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REPORT: Whitney, Grier “Probably” Sharks GM Finalists

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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.

SOURCE: Sharks Down to 3 GM Finalists, International Candidate Among Them? (+)

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.

Profiling 12 Possible Sharks GM Candidates

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”:

Is Sharks GM Job “One of the Least Appealing”?

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Jentry Alexander

Maybe the 3rd is Mathieu Darche?

Don V

It’s not very confidence inspiring that they seem to have explicitly targeted 2 inexperienced guys who were former SJ Sharks. It seems like getting a former club member was more important than getting a guy with good FO experience. Grier and Whitney could be good but it’s such a risky choice that seems to be based on a more nepotistic decision making process than a qualitative decision making process.

timorous me

It does seem like Grier has more useful experience. It’s just a bit odd with things being so much in the shadows and also not really having any idea how someone like Grier or Whitney might approach the position. My worries are that they don’t have the experience or gravitas within the industry to pull off the kind of big moves that they need to make, and that they wouldn’t come in with the kind of experience and sway that would allow them to really start to reshape the direction of the front office and organization, like the way Farhan… Read more »

Darren

Was it not said, or implied before that SJ was looking, more or less, for a ‘company man’? I don’t want to call him a yes man per se, but from the sound of how this was reported before, it’s as though the existing front office wants someone who sees things the way they do? I actually kind of like the idea of either Whitney or Grier…both seem like they may have the right type of intelligence for the role. I just worry that they’re joining the old boys club and their autonomy to do their job effectively may be… Read more »

KE

It’s going to be Grier IMHO – waiting for the Stanley Cup champs to have their parade so as to not take away hiring the first black NHL GM. Once it happens it will be the news everywhere I’m sure he will do a fine job maybe overwhelmed at first but if the will is there a way will be made.

Eric Pichette

I think the one thing that gives me confidence in someone like Whitney or Grier with no experience is Kent Hughes in Montreal. Super small sample size but he’s made some great moves in a short period of time including getting out of Shea Weber’s contract.

Deez

What a lot of people are sleeping on, is that when it comes to Grier, he can just phone up his brother, Chris who’s the Miami Dolphins GM, for advice on cap/contracts/trades/running a team when needed.

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