When Doug Wilson stepped away from his post as GM of the San Jose Sharks nearly three months ago, many assumed the organization would take its time in finding a new GM, but may not have expected the process to take three months. One reason the team may be waiting would be to find a candidate similar to Wilson, one who the organization was able to rely on for nearly 20 years, icing a competitive team almost every season of his tenure. Another would be their trust in interim GM Joe Will, an experienced executive who could guide the front office as it prepares for the upcoming offseason.
But, the decision may not have to wait much longer, writes The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. According to LeBrun, an announcement on the new GM is expected to come as soon as tomorrow, and the belief is that the Sharks will name Mike Grier as the club’s next General Manager, though LeBrun adds that this has not been confirmed by anyone in the Sharks organization. Grier was among the many people thought to be interviewing for the coveted position and like Wilson is also a former Sharks player. After hanging up his skates, Grier has been rising up the ranks behind the scenes, with a GM position seemingly a fit at some point.
- LeBrun also wrote earlier on the weekend’s offseason rumblings, including the status of star goaltender and soon to be free agent Marc-Andre Fleury. The veteran and his wife were to meet with agent Allan Walsh today in Montreal to discuss the plan with regards to his upcoming free agency, with Fleury’s current team, the Minnesota Wild, in the mix. In addition to the Wild, LeBrun speculates that the Toronto Maple Leafs could be suitors for Fleury, pointing to the goaltender’s willingness to head to Toronto at the trade deadline this year before the supposed trade fell apart. LeBrun adds that Fleury will be able to be as picky as he wishes, and could look at a number of contenders, listing the Colorado Avalanche as an intriguing possibility as well, though he adds Colorado would like to keep incumbent goaltender Darcy Kuemper.
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that scout Jim Paliafito, formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was hired by the New York Islanders. Paliafito, Friedman writes, is known for his expertise with the European free agent market. One of the most notable free agents Paliafito helped the Maple Leafs recruit was undrafted forward Ilya Mikheyev, who scored 21 goals in just 53 games for Toronto this season.