Despite already being 10 years from his last Stanley Cup, the Rangers made a big deal out of signing Glen Sather as the team’s GM 10 years ago today (that makes it 20 years since Sather’s last Cup).
At the time, I was confused as to why Sather had the reputation he had. Sure he and the Oilers won a lot together, but I always gave most of the credit for that to Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier , who were two once-in-a-lifetime type of players and both were drafted by the Oilers before Sather got there.
By the time he was done in Edmonton, Sather had traded both of those players away and, thankfully, let Adam Graves leave via free agency. At the end of Sather’s tenure up north, the Oilers were a laughingstock.
Today, 10 years later, I am still confused as to why Sather has any reputation at all aside from being one of the worst front office people in the league. For a look back at all the awfulness of Sather’s reign in New York read Michael Obernauer of the NY Daily News ‘ article. If you can’t remember why you hate Sather, he’ll remind you.
Here is a brief excerpt:
As much as the long-flowing Edmonton-to-New York pipeline reflected the Rangers’ spending power and lack of creativity, it was Sather himself who declared upon his hiring that “my first responsibility is to try to build a winner – and I still believe you can’t buy a winner.” In no time he proved a quick study in the art of chucking money at an impressive string of burnouts and bombs.
Pavel Bure , Eric Lindros , Scott Gomez , Wade Redden and many more have helped Sather prove his point that no, you cannot buy a winner. Save for a seventh-rounder named Henrik Lundqvist Marc Staal in 2005 triggered an upswing – though fans like those at a “Fire Sather” rally outside the Garden on March 7 will never let go of 2003, when the Rangers selected big Dartmouth winger Hugh Jessiman at No. 12. In one of the best draft classes ever, Jessiman remains the only player among the top 33 picks never to appear in the NHL. picked three weeks after he was hired, the GM’s draft record was, as in Edmonton in the ’90s, a black hole until the move for
Upon ending the Trottier fiasco after just 54 games in 2002-03, Sather made the bold move of appointing himself the 31st coach of the Rangers. It was a do-it-yourself statement that the GM acknowledged could come with consequences – particularly when he went even bolder, Mark Messier bold, and guaranteed of his now-$75 million team: “We’re making the playoffs,” a statement repeated by Dolan. They did not, and they missed the playoffs for a seventh straight season a year later with Sather coaching the first 62 games before retreating upstairs to trade Brian Leetch .
Yes, the man the Rangers trust to run their entire organization from the top down traded away Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Brian Leetch. The combined return package? $15 million and a bunch of mediocre players and scrubs.