Who’s the Boss?

In News, Pucks on Broadway by Blueshirt

Sorry hard to believe Glen Sather will be hands off

You going to have to forgive me if I have a hard time believing that Jeff Gorton is going to be allowed to fully run the New York Rangers without Glen Sather. At last check despite giving up the title of general manager, Glen Sather will remain as the President of the team.

You are reading the words of a person who as far back as 1997 was saying Glen Sather was the wrong guy for the Ranger’s job. My feeling was that the Rangers failed every time they hired a big name to be either general manager or coach. That the Rangers biggest mistake going back to the 1960’s was constantly hiring someone who instead of looking to make a reputation was living off one.

Now my dislike of Glen Sather the general manager might be coloring my judgment here but at last check the general manager still reports to the President. Glen Sather is still going to be the guy who will sit in the big chair at all the staff meetings and I wish I could be a fly on the wall the first time Jeff Gorton wants to make a move that Sather does not like.

Now this mistrust of believing that Jeff Gorton will be running the show is built up on all the years that Glen Sather was running the Edmonton Oilers. It was nice of Sather to remind the New York media that he has been an NHL GM for 34 years.

Nice because someone remembers how many times Glen Sather gave up the coaching position over the years in both New York and Edmonton only to take the job back when Sather was not happy with the results. It was also nice of Sather to mention that general managers around the NHL are getting younger because had it been up to many a Ranger fan then Glen Sather would have been fired in 2004.

Exactly how are we supposed to believe that Sather has turned over the keys to the castle when he snapped back when asked if he was leaving New York “No I will still be here.”

Jeff Gorton did not help himself either when he responded when asked about having to answer to Sather or not “We are a team here”. Has anyone pointed out that on every team there winds up being just one boss?

Now despite my own dislike of Glen Sather as a General Manager, I will acknowledge that in many ways Sather is leaving the Rangers in a better place than it was when he took over in 2000. The Rangers have a real practice facility, a core group of coaches and trainers who are specialists in their various areas and Jeff Gorton.

But sadly the prospect pool while it is not as empty as it was in 2000 is lacking in many areas thanks to the Rangers trading away so many first and second round draft picks.

I honestly believe that as long as Glen Sather has an office at Madison Square Garden that little will change and the Rangers will not hoist a Stanley Cup. I do however pray that Jeff Gorton does last long enough to see the day when Glen Sather does totally retire because he is the kind of general manager I wished the Rangers had hired in 2000.

You know just like the former assistant GM the Rangers hired away from the Red Wings in 1989 who built the team that ended 54 years of frustration. Yes I am talking about Neil Smith who did what those with big names could not do; win the Stanley Cup.

Jeff Gorton was the interim GM of the Boston Bruin who did all the hard work building up the Bruin’s team that eventually would win the Stanley Cup. It is so bogus that Peter Chiarelli gets the credit for the work Gorton did.  You most likely know about the trade Gorton made for Tukka Rask but that was just the beginning.

Gorton and then Boston head scout (now a Ranger scout) Daniel Dore ran the 2006 NHL draft that netted the Bruins Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand. Gorton also signed Zdeno Chara as an unrestricted free agent before being fired a week later by the Bruins (along with Dore).

Gorton has done every job one can do in an NHL front office working his way up from the bottom to now the general manager of the Rangers. He will do well if allowed to be his own man and make the moves he wants without interference from Glen Sather.

The question is will he truly get the chance to run the Rangers the way he ran the Bruin front office? If he does then the Rangers will be in great shape.

And the Sather era will finally be over.