Glen Sather’s transformation is now complete

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.

23 Responses to “Glen Sather’s transformation is now complete”

  1. Wwc says:

    If slats stays true to his word, then i give him tons of credit for it. he’s quietly kept this philosophy and may have a perenial contender, something everyone wants.
    He signs schultz, we may have a deep d core for years.

    I think the team will peak in 2 years as your core guys will have afew yrs in the league. Steph, kreider will be an experienced second line (with maybe miller or thomas), more speed on your third line, and a solid d with erikson, and the truck.

  2. Walt says:

    Alex

    From your other post, you put out names to trade, did you read Slats statement, we don’t trade kids? I’m not trying to be a horses ass, but the mind set of this organization has changed, for the good, and the kids will develope here. If at a later date, these players don’t pan out, then they are traded, or let go. Stay the course Slats, we don’t want any more Lindros, Shanny’s, or dried up Gretzky’s, or the lot! Let’s stay young, it keeps me that way, ha ha ha!

  3. Scully says:

    I know we’ve all given Sather a very hard time and rightfully so, but I think the people who said that he got lucky by building the Oilers dynasty in the 80s are starting to have to eat crow. Oh sure, there’s always luck involved in any acquisition, draft etc… but perhaps it wasn’t just sather trading away prospects (let’s not call them blue chippers because I feel like I can count on one hand all the prospects that became great NHLers that Sather traded as the Rangers GM prior to the lockout). For all we know it could have been someone behind the scenes mandating the spending of money a la George Steinbrenner. It could easily have been Dolan or could have been someone else. Regardless, Sather seems to have gone back to his roots and if his scrap heap signings and trades in recent years are of any indication, this dude is seriously cagey, and has not lost the eye that allowed him to build FIVE cup winners at all!

    Not only were we one of the last 3 teams standing this season but, we’ve got a minor league system ripe with talent which plays the same system we do. Ken Gernander might as well be labeled “little Torts” at this point. The system the Wolfpack has put in place allows for the kids to come up and step right into low leverage situations, succeed, and gain confidence at the NHL level. The only follow up to such an exciting season is that we’re all super excited for the offseason. Gaborik injury (and Sauer injury) aside, Sather has gone back to his roots as a wheeling and dealing superstar and if we’re going to believe that, then we’ve got to be excited for the moves he’ll pull off this Summer to bolster both scoring and defensive depth. Perhaps they’re one in the same.

  4. Comnsnse says:

    Kevin et al re:Sather. The first 7 paragraphs I’d consider “damning with faint praise”. The reality however is quite different. His Edmondton years and 5 cups with what amounted to an all star team were enough to get him an early entry into the HOF. Since that time essentially starting with his terrible drafts in the 80′s,he’s been a GM flop to put it mildly for over 20 years. For the record only 2 of his #1 picks in the 80′s ever had a serious career in the NHL. He has managed to waste millions with the Ranger organization on other team’s supposed stars in a pathetic attempt to justify his boast that”anyone could win with the Ranger’s money”. He has thrown coaches under the bus when his failures to draft,trade more FA signings flopped. Finally,to even suggest the statement that “we don’t trade our kids” is truthful is a bald faced lie. Since he was prepared to do exactly that to land Nash! I’ll repeat the question I’ve asked here and elsewhere. “What executive of a franchise with only several playoff appearances and no hardware,and with his resources in his 12 years at the helm would still have the job”? The transformation of the franchise will only be on the right path when this stiff is sent to Banff with his stolen millions of Junior’s money! One further note anyone,please identify all these “prospects” the organization has and how there to date performances will improve the obvious needs of this roster? Thank you

    • Scully says:

      Honestly I agree with you on the point that for the first 8 years Sather was GM he did a horrible job, but once again WE DON’T KNOW WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES. We’re on the right path, we just went from missing the playoffs, to 1st round exit, to Conference Finals in 3 seasons with the major core of young kids intact. If you’d like to suggest who else should be running the team and what kind of plan they’d like to put in place I’m all ears. The way you’re writing I’d think that even if we went 16-0 in the playoffs you’d look at it pessimistically. Don’t drive yourself crazy dude, these guys are human and they fuck up, but he’s been doing a pretty shrewd job the past few seasons. We can say Ryan Mcd was a throw in in the salary dump move to sign Gaborik, but someone decided he should be included in the trade etc… And keep in mind, Jim Dolan, who’s proved himself to be borderline retarded (excuse me for not being PC), is our owner. We wouldn’t argue that Billy Martin, Yogi Berra, Stick Michael sucked in the 1980s, we’d say that Steinbrenner was all over them until he was suspended from the day to day operations in the early 90s. So we don’t really know that that wasn’t the case with Sather. Just saying.

    • Spozo says:

      i think it’s funny that you are asking questions but I don’t recall a single time that you have responded to anyone elses response to your posts

      • Comnsnse says:

        Spozo,are you speaking to moi? If so,please identify your question to me personally that I’ve not responded to. Thank you

        • Justin says:

          You never responded to me in the goalie/management grades post…

        • Spozo says:

          Yes I am talking to you. The most frustrating thing about your posts (besides everyone being negative in nature) is that you don’t discuss the Rangers with anyone. Several readers respond to pretty much everyone of your posts but you never respond to them. You just disappear until another blog is written and then just repost your same argument. Part of what brings people back here is the discussion among readers. Something you do not take part in.

    • Kevin says:

      Comonsnse – how can you argue that Sather was prepared to deal kids for Nash when he so publicly refused to cave to Howson’s demands and didn’t pull the trigger on the deal?
      Rip Sather’s history all you want, but the point of the post is that he has changed (people can do that, you know) and has been running a well-oiled machine here for several years now. If you don’t think the consensus among NHL suits is that he’s one of the top execs in the game right now, then you’re sorely mistaken.
      I have no idea what you mean by their “to date performances.” Obviously nothing any prospect achieves in juniors or the minors can help the Rangers…But Tim Erixon, J.T. Miller, Michael St. Croix and many more give plenty of reason for optimism.

      • Mikeyyy says:

        Bravo…don’t tell me what he did 5 years ago, what did he do recently to make the club better….

        Show me where a move he has made, made the team weaker.

  5. Rob sahm says:

    I think sather is toying with the media there is no way in hell that he gets a player like nash or ryan without parting with young prospects .and parise is not coming here he is not worth 8 mill per unless you are not resigning your rfa,s like prust and del zotto imo parise is going to detroit

  6. Comnsnse says:

    Scully/Kevin?,I tried to reply to your email without success. Without beating a dead horse. Perhaps you should take a “reality” poll of anyone who has followe dboth Sather’s career in Edmondton and here to see a general consensus. As for the “we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes” comment. You can’t actually believe that Junior in any way dictates anything to sather nor did he to Ike Thomas! The Dolans are only interested in profit,amply supplied by Ranger ticket holders and MSG.As for who mcould replace Sather. Just look around the league,Don Maloney,Paul Holmgren,Peter Chiarello,and Shero in Pitt to name a few!

    • Vince R says:

      Don’t know if it’s just language/terminology, but you can’t respond to emails, you need to post on the site.

    • Scully says:

      Yes but all the gm’s you mention have jobs at the current moment so that’s not an argument. We’re not saying Sather has a perfect track record, far from it… but in the past 3-4 years he’s done much more right than wrong.

    • Jess Rubenstein (@TheProspectpark) says:

      Excuse me if I may throw my 0.02 cents here because some of the facts aren’t exactly accurate. There’s a curve here is a curve there, but as someone who was writing back in 1997 not to hire Glen Sather, trash him for his mistakes but even he admitted that he made mistakes.

      Regarding Brendl and Lundmark, they were not Glen Sather picks. They were Neil Smith’s and both of them were bad picks to begin with.

      Brendl showing up out of shape thinking that he was going to be handed a job just by showing up. Lundmark, you can make a small case that the Rangers could not figure out how to develop him.

      There is one truth to defend Glen Sather with and that is when he was hired there was absolutely nothing in the farm system. There was no scouting or development program in place.

      It also didn’t help that the person that Glen Sather wanted to run player personnel wound up as head coach (Tom Renney) because Jim Schonfeld didn’t want to coach. Tom Renney and Gordie Clark had to rebuild from scratch a scouting department that did not exist in 2004.

      The best thing that happened to the Rangers was Don Maloney leaving so Gordie Clark could take over running drafts and running player personnel. Tom Renney may have been a bad coach to some of you, but he’s the person who helped build up the player development program you see today.

      Like Glen Sather or not, the truth is you don’t rebuild any kind of scouting or player development program overnight. It takes several years.

      It’s paying off now so Sather does deserve the credit for hiring the right people and letting him do the job. One last thing, as I apologize for this lengthy post and that is when Glen Sather retires in the next year or two, the Rangers will be in the best shape as a franchise since the early 1990s.

      • Walt says:

        Jess

        Good stuff, I always blamed the drafting of Lundmark, and Brendl on Slats, I stand corrected! Thanks

  7. Comnsnse says:

    “Journeyman”,”An experienced reliable worker,athlete or performer as distinguished from a star”. Webster’s 11th.collegiate edition. I’d say that about sums up Mr.Staal,over rated and over paid #1 draft choice might also be in there!

    • Kevin says:

      Calling Staal a journeyman is flat out laughable.

    • Spozo says:

      In 2009 Staal was selected to the YoungStars Competition. In 2011 he was selected for the AllStar team. That pretty much throws out your argument that Staal is “distinguished from a star”. Since it seems like a rare moment today that you are responding, do you actually have anything positive to say about this team? Seriously I don’t recall a single positive statement you have made about this team that just made it to the ECFs.

    • Jess says:

      you guys have it wrong, comnsnse is actually Brian Trottier still pissed off about getting fired by the Rangers