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Grier, Sharks Make History with First Black GM in NHL History

Photo by Curtis Pashelka

Grier, Sharks Make History with First Black GM in NHL History

The San Jose Sharks have made NHL history. On Tuesday, the team announced that it had hired former player Mike Grier to be its next general manager.

No, that is nothing new – many players have turned into GMs over the years, but the historic part stems from Grier’s race.

He is officially the league’s very first Black GM to serve in its history.

Incredible, right?

“It means a lot to me,” Grier said at the team’s media conference. “It’s not something I take lightly. I realize there’s a responsibility that comes with the territory. But I’m up for it. How I carry myself and how this organization carries himself, I think we’ll do well, and hopefully we’ll leave a footprint and open some doors for people to follow.”

This news came following a three-month endeavour to fulfill the GM title after long-time advisor and player Doug Wilson walked away from his role with the Sharks.

Grier, who had been a player in the NHL from 1996-2011, had recently served in scouting, coaching and executive roles with a number of different clubs.

“While we were intrigued and appreciative of many candidates, especially those that ended up being the finalists, Mike separated himself from the pack by his continued commitment to culture,” said Sharks president Jonathan Becher. “Culture, not just on the ice, but off the ice as well. Mike is a true testament to one of our organization’s principles, and that is say what you mean, and then do what you say.”

Grier had 81 goals and 183 points through 448 games split between the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and the Sharks.

His father, Bobby, spent time with both the NFL’s Houston Texans and New England Patriots, while his brother Chris is currently the general manager of the Miami Dolphins. He sent out a nice message via the team’s social media page after the Sharks’ announcement:

Grier most recently served as a hockey operations adviser with New York. He played for the Sharks from 2006-09.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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