Perfect tip from dad helps Sharks' Grier block out naysayers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As the Sharks began their offseason search for a new general manager, they promised they would find the right person for the job.
And when Mike Grier was announced as their selection in July, the former San Jose winger made history as the first Black GM in NHL history.
But any position of power -- especially in sports -- is sure to come with its fair share of criticism along with applause. On the latest episode of the “Teal for Change” podcast, Grier explained how his background as an athlete and some wise words from his father prepared him to be the face of the Sharks’ front office.
“To be honest there, when you play sports you’ve got to kind of learn to block that stuff out, so I don't really pay too much attention to them,” Grier told “Teal for Change” host Mo Fofana of those who doubt his capabilities as GM.
“For me, it’s doing the job the best I can, taking in all the information from the staff and the coaches, and trying to do the best job we can and do what we think is best for the organization.”
In addition to Grier’s 14-season NHL career, his family’s background in sports has prepared the Sharks GM for all of the noise that comes with his new role.
In fact, Grier’s dad gave him a word of advice years ago that he has carried with him throughout his career, which should come in handy as he navigates his first season as GM.
“That was one of the first things my dad told me when I turned pro. He said, ‘Don’t read the newspapers,’ ” Grier told Fofana. “One day you’re the best player in the league, the next day you’re the worst.”
Whether it’s newspapers, social media, or other outside opinions, Grier does his best to avoid it.
“I try to stay off all that stuff and just try and do the job best that I can,” he continued. “I think myself and the staff, we believe that we’ll get to where we want to go through our hard work and desire to do well.”
Grier has hit the ground running since taking over the GM role from Joe Will, who held the position on an interim basis in the wake of Doug Wilson’s medical leave last season.
Wilson officially stepped down in April after a 19-year tenure that saw him build the Sharks into an NHL dynasty.
As Grier looks to build the Sharks back to its former glory and return to the playoffs, it’s clear he won’t have a problem making difficult decisions to get them there.
From trading longtime defenseman Brent Burns to hiring new coach David Quinn, Grier certainly has a plan for the team in mind.
If there are any doubters, it appears likely the new GM won’t pay them any attention as he works toward achieving that goal.