Look at that picture, he almost looks angelic, doesn't he? That's right, he is the angel of trades, or more like a god. And last night, he committed yet another robbery of a fellow General Manager. With many speculating that this will be his final season as Rangers GM, Sather is beginning his final fight, his last chance to right the many wrongs he has committed during his tenure in New York. It hasn't been all bad, but unfortunately, the ignorant will not have their minds changed that he still is the right man for the job.
Sather came to the Rangers after Neil Smith destroyed the farm system single handedly. It was he, who many people like to forget, traded away future stars such as Marc Savard and Mike Knuble for washed up veterans, not Sather. People's blind hate towards this man have meshed his tenure with that of Smith's, which had players like Stephane Quintal, Valeri Kamensky and Sylvain Lefebvre being signed. Sather has not once traded away promising youth for washed up veterans, that is, unless you have a hard-on for Al Montoya.
Yes, he signed Bobby Holik, Gomez, Drury, Redden, and re-upped Rozsival, but this was at a time when the Rangers needed that player in one way or another. This is an example of right intention, wrong outcome. Holik was brought in to be a solid 2nd or 3rd line center. It was the coaching staff who used him the wrong way. With Nylander out the door, Gomez and Drury were the two best marquee centers available, and he nabbed them both, overpaying terribly. But what he paid them was fair market value, although some will deny it. Redden's contract is horrendous, but when Brian Campbell gets 8 years and $56 million, then Redden's is fair market value as well, and so is Rozsival's when you consider he was coming off a ten goal season.
All those signings went horribly wrong, but where Sather cannot be stymied is in the trade market. Sometimes I wonder if he ever worked for QVC. It's hard to believe that the same man who made those signings was also responsible for trading Igor Ulanov for Pavel Bure, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson for Eric Lindros, Anson Carter for franchise savior Jaromir Jagr, and most recently, Scott Gomez for Higgins and McDonaugh. With Higgins being sent to Calgary last night with Ales Kotalik for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust, the Rangers basically got Gaborik and Jokinen for Scott Gomez. Good deal, no?
I have stuck by Sather for many years. Has he angered me? Of course. Was I saddened when Brian Leetch was traded in 2004? Absolutely. But mistakes are made, and now he is beginning to fix them. Even his haters will admit his pure genius when it comes to trades. Last night was another example of that, and I can assure you, he's not done yet.
Sather will never be fired; it does not matter how many screaming morons show up at that rally on the steps of Madison Square Garden on March 7. Deep down we all know it. His time will be up sooner or later, but I obviously want him to finish out the year, and maybe one more next season. The farm system is strong and if we give it more time, we will have a bright future. From a poster on a Rangers forum who has proven to have insider info throughout the years, he said, "From a farm system perspective, Sather has positioned the organization to make the next GM look pretty good. Much like Muray did for Burke in Anaheim." All teams have bad drafts. Hugh Jessiman was a dud, but would you rather have a thirty goal scorer in him or Lundqvist, who was drafted in the 7th round? That's just how fate works.
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