As the Sharks’ search for their next general manager heads into the home stretch, at least two of the team’s former players reportedly remain prominently in the running.
On The Jeff Marek Show on Sportsnet radio in Canada, Elliotte Friedman said Wednesday he believed Ray Whitney and Mike Grier were both “probably” among the final group, and that Johan Garpenlov could still be in the mix for the position.
It remains unclear when the Sharks will announce who the next GM will be, whether it is before or after the start of free agency on July 13. Earlier this month, the Sharks finished interviews with a dozen candidates and whittled the list down to between three and five finalists.
Whitney, now with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, was the Sharks’ second-round draft choice in 1991 and played with the team until 1997, eventually retiring in 2014 after 1,330 games.
Whitney’s biggest moment as a Sharks player came in the first round of the 1995 playoffs, when he scored in double overtime of Game 7, giving San Jose a series win over the favored Calgary Flames.
Grier, now a hockey operations adviser with the New York Rangers, played for the Sharks from 2006 to 2009 as part of a 14-year career that ended in 2011. His brother, Chris Grier, has been the general manager of the Miami Dolphins since Jan. 2016.
Friedman also said he wouldn’t be surprised if Garpenlov remained a candidate for the job. Garpenlov, who played 184 games over four seasons with the Sharks from March 1992 to March 1995 as part of a 10-year NHL career, has led the Swedish National Team since 2019.
Garpenlov was part of the Sharks’ improbable playoff run in 1994 when San Jose beat the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings in the first round and came within one goal of beating Toronto in the second round. With the Sharks leading the series three games to two, Garpenlov hit the post in overtime of Game 6, which the Maple Leafs would win 3-2 before taking Game 7 by a 4-2 score.
Whitney, Grier and Garpenlov have not been NHL general managers before, something that Sharks team president Jonathan Becher said was not a prerequisite for the job.
The Sharks began their external search for a new full-time GM shortly after Doug Wilson announced in April that he was stepping down from the position after 19 years to focus on his health, as he was recovering from a still-unpublicized illness.
Joe Will has been the San Jose’s interim GM since the announcement was made, and it appears he’ll oversee the NHL draft for the Sharks on July 7-8 in Montreal. The Sharks hold picks at nos. 11, 76, 108, 138, 140, 172, 195, 204 and 217 overall.
Source: Paradise Post