On Friday, San Jose Hockey Now reported that the San Jose Sharks were down to three finalists for GM and that the hire would have no GM experience.
Elliotte Friedman dropped some probable names on “The Jeff Marek Show” this morning.
“San Jose is in its final group,” the hockey insider confirmed. “I think one of them is probably Ray Whitney. I think one of them is probably Mike Grier. I think there’s someone else, but I’m not 100 percent sure who that is at this time.”
Of the previously reported candidates, I don’t think it’s Kevin Weekes or Allain Roy.
Friedman added that the third finalist is not the “international” candidate that we’ve been chasing over the last two weeks.
“The third name that’s been kind of hinted to me is not that candidate,” he intimated.
Just for the record, possible international candidates SC Bern chief sports office Raeto Raffainer, ex-SC Bern GM Florence Schelling, Eisbären Berlin GM Stephane Richer, and Nürnberg Ice Tigers GM Stefan Ustorf have all told SJHN that they haven’t interviewed for San Jose Sharks GM.
Marek has previously suggested Rogle BK GM Chris Abbott but shot that down himself today.
However, Friedman didn’t rule out ex-San Jose Sharks winger and 2022 Swedish Olympic men’s ice hockey head coach Johan Garpenlov: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the mix.”
Anyway, back to Whitney and Grier.
Whitney was a second-round pick in the expansion Sharks first-ever Draft in 1991. He skated for San Jose from 1991 to 1997 and finished his playing career in 2014.
He was a Carolina Hurricanes scout from 2015-18 and has been with the NHL Player Safety department since 2018.
“He is a sharp guy,” a source told SJHN. “If they are going with a first-time guy, he will grow into the role.”
Grier played with the Sharks from 2006 to 2009, at the tail-end of an NHL playing career that spanned from 1996 to 2011. He was a Chicago Blackhawks scout from 2014-18, a New Jersey Devils assistant coach from 2018-20, and is currently Hockey Operations Coordinator with the New York Rangers.
A source told SJHN that many people in the hockey world speak highly of Grier.
“They’re both bright hockey minds,” another source told SJHN of Whitney and Grier.
Will the San Jose Sharks make their decision soon? They’re approaching some key dates like the beginning of the buyout period on Jul. 1, the NHL Draft on Jul. 7, and the opening of free agency on Jul. 13.
It would make sense for the Sharks to have a new GM in place by the beginning of free agency.
Jason Gregor of the Daily Faceoff did note that the San Jose Sharks could reveal their new GM “later this week”:
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