This is official: the fifth general manager in the history of the San Jose Sharks He’s former winger Mike Greer, who took the helm this morning in front of the media at SAP Center. Far too long after the other major sports leagues, the NHL has finally hired its first black general manager. Greer’s American black identity is unique in the sport as well, as the league has always been dominated by Canadian players, with 18 nations in total represented as of last season.
Greer, 47, comes from a family of sports executives, but his interest in hockey was a bit unusual at a home that centers on football. His father, Bobby, started as a high school football coach in the 1960s, making his way up the college system before joining New England Patriots In 1981. In 1993, Bobby was transferred to Scouting, and began his NFL executive career, which eventually included running with Houston Texans Between the years 2000-2016. Mike’s older brother, Chris, is a former college football player who served as CEO of the Miami Dolphins Since 2016.
“I lean on them quite a bit. There is a wealth of knowledge there with these two. As soon as I told my dad about the job, he went directly into a state of giving tips and advice,” Greer told the media earlier today. “When we were growing up, we talked about the challenges of building staff and things like that. At dinner, it would be, I would like to talk football, they would like to talk hockey.”
Similar to the situation Mike is currently facing in San Jose, Chris has not inherited an enviable role in Miami, and has had to make tough decisions to improve the club. However, this earned him the trust of the group’s owner, and Chris has been the GM with the Dolphins’ longest tenure since Eddie Jones left in 2004.
Mike watched and learned from his brother. “My brother went through it recently with the Dolphins, where he made some decisions to move from a few players to be better in the future, and he became that team in about four years.”
Still, Mike Greer’s resume is his and for the general manager for the first time, it’s surprisingly surprising.
First, there is his 14-year career in the NHL, which was preceded by a three-year run at Boston University and in 1995 World Junior championship. While in the NHL, he was known for killing penalties while providing reliable offense and physicality, and was often in talks about the league’s best defensive forward. He never won came Stanley CupApproaching the Eastern Finals with the Buffalo Sabers In 2006, though he appeared after the season in 11 of his 14 seasons in the NHL.
Greer was the 254th player to reach 1,000 games, retiring after concluding 1,060. It is not an easy achievement, but impressive all the more so for a player who was originally drafted in the ninth round.
After retiring from acting in 2011, he began working with high school and college players at Boston University in skills development. In 2013, Greer became an assistant coach at the St. Sebastian Benidham Preparatory School, Massachusetts, where he once played hockey in high school. The following year, Greer served as coach at the U.S. Hockey 17s Festival and the CCM All-American Prospects Game. Chicago BlackhawksLooking for amateur and professional players for a potential acquisition, a position he held until 2018.
In 2015 he returns to the U.S. Hockey as a member of the selection committee for the U.S. Women’s Olympic evaluation camps, which he did for three seasons, as well as ahead of the 2018 Winter Games. Greer also served as an assistant coach on the U.S. women’s team ahead of the 2016 winter series against Canada.
God New Jersey Devils Hired Greer in 2018 as an assistant coach under John Haynes’ coaching staff. For two seasons, Greer worked with the forwards and special teams of the team, increasing the penalties to one of the best in the league.
May 2021, New York Rangers President and CEO Chris Drori has been said to have manually selected Greer for a hockey operations consulting role, in which Greer has been heavily involved in developing potential clients.
There is no doubt that Greer is fit for the job in his own right.
“We hired the best CEO there is. Mike is just a black case. The focus was on finding the best candidate for the job, “Sharks President Jonathan Bachar said today. Referring to Greer, he added,” I hope you do inspire a lot of people. I hope you are the first, but certainly not the last. “
Still, it would be bad for Greer not to recognize the weight of his race not just at this moment, but in his life and career. Being an American black player from a football family shapes how he thinks about playing hockey, not to mention what he experiences in the league, and these intangible qualities are part of what makes him a valuable landlord in the league that will only continue to become more diverse in the future.
“It’s something I’m very proud of,” Greer said. “Since my playing days, the league itself has become more and more diverse, with more black players in the league and more minorities in the league. There are more women and minorities in the Home Office and in scouting and coaching roles. From my point of view, it’s something I’m happy to see and excited to see.”
With all that, it’s never about one moment when it comes to pushing the league to a more advanced place. Greer broke through a barrier that the NHL should be ashamed of for the sincerity that has existed for so long. But what now?
Because as noted earlier, Greer does not inherit the best of circumstances in San Jose. While this is one of the few times the GM position is available regardless of the work performance of its predecessor, that does not mean the organization is in a great position, having missed a playoff for the longest streak of franchises since its inception.
As I’m sure Greer is aware, Black coaches in the NFL are less likely to get a second coaching job than their white counterparts. The problems of the NHL itself with racism and nepotism are the reason it took until 2022 for the team to hire a black general manager, 50 years after the NBA did it for the first time and 20 years after the NFL.
Hiring a tow truck is simply a first step. Bachar says Greer “by chance is black” speaks more of Hockey’s incessant demand for uniformity than of Greer’s advantages to stand on their own. I’m not sure the sharks have shown that they understand how they will have to deal with structural issues with a tug navigating the ship.
I have no doubt that an ambassador is this man for the job; I have concerns about a league that lags so far behind everything else that is rummaging through this historic moment, and I fear that too many future employees are relying on a remarkably white league that will determine whether Greer is a boom or a boom.
“My job is to do the best I can for the San Jose sharks organization,” Greer told reporters today. “And if I do, I hope it will open the door to give other minorities other opportunities to get into front-line positions, and perhaps even lead a team down the road.”
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