New York Rangers’ President and former General Manager, and even player Glen Sather has had quite the career.
He helped the Edmonton Oilers to multiple Stanley Cups as a head coach and GM, he helped the Rangers become a formidable playoff contender for over a decade, is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and much, much more.
According to New York Post Rangers’ scribe Larry Brooks, it appears that Sather might be stepping down as the team’s president at the end of the season. If that’s the case, then his tenure with the Rangers will be looked at as an interesting one.
When he first came on board in the 2000-01 season, there were actually high expectations. He brought back Mark Messier, had a new head coach in Ron Low, and a healthy Mike Richter.
Like the seasons prior to that one, the Rangers ended up missing the playoffs once again. It had marked the fourth year in a row that the club did not make the postseason.
The team would miss the postseason the next three years as well as the roster was filled with disappointing free agent signings and questionable trades.
Things changed after the lockout. With Tom Renney behind the bench and Jaromir Jagr leading the offense, the Rangers were a real solid hockey club from the 2005-06 season through the 2007-08 season.
The team rode both Jagr and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to a lot of wins and three straight playoff appearances. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened in the 2006-07 postseason when former Blueshirt Chris Drury came up absolutely huge in Game 5 of the second round. At that point, the series was tied at two games apiece so it really could have gone either way.
The Blueshirts had some success under head coach John Tortorella. Under his watch, they made the playoffs every year, but one, and actually lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the New Jersey Devils.
When Torts was let go after the 2012-13 season, Sather hired Alain Vigneault. The hiring proved to be a great one as the team won a lot of games, got to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, and they were the league’s best team in the 2014-15 season.
Since last season, however, the team has struggled mightily and has now missed the playoffs two straight years. They are now in the process of rebuilding and while the team’s new head coach David Quinn and general manager Jeff Gorton have done a good job, it appears that there is still a long road ahead for this hockey club.
It will be interesting to see what happens once Sather steps down. How it will it impact the staff? How will it impact the franchise’s rebuild? Who will step into his role?
No matter what happens, it’s been a roller coaster for Sather in his tenure as a Rangers’ executive. With that said, I for one wish him well and thank him for making the franchise relevant again after a dark period in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Photo: New York Daily News