Half Way There Report Card: The General ManagerJanuary 13, 2012, by
For several years now I have been a pro Sather, Rangers fan. He has caused a lot of damage in his tenure, failed to bring the club back to relevance for far too long and doesn’t help his own appeal with his almost recluse like behaviour. That said, Sather has turned around this franchise since the lock-out with savvy signings, good appointments, excellent organisational drafting and along with the coaching staff, going with the youth. Let’s get to his grade for the year…
Let’s begin Sather’s grade back in the summer. He brought in Brad Richards on an excellent cap hit taking advantage of a loop hole in the CBA that other GM’s have used. That the length of the contract therefore was excessive was an unfortunate necessity. Still, Richards was the right addition to this team at the right time.
Mike Rupp however received too much dollar and term in my opinion, even though he appears to be a solid addition to the close knit team and will go down in Rangers folk lore for the Winter Classic. Sather also brought back Steve Eminger which was also a solid move, especially given the injuries and the lack of a truly ready replacement in the minors.
Then there is the next potential robbery in Sather’s recent history. Tim Erixon was acquired from Calgary for some picks and Roman Horak. While Horak has had some initial impact with the Flames, Sather managed to prize Calgary’s best prospect off them for a kid that had little chance in NY (because of depth) and effectively got two first round talents this summer at the draft. Erixon has seen Rangers ice already and has made a solid start in Connecticut.
During the season Sather has made minor moves that have paid off handsomely. While his hand was forced somewhat, the additions of Jeff Woywitka and Anton Stralman have been fine depth moves and helped the team cope with a huge amount of man power lost on the blue line. In terms of Stralman Sather got a good deal at 900k pro rated.
If I was to nitpick at Sather I would ask him why Erik Christensen still remains with the club, however I suspect this has more to do with the coach wanting him here than Sather’s failure to deal with the deadweight.
Contract negotiations over the summer saw guys like Callahan and Anisimov get paid and Dubinsky get paid too much, but Sather still made sure the young core is intact. Also, Sather and Tortorella clearly are on the same page with this team’s direction and such inter-organisational harmony isn’t something this club has always had. Look at the results.
Sather’s overall grade will be decided by the deadline. If this team looks like it will be in contention down the stretch it will be interesting to see whether Sather is aggressive in adding pieces for a run and what he has to give up to do so. So far, Sather has had a good year (again) and his grade gets a hike because of his Winter Classic guarantee. Keep up the good work Glen. No more Wade Redden’s please. A-