Report: Sather to step down as Rangers coach
February 25, 2004 NEW YORK (Ticker) - With his team skidding toward a seventh straight non-playoff season, Glen Sather reportedly will step down as coach of the New York Rangers. The New York Post reported Wednesday that Sather made his decision after meeting with Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan on Tuesday and that an announcement will be made prior to practice on Wednesday. Sather reportedly will maintain his roles as president and general manager of the club and will hand the coaching responsibilities to either Tom Renney or Terry O'Reilly, two of his assistants.
The New York Post added that the job could be offered to Jim Schoenfeld, currently the general manager of the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League, the Rangers' top affiliate.
The newspaper report comes one week after Sather said he would remain as coach for the remainder of the season.
The Rangers have the highest payroll in the NHL at approximately $70 million, but have not made the playoffs since 1997.
Despite the acquisition of superstar Jaromir Jagr from the Washington Capitals in January, the Rangers are on course for an early summer once again. The Rangers are 4-13-2 in their last 19 games and are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference standings, a distant 14 points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot.
New York also is 3-9 in its last 12 games at Madison Square Garden and the coach has been the target of "Fire Sather" chants from fans frustrated with the team's performance.
New York owns a 33-39-11-7 record under Sather since he replaced Bryan Trottier behind the bench on January 30, 2003. The next coach will be the fourth in Sather's four years as general manager.
In Sather's tenure, the Rangers have acquired or signed Pavel Bure, Bobby Holik, Alexei Kovalev, Greg de Vries, Darius Kasparaitis, Vladimir Malakhov, Mike Dunham, Eric Lindros, Anson Carter and Tom Poti, but have little to show for it.
Prior to coming to the Rangers, Sather was the architect of the Edmonton Oilers' five Stanley Cup championships between 1984 and 1990. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.