Mike Grier, Ray Whitney, and Scott Mellanby are the generally accepted list of finalists for the San Jose Sharks GM job.
Grier, of course, was officially introduced as the fifth full-time general manager in franchise history on Jul. 5.
Add another finalist: Multiple sources have confirmed to San Jose Hockey Now that Scott Nichol was also a finalist.
One source says that the job actually came down to Grier or Nichol.
Nichol is the Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development for the Nashville Predators. He’s also the General Manager of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He played for the San Jose Sharks from 2009-11.
Elliotte Friedman was the first to report on Nichol’s candidacy, though it was unclear at the time how deep that the ex-Sharks faceoff wizard got in the process.
Apparently, he got very deep.
Grier also played for San Jose, but he and Nichol just missed each other. The gritty winger skated in teal from 2006 to 2009, leaving the summer before Nichol’s arrival.
But Grier vs. Nichol will be an interesting what-if for San Jose Sharks fans to contemplate in the coming years.
Grier’s major moves haven’t been particularly popular with the fanbase so far – dealing franchise icon Brent Burns, letting youngsters Rudolfs Balcers and Jonathan Dahlen walk, trading for and signing a bevy of “high compete” forwards and defensemen with less offensive upside, and tapping David Quinn to be his head coach.
On the other hand, SJHN recently talked to a scout from an outside NHL organization who lauded Grier’s direction, considering his cap space limitations: “Those guys that he’s added, those are legitimate guys that can play, and it helps your team. Your stars can play now, and your other guys can hold down the fort. I didn’t think you had enough of those guys to hold the fort down before, while your stars were trying to recover.”
The hockey world has also been mostly receptive to giving ex-New York Rangers head coach Quinn a second chance behind the bench.
But what would Nichol have done?
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