Elliotte Friedman reported earlier today that Ray Whitney and Mike Grier were among three finalists for San Jose Sharks general manager.
It sounds like we could be close to an announcement.
Jason Gregor of The Daily Faceoff said yesterday on the DFO Rundown Podcast that the Sharks could reveal their new GM “later this week.”
For what it’s worth, local media in San Jose are scheduled to talk to interim GM Joe Will, assistant general manager Tim Burke, and director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. this Friday afternoon about the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. We’ll see if anything changes with that media availability.
Whoever the new GM is, he or she will be walking into a challenging situation. The San Jose Sharks are three years and running out of the playoffs, they’re close to capped out and saddled with many long-term veteran contracts, and their prospects pool, by and large, isn’t considered elite. And despite all this, their owner wants to win now.
“I think it makes it one of the least appealing GM jobs out there,” Gregor’s co-host Frank Seravalli offered. “I’ve talked to some people who have interviewed, they say [owner Hasso Plattner is] delusional. He wants this team to be competitive. There’s no retool, no rebuild.
“Right from the hop, it’s how quickly can we make it back to the playoffs right now? What moves can you make this summer to get us there?
“That’s actually what scared a bunch of people off from the position.”
San Jose Hockey Now mentioned last Friday that Plattner is very much a part of the GM search. I’ve heard that the 78-year-old Plattner, in part because of his advanced age, is the driving force behind the Sharks organization’s unwillingness to rebuild.
The San Jose Sharks GM search committee is comprised of Plattner, Will, and president Jonathan Becher.
It’s worth noting that while the Sharks organization isn’t a move away from the Stanley Cup, it’s also one of just 32 NHL GM jobs, and at the moment, it’s the only GM vacancy this summer.
It’s only natural that there would be GM candidates who believe that a rebuild is the only way for the Sharks to go – and it’s been clear from the beginning that the Sharks don’t want to rebuild – but there are hockey people who don’t necessarily think a rebuild is the way to go either.
Point is, the San Jose Sharks GM job isn’t for everybody, I’m sure there are candidates who have declined interviews because of the franchise’s direction, but big picture, it’s an appealing job. The least appealing NHL GM job is still plenty attractive to many talented hockey people.
San Jose is hoping one of these hockey minds can take what I think is the less likely path to success – that’s staying the course – and turn the Sharks back to contenders. I wouldn’t bet on it, but stranger things have happened.
Anyway, it’s not my money.
“Their owner will spend anything possible, he’s not a cheap owner,” Gregor noted.
There are a lot worse things for a GM to have than an owner who will spend what it takes to win.
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