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How Empowered Will New Sharks GM Be?

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There have been a lot of questions from fans about the San Jose Sharks’ search for a new GM.

How empowered will the new GM be? Who will he or she answer to? Who will stay, who will go with the new GM?

So I’ve been checking around on these questions, and I’ve got some answers. This is what, based on what I’m hearing, my belief.

The goal of the San Jose Sharks remains to win, to be competitive right now. Once again, they are not going to go into a complete re-build. It doesn’t mean that the organization or the roster won’t be changed in meaningful ways – but the focus, from on high, is to win.

But the new general manager will be empowered, like Doug Wilson was, to be the lead hockey voice for the San Jose Sharks. That means the ability to keep or let go of upper management, coaches, scouts, players, etc..

It’s my belief, for example, that the new GM will not be ordered to keep Bob Boughner as the head coach. Now this doesn’t mean that Bob is done – the new general manager may consider the circumstances and like Boughner’s overall body of work in San Jose – but that will be for he or she to decide. The new GM may also take power so late into the off-season that hiring their ideal coaching staff could prove to be challenging, so Boughner could get another season to show his stuff in that case.

I wouldn’t expect a blood-letting either with the new GM – the Sharks have plenty of good people in hockey operations now, hence their comfort with possibly going into the Draft without a new GM and led by mainstays interim GM Joe Will, assistant GM Tim Burke, and director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr..

But I repeat: The new GM will be empowered to make his or her own hockey decisions, answering only to owner Hasso Plattner and president Jonathan Becher, and Becher only on the financial side of things.

In short, the new San Jose Sharks GM is not, from my understanding, intended to be a figurehead or someone brought in to protect pre-existing jobs. His or her job is to be a fresh voice who will lead the organization into a new era of winning.

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