SAN FRANCISCO - The San Jose Sharks named Mike Grier general manager on Tuesday, an historic appointment that makes the former Sharks player the first Black GM in the NHL.
"I am extremely proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to be the general manager of the San Jose Sharks," Grier said in a statement, adding that he looked forward to "building a fast, competitive, and hardworking team that Sharks fans will enjoy watching and be proud of."
Grier, 47, played for the Sharks from 2006-09.
"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," Grier said in comments to fans, who have seen the Sharks miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for three straight seasons after making the post-season in 14 of the prior 15 campaigns.
"We're going to start winning some games in the 'Shark Tank' and get it going again," he promised.
Doug Wilson stepped down as Sharks GM on April 7 after 19 seasons to focus on his health. Assistant GM Joe Will had filled the position since then as the Sharks searched for a permanent replacement.
Coach Bob Boughner was sacked on July 1, and Grier said there was no timetable to hire a replacement even though the NHL draft will be held this week and free agency begins on July 13.
The Sharks have the 11th selection in the upcoming draft, while eight of their players can become restricted free agents.
Grier said the club are not looking to "tear down" the team and rebuild.
"For us, there might be a few bumps in the road ahead and we might have to step back a little bit to go forward, but we're going to try and get better and try to make the roster better," he said.
Grier worked last season as hockey operations adviser for the New York Rangers, assisting them with hockey-related decisions and off-ice player and prospect development.
He played 14 NHL seasons after he was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the ninth round of the 1993 draft.
Grier's older brother Chris is general manager of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.