Is the San Jose Sharks’ general manager search down to three to five candidates?
“San Jose has knocked down its list, [for] general manager, to somewhere around three to five people,” Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday night.
This appears to be an escalation of what Pierre LeBrun tweeted that morning: “[After] lengthy interviews of 4-6 hours each with a dozen candidates, San Jose will cut the list of candidates down this upcoming week.”
San Jose Hockey Now is trying to confirm Friedman’s report. SJHN can confirm that at least one of LeBrun’s dozen candidates has not been informed yet whether or not he or she is moving on to the next phase of the GM interview process.
Friedman expanded on Saturday night’s report on his 32 Thoughts Podcast this morning.
“It was indicated to me that there might be only one person on that list who’s been a GM before,” he told co-host Jeff Marek.
Of the reported possible GM candidates, only John Ferguson Jr., Jason Botterill, and Mike Gillis have managed an NHL club.
“I had a conversation with someone last week, he said that he fully expects this to be a non-traditional hire,” Marek replied. “They want to look outside the box with this one.”
That would describe the vast majority of reported or suspected candidates: Tampa Bay Lightning AGM Mathieu Darche, Colorado Avalanche AGM Chris MacFarland, New York Rangers AGM Ryan Martin, Rangers Hockey Operations advisor Mike Grier (who Friedman believes has interviewed), Ray Whitney, agent Allain Roy, Kevin Weekes, Meghan Chayka, and Carolina Hurricanes AGM Eric Tulsky.
Friedman also noted that he doesn’t believe that the San Jose Sharks will be hiring a President of Hockey Operations along with a GM.
“What people told me is that it’s very unlikely,” the Sportsnet insider said. “They said it’s still possible. It could change at the end.”
This fits with what San Jose Sharks president Jonathan Becher has said before, but SJHN had heard recent rumblings that the Sharks might be looking to hire a President-GM a la the Montreal Canadiens tapping Jeff Gorton-Kent Hughes.
Finally, Friedman spoke on the lack of information surrounding the Sharks GM search.
“I called someone who I thought might have a clue into some of these [candidates],” he shared. “This person said to me, sorry, can’t help you, the Sharks made it clear that it would be a strike against you if your name really got out there.”
This fits with SJHN’s experience: I’ve spoken with three prospective candidates who politely declined to speak about their candidacy either way.
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