Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: glen sather
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
These words, uttered in the aftermath of the 2001 trade that brought Eric Lindros to New York, were the ones Glen Sather lived by throughout a pro hockey lifetime that began when the NHL was still a mom-and-pop Original Six operation:
“It’s better to be a lion for one day than it is to be a mouse for life,” Sather said then, addressing the high-risk nature of the trade for No. 88, and he might just as well have said the very same thing when he traded for Pavel Bure or Rick Nash or Martin St. Louis or Keith Yandle, or when he signed Bobby Holik, Wade Redden or Brad Richards, or when he hired then fired coach John Tortorella.
You know for whom playing it safe really equated to death? Sather, that’s who. Sather, who went for it when the going was good, as it most certainly has been for the last four seasons over which the Rangers have been the NHL’s third-best team — advancing to the conference finals three times, and the Cup final once while finishing with the East’s best record twice and capturing one Presidents’ Trophy.
It’s been kind of the Silver Age of Rangers’ hockey, only without the precious silver chalice.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons questions whether the Blackhawks are a classic sports dynasty, he discusses the Leafs' desire to essentially salvage the players who haven't been completely poisoned by the concept of playing hockey in Toronto (Phil Kessel is not one of those players in Simmons' eyes), and he offers the following words of warning:
When Glen Sather was talking trade with Montreal in the deal that eventually sent Scott Gomez to the Canadiens, his assistant Jeff Gorton, was clear about New York’s needs: Make sure, he told Sather, that Ryan McDonagh is included in the transaction.
Sather had heard the name McDonagh, but had never seen him play. He listened to his assistant and moved accordingly.
When Brian Burke was talking trade with the Blue Jackets in a deal that sent Sergei Fedorov to Columbus, his assistant Bob Murray had a word of advice. “Don’t make the trade without Francois Beauchemin.”
Burke’s response: “Who the hell is Francois Beauchemin?”
He made the trade and Columbus included Beauchemin in the deal.
Why does this matter now? It matters as the Maple Leafs get ready to remake their roster. They don’t have a general manager. They don’t have a pro scout of any reputation. They may have capable junior hockey operators: But they don’t have people who know the NHL and the AHL and all levels of hockey inside and out.
When the time comes to make a deal next week and they need a [Jeff] Gorton or a [Tim] Murray whispering in a general manager’s ear, who will do the whispering? They don’t have a GM and they don’t have a Gorton or a Murray type. Of all that Brendan Shanahan has done, his lack of NHL experience and pro scouting acumen may come back to haunt him.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Glen Sather indicated in an email exchange with The Post on Friday that he is undecided about continuing as Rangers general manager.
Asked whether he would be returning for his 16th year as GM, or whether he had yet to make that decision, Sather replied: “Sorry, I don’t have anything to tell you.”
To the follow-up email in which The Post asked whether it would then be accurate to write that he is, in fact, undecided about his future, Sather responded: “OK.”
Sather, who has a “lifetime contract” with Garden CEO Jim Dolan, has held the dual position of club president-GM since June 2000. It is believed the 71-year-old, a finalist for the NHL’s GM of the Year Award, is contemplating whether to step up exclusively into the presidency.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
And now, as Sather nears the end of his career, there is great success again. And perhaps more glory.
From the beginning to the end, or wherever he is at this moment, he’s done it his way. First, he built the fastest, most talented team in hockey and coaxed and prodded that group to five Cups in seven years. Nobody, really, played the way Oilers played, because nobody could and only Sather seemed to imagine the game played at that speed.
Now, he has built the Rangers in a completely different way, a team that is a complete contradiction of the way teams are supposed to be built in the salary cap era.
Maybe only Sather could see this as well.
The Rangers, for starters, aren’t built through the draft at all, at least not their own draft. A major part of the strength of their team has been acquiring undervalued young assets drafted by other teams — Ryan McDonagh, Derrick Brassard, Kevin Hayes — and turning them into very good to excellent NHLers.
New York doesn’t have a true No. 1 centre like Chicago, Pittsburgh or Los Angeles. They have Derek Stepan, a nice player, a reliable two-way player, but not a point-per-game player. In all, 28 NHL centres had more points this season, although most played more than the 68 games Stepan did.
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Rangers GM Glen Sather provided a realistic assessment on the Rangers’ chances of retaining all their free agents after the team made its seven selections in rounds 2-7 Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
To paraphrase, they’re not good, and that was even before Sather said the NHL general managers were taken somewhat by surprise by the salary cap being set at $69 million instead of the previously expected $70 million.
“We already traded one guy (Derek Dorsett) to give us some relief,” Sather said. “We didn’t know then but we had a real good idea that it wasn’t going to be $70 million so we had to make some room. We’ll see what happens here in the next week.
“I’d like to have everyone back,” Sather added. “Realistically I think it’s going to be complicated for the two reasons I said: One, the cap is not going up and the other one is where we ended up at the end of the year (in the Stanley Cup Final).
“We didn’t win so I think, realistically, some of these guys have got to pull the horns in a little bit,” Sather said.
added 5:25pm, Watch ten minutes of Glen Sather from the draft floor below...
via the New York Rangers,
“Tough last few days ... I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. I've met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family. With this decision finalized, I can now look forward to starting the next chapter in my career.”
"We would like to thank Brad for everything he has done for our team on and off the ice during his time here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how much respect I have for him. Brad's leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable to the organization. We are grateful to have had the professionalism and experience he brought as an example for our team to follow. Brad has been a very good player for us and an even better person. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Glen Sather and Alain Vigneault answered questions from the media today in LA...
from Flip Bondy of the New York Daily News,
The fans should be chanting, "Fire Sather," who is of course un-fire-able. This is an old song by now, but still a good one to reprise. During the nearly 14 years that Sather has steered the Rangers through their poor-to-mediocre-to-vaguely-promising stages, James Dolan has gone through six general managers/presidents of the Knicks.
The Rangers have not reached the Stanley Cup finals during that span, and Sather's biggest name acquisitions have flopped terribly for one reason or another. Before the NHL installed a hard salary cap, Sather could at least throw money at his own mistakes. Now he is pinned up against the payroll ceiling with Nash's $7.8 million-per-year cap hit after trading three character players and a first-round draft pick for the forward.
Fans will have plenty more seasons to boo Nash, because he is untradeable. But before doing so, they probably should think a little harder next time about who is really at fault here. Is it the big winger who is trying his best? Or is it the Garden executive who is paid to know which players will thrive in New York?
Sather's big-money, small-return list goes on and on… Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Wade Redden, Chris Drury, Eric Lindros… He has fared much better with draft picks, but then routinely sabotages himself with these headline-grabbing moves.
The New York Post's Larry Brooks' pre-trade deadline missive mostly focuses upon the Rangers' attempts to re-sign Ryan Callahan, but Brooks attacks the topic in a...unique...message-sending manner:
[It] is patently absurd for anyone to argue because [Rangers GM Glen] Sather lavished excess riches on, oh, take your pick from a cast of thousands — but Val Kamensky, Dave Karpa, Vladimir Malakhov, Scott Gomez and Wade Redden will do as illustrations — that the GM then should routinely “overpay” anyone in the organization coming up for an extension.
It is not, however, foolish for a Blueblood Ranger such as Callahan, or Henrik Lundqvist or Dan Girardi, to wonder why the Garden spigots seem to flow so easily with gold when it comes to signing guys from other teams but the process becomes so difficult when it comes to one of their own.
The NHL's holiday roster freeze may be in effect, but the Ottawa Sun's intrepid Bruce Garrioch reports that the trade market steadily simmers along:
Nobody has been described as more desperate to make a deal than the New York Rangers. The club is on a nine-game homestand and has only one victory in seven games and that could mean a trade not long after the roster freeze is lifted at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 28.
League executives say Rangers GM Glen Sather has been working the phones trying to move several players — including blueliners Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi — in an attempt to try get his struggling club on track.
While Del Zotto has been the one the club has shopped heavily, the Rangers also need to sign Girardi, a UFA on July 1, so they may be starting to see what they can get in case they can’t sign him.
Garrioch continues at extended length...
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com
New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather appears to be growing impatient with center Derek Stepan.
The restricted free agent has yet to sign a contract with the club and has held out of training camp. Stepan, 23, led the Rangers with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 48 games last season.
"I don't think Derek is going to let this thing linger that long," Sather said in an interview on MSG Network during the Rangers' preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Monday night. "I don't think he is a big enough fool to think that he will sit out the year and it will do any good. He is in a gap contract and every one of our players has signed a gap contract.
"You look at the football players who are making minimum wage, they get paid after they go through that time. I find it frustrating that some teams are in a hurry to sign these guys to big contracts. I think it's because the owners or managers panic and it's unfortunate that he has listened to his agent and decided [to do] that."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
“I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m confident in this group,” Sather said. “We were good enough to beat Washington, and we’ll have to be better than that in order to beat Boston.
“So much of a series like this comes down to the goaltending, you know all the clichés, but when you’ve got a guy there like Henrik [Lundqvist], you have to feel pretty good about your team.”
Other things Sather, who does not discuss his March prostate cancer surgery, feels pretty good about: a) Rick Nash, who failed to score a goal in the seven-game series against the Caps; b) the club’s depth in the wake of the deals at the deadline that brought Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett from Columbus (and the sidelined Ryane Clowe from San Jose); c) Mats Zuccarello; and, d) his coach, John Tortorella.
“When you have guys racing to the end-boards, you’re always going to have legs tangled and skates tangled with sticks, no matter how careful the players are trying to be so that they don’t hurt one another. And they don’t try to hurt each other. Players get hurt mostly because of accidents and there are too many accidents.
“I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore. I’m not in favor of the no-touch rule that’s used it in the Olympics. I’d like to keep the race in our game, but the risk would be taken out of it by having the race stop at the dots.
“That’s what I’d like to see.”
-Glen Sather, President and GM of the New York Rangers via Larry Brooks of the NY Post where you can read more on this and other hockey topics.
From Jesse Spector at the Blueshirts Blog:
As for the Winter Classic, Sather was asked specifically about HBO’s “24/7,” and the concerns of the Rangers organization about granting unfettered access to cameras.
“I like it, because I think what it does is it exposes the players to a lot of different aspects of their lives that people don’t normally get to see,” Sather said. “I think there has to be a little mystery left behind. I don’t want it to be a real reality show, but I’d like the fans to get to know that these people are real. A lot of the players, other than their pictures in the program, aren’t seen without their helmets. They’re all good people, they’re good guys, and I think those things will prove itself out.”
Asked whether the Rangers have ultimate say over what is shown on HBO, Sather said, “With Torts being involved in this, are you kidding?”
More details on the Winter Classic and the earlier press conference posted here.
Here’s a video from the NHL featuring a few of the jabs…
From New York Magazine:
A year ago today, some 200 Rangers fans gathered outside Madison Square Garden for a Fire Glen Sather rally in which they cited grievances against the Rangers’ general manager and called for his ouster. Since then, the Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time since the lockout — but have also seen a new crop of young players make an impact at the NHL level. The rally’s organizer, Mike Zippo, spoke with The Sports Section about whether his opinion of Sather has changed over the past twelve months.
A year later, do you still think Glen Sather should be fired? Has anything changed over the past twelve months that made you reconsider your position?
Well, he’s certainly been doing a better job as of late. He’s cleared some cap space, he hasn’t given away prospects or picks, and the team is young, competitive, and fun to watch.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
And he sits, smiling, mouth nursing the stogie, content that, as he sees it, the game has happily returned somewhat to a style reminiscent of the glory days of the Oilers, certain that, finally, slowly, he has been turning the culture of this marquee Original Six franchise away from New York Yankees thinking and back, at least to an extent, to the sort of thinking that once worked so magnificently in Edmonton.
When you run the richest team in hockey – a team with a long string of aging superstars brought in at great cost and no result – a salary cap can become a blessing.
After missing the playoffs last spring by a final-game shootout, the Rangers are hanging on with the playoff-bound teams so far, entering their game with the Washington Capitals on Sunday night. And they are doing it with a lineup in which fully half of the players have never played professional hockey in any other organization.
“Fans, for the most part, aren’t very patient. But I think they can see the development we’ve got going on here. A lot of these guys have been drafted by us, and we’re still waiting for other players to come up.”
-New York Rangers GM Glen Sather. Much more from Sather by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
Sather is now reviled – for his managing, not his personality – by many in New York. So much so that “Fire Sather” chants at Madison Square Garden are not uncommon and there was even a ‘Fire Sather’ rally staged outside MSG last March.
The decisions his haters point to other than bad signings include a revolving door of coaches; the selection of Hugh Jessiman 12th overall in 2003 – the only first-rounder from that year who has yet to play an NHL game and those chosen later in Round 1 include 2010 Olympians Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards and Corey Perry; and trading away fan favorites Adam Graves and Brian Leetch.
But for all his perceived faults, you have to give Sather credit for at least one thing: he’s sly as a fox when it comes to divesting himself of bad contracts.
“If anybody tells you at this time of year that they know exactly the way their team is going to look, I think they are trying to give some sense that they know a lot more than anyone else does. I think it’s impossible to tell now.”
-Glen Sather, GM of the New York Rangers. More from Sather by Jim Cerny at Rangers.com.
“Our goal has always been to try and develop our own players to build a core group of players that are going to grow up together. It takes time to develop players, and it takes time for them to develop into National Hockey League players. But there are some kids that are really starting to come in the right direction now.”
-Glen Sather, President & GM of the New York Rangers. More from Jim Cerny at Rangers.com.
“We’re still moving forward, we’re not finished. There are other opportunities still out there, moves we’d like to make. There have been constant phone calls everyday for probably a month. We’ve been hard at it.”
-New York Rangers GM Glen Sather today after making one trade and signing RFA Dan Girardi. More from Andrew Gross of Rangers Rants.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Let’s assume, for a moment, that with eight of their final 11 games on the road, the New York Rangers will not make the playoffs.
That would mean that a Glen Sather team would have missed the post-season for the ninth time in 19 season since winning his last Stanley Cup in Edmonton.
It would also mean that a Sather-built team will have more losses than wins for the 15th time in 19 seasons.
The Hall of Fame induction of 1997 seems a long time ago now: It’s well past best-before date for Sather and it’s time to say goodbye and hello to Mark Messier and Adam Graves.
It’s time to pass the torch.
read on for more hockey talk…
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
...this mess is on the man at the top – president/GM Glen Sather – and the owner (James Dolan) who continues to support him.
Let me dust off and update the rap sheet on Sather: Since he took over as GM in June of 2000, the Rangers have won 14 playoff games – and no more than six in a single post-season.
But here’s the biggest indictment of his tenure: As a result of summer after summer of spending by Sather, the team’s prospects for future improvement have been severely hampered.
Redden’s $6.5 million salary and Rozsival’s $5 million annual stipend are painful enough, but Rangers fans are well aware their favorite franchise has roughly $10 million in cap space (and 16 players signed) entering next season and roughly $19 million in cap space (and eight players signed) for the 2011-12 campaign.
Sather won’t be able to foist one of his numerous overpayments on another GM in the next off-season the way he did with Bob Gainey last summer. He has damaged the Rangers short-term and long-term, nearly to the same degree Isiah Thomas did with the NBA’s Knicks.
Peter Pocklington, one-time owner of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, was expected to be released on bail Friday after the former coach of the team said he would put up the bail.
In a California courtroom, Glen Sather put up $1 million piece of property as security to allow Pocklington to be released on bail.
Pocklington has been in jail since being arrested on bankruptcy fraud charges on Wednesday.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
In a sense Glen Sather—announcing his new coach and looking to the immediate and distant Rangers future—sounded the theme of a recently-elected president.
His Blueshirts needed a different personality, with a louder voice who would provide the Rangers with a go-go attacking style rather than over-worrying about goals against.
More than anything, those points explain why John Tortorella is the new head coach and Tom Renney is on a sabbatical he would not have wished on himself.
Oh yeah, and there’s also a not-so-small matter of the Rangers possibly even slipping out of a playoff berth had the Old Guard remained behind the bench.
“Over the last couple of weeks I watched the team slide,” said Sather in a far-reaching conference call, “and our game eroded. This was obvious from the last couple of games.”
from Bill Price of the NY Daily News,
Tom Renney and Chris Drury said all the right things after the Rangers did all the wrong things in Sunday’s dismal loss to the Flyers at the Garden.
“I take full responsibility for where this team is right now,” said the coach.
“I’m not doing what I was brought here to do,” said the captain.
As for the man who put this team together . . . nothing.
In case you’ve forgotten, he’s Glen Sather, the president and GM of your New York Rangers. Honestly, I can’t blame you for forgetting, because he’s nowhere to be found.
He never speaks to the New York media and he’s rarely seen at games.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Now, I’m not ready to confuse Renney with Scotty Bowman, but I think Renney has actually overachieved with this roster. That’s right—I think Renney’s 29-20-5 record is pretty good when you consider his team.
Renney doesn’t have a No.1 center or a No. 1 defenseman. He doesn’t have a reliable scorer on the wing. And his most dependable defender is just a sophomore. No, the 2008-09 Rangers aren’t exactly an All-Star group.
Of course, Renney isn’t without fault. I haven’t always agreed with his lineup decisions or in-game moves, and he’s got to find a way to make that power-play unit at least a little better.
Still, Renney shouldn’t be the fall guy.
The real problem is Renney’s boss, Rangers president and GM Glen Sather. If anyone is going to get canned, it should be Sather.
From John Dellapina at The Blueshirts Blog,
Jagr told me again today that he hasn’t heard anything from Rangers GM Glen Sather since they spoke on the day the team broke up for the season. While such a cat-and-mouse act is long-standing standard operating procedure for Sather, it makes little sense in this case.
Not only can Jagr sign with Omsk-Avangard at any time, there seems to be little to be gained by making him sit and wonder whether the Rangers want him back. His personal experience (see: Washington 2000-2004) is that things don’t go well when he’s playing for a team that doesn’t fully believe in him. And every day that goes by without the Rangers reaching out to him has to make him wonder even more.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
He’s not hale and hearty because his club has only won seven of the last 21, but the pieces are there. Frankly, he looked older than his years a few seasons back with an old, overpaid, under-achieving bunch. Now, it’s not a chore going to work, and he has no interest in stepping aside. He’s on a year-to-year contract now, after his five-year package ran out. He’s in no hurry to quit.
“Where else can you have this much fun? I’m still young. Fifty-three is young,” said Sather, playfully knocking 11 years off his real birth certificate, just a few minutes before a youngster at the rink asks for an autograph in Total Hockey.
“The whole book, or just this page,” kidded Sather, as he scrawls his signature on his playing stats, which aren’t quite as glittering as his coaching numbers.
via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
According to hockey insiders, Glen Sather turned down a five-year contract extension with the New York Rangers during the summer, leading to speculation this will be last season as president and general manager of the club.
NHL watchers would view his departure as the end of era, and also beginning of a new era in which recently retired players such as Mark Messier and Scott Mellanby would begin moving into top management positions.