The NHL will finally have its first Black general manager

The San Jose Sharks’s hiring of Mike Grier makes the league the last to hire a Black GM among the four major North American pro sports.

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 25: New Jersey Devils assistant coach Mike Grier during a preseason game betw...
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Mike Grier is set to become the new general manager of the San Jose Sharks, becoming the first Black man in the history of the National Hockey League to hold the position. The news is expected to be officially announced at a Sharks press conference on Tuesday.

The new role is a return of sorts for Grier, who played as a forward for the Sharks from 2006 through 2009, along with three other teams across a 14-year career in the NHL. Since retiring in 2011, Grier, 47, has worked as a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks, an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils, and spent the past season as the hockey operations adviser for the New York Rangers.

Grier’s hiring is an overdue milestone in the NHL’s over 100-year history: the league is the last among the four major North American pro sports to hire a Black GM.

He will take over for interim manager Joe Will, who has served in the role since longtime GM Doug Wilson stepped down for medical reasons this past spring. Grier will be coming with hopes of revitalizing the franchise; the team recently fired head coach Bob Boughner and his staff after the Sharks missed the playoffs for the third straight season, the longest postseason drought in franchise history.