Mike Grier (center) as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils in 2018. Nov 9, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils assistant coaches Rick Kowalsky and Mike Grier look on from behind the bench as center Travis Zajac (19) and left wing Taylor Hall (9) and left wing Marcus Johansson (90) watch the action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. The Maple Leafs beat the Devils 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks have announced their new general manager. That would be Mike Grier, who played in the NHL from 1996 to 2011, including with the Sharks from 2006 through 2009. After hanging up his skates, Grier spent quite a while as a NHL scout and assistant coach with several teams, then was named the New York Rangers‘ hockey operations advisor last May. Now, after reports from ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, The Athletic, and more, the 47-year-old Grier was officially announced as the Sharks’ new GM Tuesday:

The move makes Grier the first Black general manager in NHL history, with that move coming long after that happened in other leagues:

Detroit native Grier played 1,060 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, the Sharks, and the St. Louis Blues. He then worked as a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2014-18, then as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils from 2018-20 (he’s seen at center on their bench above in 2018), and then in that hockey operations advisor role with the Rangers.

Grier is also just the latest member of his family to become a sports executive. His brother Chris has been the GM of the Miami Dolphins since 2016. His father Bobby spent decades in the NFL ranks as a coach, scout, and executive, and is currently a Dolphins’ consultant.

There will be a lot of work ahead for Grier in San Jose. The Sharks went 32–37–13 last season and missed the playoffs. General manager Doug Wilson, who had held that role since 2003 and led the Sharks to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016, took medical leave beginning last November, then fully resigned in April. The team fired head coach Bob Boughner last week, with that firing coming after they never made the playoffs in Boughner’s three seasons (he took over from Peter DeBoer as interim coach in December 2019, then became the Sharks’ full-time head coach in September 2020, but none of his seasons in charge led to a postseason berth). We’ll see where they go under Grier.

[Yahoo Sports, San Jose Sharks on Twitter; photo from Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.