Sharks hire NHL’s first African American GM

Sharks+hire+NHL%E2%80%99s+first+African+American+GM

Karlo Manglona

The San Jose Sharks made history, hiring the first African American general manager in NHL history. On July 5, 2022, Mike Grier was announced as the team’s new GM by team president, Jonathan Becher, and the assistant GM, Joe Will. 

The Sharks had been searching for a new GM since Doug Wilson announced he would be stepping away from the position after 19 seasons, due to health issues. 

It is safe to say that Grier comes from a family surrounded by sports. His father, Bobby Grier, worked with the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans for 36 years, as both a coach and an executive. Bobby is now an executive for the Miami Dolphins as a consultant to his other son, Chris Grier. 

When speaking about the lessons he learned growing up, Grier said, “I think the main thing my father instilled in us was his work ethic.” It was that work ethic that allowed Grier to have a successful career as an NHL player. Drafted in 1993, Grier played 14 seasons in the NHL, including 4 with the San Jose Sharks. 

After the Shark’s lengthy search for a GM, Mike Grier had no time to waste. Just two days after he was hired, Grier would be facing the NHL draft. In addition to the draft, he has to face free agency, as well as the missing spots in both the management and coaching staff. 

Grier was once again making major headlines. Two weeks before the Sharks’ visit to Prague for their season-opener, Grier said, “Either we all go, or no one goes.” He said this in response to the possibility of the Czech Republic refusing to issue visas to Russian NHL players. His message touched the hearts of not only the Russian players on the team, but of hockey fans and players all over the world.

Grier has a core value from his father. He described it saying, “His belief that you treat people the right way. If you want to have a winning franchise, it starts with how you treat people.” 

Sharks fans have high hopes for this upcoming season, especially after missing the playoffs for 3 straight years. They are hoping that Grier can find a way to turn around the franchise and bring home the Stanley Cup.