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NHL history has been made as for the first time ever there will be a Black GM in the league. During a scheduled news conference, the San Jose Sharks announced that Mike Grier will become the organization’s new general manager.
Grier is a former NHL athlete who played for the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabers, and Edmonton Oilers. Grier played 14 seasons in the NHL before retiring in 2011. The 94-95 All-Hockey East All Star was responsible for 383 total points over his career.
This will not be the first time Grier has become the first Black person to do something in the league. Grier was also the first Black player in the history of the NHL to exclusively train in his home country.
Moreover, the Sharks are not the first team to have Grier work in their offices. Grier 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.
Despite being the first Black GM in NHL history, Grier is not the only member of his family in a front office position. Mike’s younger brother Chris Grier is the GM for the Miami Dolphins. Their father, Bobby Grier, is also a former NFL and College coach, VP of player personnel, and senior personnel advisor.
Making history, Mike Grier takes the reigns in the NHL
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. Grier will need to find a new coaching staff as the team informed Head coach Bob Boughner and his staff that they would be relieved of their duties prior to the holiday weekend.
Continuing the long tradition of hiring Black people to clean up a mess, Grier will work to end the team’s current struggles in past seasons. The Sharks’ current three-year playoff drought is the longest in the franchise’s history.
The roster also has money troubles with just $5.6 million of available cap space (max of $81.5 Million). San Jose is paying defensemen Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (all over the age of 32) a combined $26.5 million through 2025.