San Jose Sharks hire Mike Grier as first black GM in NHL history

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The San Jose Sharks have named former NHL forward Mike Grier as their general manager, making him the first black GM in league history.

San Jose announced the historic hire on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old Grier, who spent three of his 14 seasons playing for the Sharks from 2006-09, replaces Doug Wilson after he stepped down in April following 19 seasons at the helm for health reasons.

"I am extremely proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to be the general manager of the San Jose Sharks," said Grier.

"Along with my staff, I look forward to the challenge of building a fast, competitive, and hardworking team that Sharks fans will enjoy watching and be proud of.”

His first order of business as GM will be hiring a coach. The Sharks are the only team without one after firing Bob Boughner.

San Jose finished in sixth place in the Pacific Division this past season, missing the playoffs for a third year in a row after qualifying in 14 of the previous 15 seasons.

"Really excited to work and to be back in the Bay Area," Grier said. "I know there's been lots of ups and downs but I'm ready to work hard and get at it and get this thing back on the tracks. We're going to start winning some games in the Shark Tank and get it going again."

In addition to his time with the Sharks as a player, Grier also suited up for the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres.

Since retiring from the NHL as a player in 2011, Grier served as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils and a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks before spending this past season as hockey operations advisor for the New York Rangers.

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