Former NHL forward Mike Grier not only had a knack for scoring timely goals, but also was known for his gritty play and willingness to stand up for his teammates. And now in his capacity as the general manager of the San Jose Sharks, he's doing the same thing - just on a much larger scale.
The Czech Republic is hosting the upcoming Global Series regular season games between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators, scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 at O2 Arena in Prague. However, the Czech government has made the decision to refuse visas to visiting Russian NHL players as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, which is still in the midst of the invasion by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“We can confirm that the Czech Foreign Ministry has sent a letter to the NHL to point out that, at this moment, the Czech Republic or any other state in the [visa free] Schengen zone should not issue visas to the Russian players to enter our territory,” Czech Republic deputy foreign minister Martin Smolek said in a statement.
And in response, the Sharks GM said that either his whole team must be able to participate, or none of them will.
“Either we all go, or no one goes,” Grier told reporters on the first day of training camp.
“I’m a pretty firm believer [that] we’re a team here," Grier would continue. "We’re a group. It’s not the players’ fault. They didn’t do anything wrong. So I don’t think they should be punished for it.
“We stand with them and we’re all together as one in here.”