John Tortorella’s interview with Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN Radio drew more attention (click here to read The Suit’s analysis), but few noticed that GM Glen Sather also spoke to the media on Wednesday.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News managed to corner the Rangers’ seldom heard from brass leader and as with Tortorella, Slats delivered plenty of interesting comments in one of his few annual interviews.
Sather discussed his pride in what the Blueshirts accomplished this year, vaguely hinted that New York would be more active in free agency than in the trade market and beamed about Chris Kreider’s potential.
But the most stunning line of all came when Sather was discussing Kreider and announced his firm stance, “We don’t trade kids.”
That statement is largely consistent with organizational policy over the last few years, but it’s still shocking to hear coming from Sather’s lips.
The man that once couldn’t wait to deal first-round picks and once-considered top prospects like Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark in exchange for over the hill stars has done a complete “180” and now steadfastly refuses to include prospects in trades.
Or so he claims, because the rampant rumors of New York’s proposals to Columbus for Rick Nash certainly included at least a couple of top prospects, but still.
Of course, no team can go on forever refusing to part with its top young talent in trades. If the Rangers swing and miss on Zach Parise and again struggle to score next season, they’d be foolish not to consider dealing from a source of strength to shore up obvious holes.
But that’s down the road. You can choose to believe Sather or not – and many still think he’ll pursue Nash again this summer, a possibility that would surely include the departures of a couple of solid young players – but it’s still amazing to see just how Sather has changed since arriving in New York 12 years ago.
It’s kind of old news now, but the man that fans tried to run out of town with rallies in 2010 has indeed done exactly what we wanted all along.
Now, instead of dreading what mediocre player will land a ridiculous contract from Sather this summer, we can imagine the very real possibility that Slats’ true number one priority is to acquire even more young talent in the form of Justin Schultz.