RAETO RAFFAINER FOR SHARKS GM?
The Sharks General Manager search thus far:
The San Jose Sharks have been interviewing candidates for the vacant General Manager position. A reported list of a dozen people of interest includes Scott Nichol, Mike Grier, Ray Whitney, and Kevin Weekes. The Sharks have also been reported to be conducting 4-to-6-hour interviews for each of its candidates, now suggested to be "narrowed" down between 3 to 5 individuals.
The Serious International Candidate:
The San Jose Sharks are reported to have a serious interest in an international candidate for the General Manager position. On 32 Thoughts: The Podcast, Elliotte Friedman suggests that the 40-year-old IIHF council member and former Swiss hockey player Raeto Raffainer fits the mold of what the Sharks are looking for in their next GM (25:20 into the show).
Who is Raeto Raffainer?
Raffainer, a member of the IIHF Coaching Committee and Swiss National Team Committee since 2015, has been the general manager of national teams in 23 World Championships and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Raffainer has also been the Head of Sports of HC Davos from 2019 to 2021 and currently serves as the Chief Sports Officer of SC Bern.
Raffainer can speak the following languages: German, Romansh, English, Italian, and French. (source: IIHF)
When can Sharks fans expect to see a new hire?
The Sharks front office has been very clear that they will take their time rather than rush the process and are fully prepared to not have a new General Manager hired before the 2022 NHL Entry Draft (July 7th) or the start of free agency (July 13th).
The Mercury News reported that the Sharks' front office would "ideally" like to have someone in place by the start of the next fiscal year (the new NHL year in mid-July) but will "get it done late July, early August" if initial plans do not work out.