best season of his career last season and he is only 32

Couture is a new-old player coming back after missing a season

that will be huge for you guys to have back

Both Eklund and Zetterberg had their breakout seasons

The new signings; Toffoli, Wennberg, Wallman, Vanacek, Dellandrea, Goodrow, Grunström

To have both Celebrini and Smith play their rookie seasons together, helluva thing

The D looks.. well, but.. it gives your young stars to enter the playing line up and perform from the get go

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On 7/9/2024 at 8:04 PM, SaucyJack said:

Unfortunately, Grier was on that 2002-2003 Capitals team that ignominiously lost 4 straight to Lecavalier/StLouis et al  after winning the first two in Tampa Bay.  (Losing G3/4/6 at home, ouch!)

 

Which directly led to the end of the Bondra Era and rebuild and no playoffs until 2007-08.  One of the bigger playoff failures of many in club history.

 

But hey…learning experience.  Maybe makes him a better coach if he figured out what went wrong back then.  I wish him good fortune in SJ.

He was a 3rd/ 4th line energy guy his entire career and he's not a coach. He's a GM lol

 

The Bondra/Jagr/Kolzig/Gonchar era failure isn't his weight to carry.

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1 hour ago, J0e Th0rnton said:

he's not a coach. He's a GM lol

Oops!  Touché my bad!

 

(All Caps regulars bear varying degrees of burden for the ‘03 debacle.)

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21 hours ago, SaucyJack said:

Oops!  Touché my bad!

 

(All Caps regulars bear varying degrees of burden for the ‘03 debacle.)

Meh. You don't typically rely on the 4th line energy guys to win other than being a pain to play against.

 

When you RW depth chart is Jagr, Bondra,on top 2 lines and Grier on the 3rd/4th line, and he scored a goal and assist in 6 playoff games and was even on +/-, I'm not looking at him

 

 

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3 hours ago, J0e Th0rnton said:

and he scored a goal and assist in 6 playoff games and was even on +/-, I'm not looking at him


I know, I remember.  Assist game 1, garbage EN goal up by two in game 2.  Pointless thereafter in the 4-game sweep.  Not enough step-up in that year’s squad.

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