San Jose Sharks report by Mary Walsh: Sharks Hire Mike Grier as GM

San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier addresses the news media at SAP Center in San Jose on Tue, Jul 5, 2022 (photo from

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks announced on Tuesday that they have hired Mike Grier as the team’s fifth General Manager. Grier has the distinction of being the first African American to serve as a general manager in the NHL. Last season, he was a hockey operations advisor for the New York Rangers. His playing career spanned 1,060 games with the Oilers, the Capitals, the Sabres and the Sharks. He was an assistant coach at  St. Sebastian’s Prep School in Massachusetts, a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks, an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, and a member of USA Hockey’s selection committee.

Grier has a lot to do before the start of the season. In two days, the Sharks will be at the NHL Draft. The Sharks also need a new coaching staff. The Sharks have missed the playoffs for three seasons in a row. Asked what his priorities were for improving the team, Grier said:

“I think we can improve in every facet, to be honest with you. There are some pieces on the roster that we like, that we would like to build around. But I think, overall, there’s not one spot in particular that I think needs work. The draft is No. 1, then we’ve got free agency coming up. We’ll have to dig into that, and Joe and I have already started on that a bit. Then development camp and a coach.”

While Grier did not have specific details to present on the draft or the coaching search, he did talk in detail about his goals for the team culture:

“To me it’s about people… Surrounding yourself with the right people, people who are passionate about their job, who love their job and are selfless, team-first people. That’s what culture means to me and as a general manager it’s for me to find those types of players on the ice and also surround myself with those type of hockey people in our hockey operations department.”

Sharks owner, Hasso Plattner, said in a press release: “Mike’s successful career on the ice speaks for itself, but what impressed me the most were his leadership qualities and his overwhelming desire to win. Mike is aware of the high standards of success that are expected in San Jose and is committed to help us quickly return to that level.”

Grier comes from a family of professional sports executives. His father, Bobby, worked in scouting, player personnel and as an advisor to the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans of the NFL. Grier’s brother, Chris, is the general manager of the Miami Dolphins. Grier described how his father prepared them for their future in the sports business:

“I think the main thing my father instilled in us was his work ethic. The time he put in, he’d often be off to work before we left for school. Sometimes he wouldn’t get home until after dinner or when we were ready to get in bed. So, just the time and effort it took, and his belief that you treat people the right way. If you want to have a winning franchise, it starts with how you treat people. His ability to never leave a stone unturned. Like he would stay up to all hours or go scout wherever it took, whatever he had to do to get the job done.”

Mary Lisa is a San Jose Sharks beat writer for

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