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SOURCE: Weekes Is Strong Candidate for Sharks GM

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Credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

It appears that the GM search for San Jose Sharks is well underway.

Pierre LeBrun reported yesterday, “They started with a list of 50 names and they went to 25.”

It’s my understanding that this list isn’t final by any means either.

So who’s made the cut?

Jeff Marek has previously reported to expect John Ferguson Jr. to get a good look. Ferguson Jr. is currently the Arizona Coyotes’ assistant general manager. He was also Toronto Maple Leafs GM from 2003-08 and San Jose Sharks director of scouting from 2008-14.

What I’m Hearing About Sharks’ GM Search (+)

Now, Lisa Dillman has suggested to keep an eye on Kevin Weekes. I’ve heard that he’s a strong candidate at the moment:

Weekes has followed up a lengthy NHL goaltending career with a successful “second act” as a broadcaster. He’s currently an analyst for the “NHL on ESPN”. Weekes has reportedly interviewed for since-filled GM positions in Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Weekes would certainly check one box that the San Jose Sharks are reportedly looking for from their first new GM since 2003.

“Whoever is hired as their general manager, is going to have to be willing to be public. They thought Wilson was very good at that locally. Whoever does this is going to have to be willing to do the same,” Elliotte Friedman said on his “32 Thoughts” podcast recently. “San Jose has indicated if you’re someone who doesn’t like or want that spotlight, this job is not going to be for you.”

There’s no doubt that the popular TV analyst is comfortable in the spotlight. And like Wilson, Weekes is also well-connected in every corner of the industry, judging by how he’s gone from “just” an analyst to one of the industry’s leaders in breaking news. Also, being a former NHL player gives Weekes additional cache.

And while Weekes doesn’t have any hockey operations experience, his skills could allow him to easily evolve into the leader of an already-experienced hockey ops crew in San Jose, which currently includes interim GM Joe Will, assistant GM Tim Burke, and director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr.. Just speculating, but hiring the inexperienced-in-hockey-ops Weekes could more easily allow the San Jose Sharks to have continuity with the Wilson era and Wilson’s people — which might, in fact, mirror the Sharks’ hiring of Wilson in 2003.

Wilson was San Jose’s director of player personnel from 1997 to 2003, but he also inherited/kept a number of already-established Sharks employees like Burke and Will, among others, through a very successful run as GM that was highlighted by 14 playoff appearances in 15 seasons from 2003 to 2019. The Sharks, obviously, have fallen on hard times, but a new voice like Weekes could be the breath of fresh air that they need.

For what it’s worth though, we’re still very early in San Jose’s GM search. Per LeBrun, they haven’t conducted formal in-person interviews yet.

San Jose Sharks president Jonathan Becher, who’s part of the three-man GM search committee with Will and owner Hasso Plattner, said recently, “I would hope that the role is filled before the hockey season starts next year, but not necessarily, for example, before the Draft.”

Thoughts on Wilson’s Departure: Sharks Still Aren’t Re-Building, Boughner’s Job Seems Safe

The Sharks appear to have confidence in Will, Wilson Jr., and Burke to steer them through the Draft, scheduled for Jul. 7 and 8 in Montreal.

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Alaskan_ice

I’m not going to hang my hat on anyone in particular. I wouldn’t know where to begin in understanding the criteria.
I do trust them to make a good decision. This is the dawning of a new era here.

Pat Nye

I fear the new GM who ever it is will be handicapped by the need to not go all in on a rebuild, as well as the large contracts already on the books. One thing I would like to see would be a focus on larger players. Watching our new high profile players like Ecklund and Tomas B, it becomes evident that they are getting pushed off puck much too easily. Skill is nice and will help with possession, but you still need players to retrieve pucks, and go into the corners. Even high skill teams like Tampa and Toronto… Read more »

KE

It won’t matter how big you are if Gregor has that puck it’s like McDavid (although not as skilled) you’re not catching him. I hope during the summer he finds that finishing part of his game. He will be a threat that teams would have to contain.

KE

I like Weekes!! But I’m not so sure as a GM – he’s a Jones supporter and we know how that story ended.

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