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.
In hockey, the GM is more important than coach. It's very strange that no matter who they bring in, the Blueshirts always refuse to rebuild and go for overpaid has-beens. Dolan has to get someone who'll start over. You can't blame him for spending the $$, but it hasn't worked for too long now. It's well past time to try something else.
He is living off the years that Edmonton won the 5 Stanley Cups-if Dolan does not get rid of him now he does not have a clue.
The Rangers downfall has been to trade all the young prospects and go for name high salary guys who are one-dimensional.
They need hard working two way players-willing to put out every night.
hey Shadetree, I gotta say i like your persistance. Just let me know why you think they can actually win this time. Being a Rangers fan i know how horrible this team is and know the season is over...but if they win this game...i think that will at least give me one thing to hold my head up about....that and Jagr even though they arnt winning...its obvious if they do he will have a very big part in it.
Originally posted by Stewdawg@Feb 25 2004, 07:16 PM I heard this second-hand, but Sahter actually said in the press conference that the constant fan chants of "Sather must go" was too much for the TEAM and was wearing on THEM
Originally posted by Icer@Feb 26 2004, 12:20 AM I had high hopes when Sather came in to coach the team.
Oh well, the only thing left to do is BLOW UP the entire roster and start again.
This team ain't winning no Stanley Cup...
The test will be what they do between now and March 9th, the trade deadline. 2 weeks. Get rid of 4-5 of the useless vets, get some kids in here, bring up the Dominick Moore types from Hartford, and lets see what we've got. I would also trade Dunham ASAP, and see if Markeenen is decent over a stretch of games. Hopefully, Blackburn comes back next season and becomes the starting goalie.