Grier is the first Black man in NHL history to hold the position
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- There's a new big fish in the Shark Tank and it's a face fans here in San Jose should be very familiar with.
Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks introduced their newest General Manager, former Sharks star Mike Grier.
It's a historic hire for the team and the league as Grier becomes the first Black General Manager in the National Hockey League.
"The San Jose Sharks are a franchise with a history of success and I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting this franchise back to its winning ways," Grier said when he was formally introduced Tuesday.
Grier returns to San Jose after playing with the team from 2006 to 2009, many of his legendary Sharks teammates were in the crowd as he was introduced.
The NHL's all-time games played leader Patrick Marleau says he and Grier's former team is in good hands.
"I was always impressed with Mike's work ethic that he put in, his persistence to get things done," Marleau said. "He's a great human being and that's somebody you want with the reigns."
And even on the first day on the job, Grier already etched a new moment in hockey history.
With his hiring, he became the first Black General Manager in the more than 100-year history of the NHL. It's a milestone he says he does not take lightly.
"I realize there's a responsibility that comes with the territory, but you know, my job is to do the best I can for the San Jose Sharks organization," Grier said. "And if I do that, hopefully it opens the door to give other opportunities to other minorities to get in front office positions and maybe lead a team down the road as well."
Grier followed up his more than 1,000-game hockey career with roles in player evaluation. Grier spent last season with the New York Rangers organization working as the de facto GM as the team made a run back to the Eastern Conference Finals.
He follows in the footsteps of his father, Bobby, and brother, Chris, both with experience in the NFL front office, Chris is the current Miami Dolphins GM.
Now Grier has a team of his own and a goal in mind.
"To all the Sharks fans worldwide, I want you to know that myself and my staff will do everything possible to put a team on the ice that you can be proud of and to bring a Cup to the Bay Area," Grier said.
Grier's first jobs on duty are no easy tasks. He has to hire a new head coach and focus on the upcoming NHL Draft as the Sharks look to return to their winning ways.
Grier's hiring comes just days after the team fired its head coach Bob Boughner and his staff.
The Sharks have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, the longest drought in franchise history.