Glen Sather was a recent guest on Edmonton Sports Radio 1260 (H/T Dennis Bernstein at the Fourth Period) and discussed numerous topics including contract negotiations with Derek Stepan...
"Derek is in one of those positions where he's coming off an entry level contract. What we've done historically with all the players we've signed is we've put them into that gap contract where they have two years then after the first year then you negotiate an extention of that contract. That's pretty much what we're going to do with Derek. I'm not going to give him a long term contract at this stage. He's a good player. He's a smart player. He's a good team guy. There's certainly nothing wrong with him. But you got to wait a little while before you get the big bucks."
...ok, so we know what the Rangers contract plans are with Stepan. Now we just have to hope the Rangers young center is on the same page. Assuming most guys aren't thrilled about signing a "gap" contract, but it's likely Stepan's only option, especially with no other team offer sheeting him.
...to be honest, I didn't like Sather's tone talking about the negotiations. He seemed annoyed. That doesn't bode well. I can absolutely see this running into training camp.
Sather acknowledged that teams have been calling about Brian Boyle's services, but he's not anxious to trade him as it could be something he regrets.
...assuming most Rangers fans don't agree with this. But with Callahan and Hagelin likely to miss the first month of the season and Stepan's contract situation still up in the air, the Rangers absolutely need the forward depth.
Sather also answered questions about Marc Staal's status for the season saying he's 100% healthy and fully recovered from the eye injury.
...Staal hasn't even said he's "fully recovered" from the eye injury. But if true, I just got a whole lot more excited about the season!!!!
Sather also denied that the players came to him about John Tortorella during exit interviews...
"It is not true the players came to me. I wouldn't allow a player come to me and tell me we don't like the coach." Sather re: Torts.— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) August 22, 2013
...hmmmm. Someone isn't telling the truth here as Torts seems pretty confident that the players threw him under the bus. As much as I think Torts calling out his players the other day was sour grapes, I do believe him over Sather who is likely trying to protect his Ranger players.
He also discussed the likely reason for Brad Richards' struggles last season...
"Richards spent the summer negotiating the new CBA and that hurt his training. He was behind 1st day of camp, but he'll bounce back." Sather— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) August 22, 2013
...pretty much what most Rangers fans suspected. It's very difficult to catch up with everyone if your behind the eight ball conditioning-wise, especially during a shortened season. I'm still feeling confident about a bounce back season for Richards.
To listen to the entire interview, click here.
...seriously, why doesn't Sather do more interviews? Whenever he gives them, he's incredibly insightful and allows the fans to understand his thought process.
someone refresh my memory but wasn't it Sather who said after firing Torts that he felt obligated to do it after so many players complaining about Torts to him during the exit interview?
Ha ha. Total gamesmanship on Sather's parts re: Stepan. He makes it sound like he's just an ordinary player who still has to prove himself. Sather hasn't got the money for a long term contract so he's forced to go bridge which is also a $ problem so he addresses it by trying to talk down Step's value so he can keep the price. Talk about transparency.
Step is a guy who has improved every year he's played hockey so why should he stop now? Step is already one of the best in the league defensively (9th in Selke balloting this year) His offensive stats were as good this year as Tavares and JT doesn't kill penalties. Step is going to be a point a game player and a 30 goal scorer (was on pace for 31 this past year) and that in spite of missing a huge amount of scoring opportunities...the guy has an uncanny knack of being in position to score goals. His shot velocity and accuracy is going to improve so perennial 30 goals is realistic. People tend to underestimate Step because he's not fast, nor particularly graceful. He doesn't make the jaw dropping passes; he just does what needs to be done with quiet efficiency. The fact that people still question whether he's a number one center only shows how underappreciated he is.
Every team is signing their young prospects to lengthy contracts and if we had bought out Richards, Step would have a similar deal to McD by now.
I really do not think that Boyle, besides being a body provides the forward depth you are alluding to. I know he is decent at the faceoff, but overall the rangers are terrible at the faceoff it does not matter. I think if teams are inquiring we need to at least listen. Sather being the doofus he is .
Sather playing hard ball like he always does and he has leverage unless an offer sheet comes soon. This tactic will come back to bite him at some point. U should take care of your own. Stepan was probably our best and most consistent forward last year. Sather wants to see if he can do it again.
Boyle would have good value if he used his size - he's slow but has decent hands for a big man. the Neal hit went to his head in more ways then one. He's got to find a way to push through that now or else his career is going no where.
One reader aptly pointed out that the Staal eye injury became a cover up for a possible secondary concussion sustained in his return in the playoffs. The eye probably is fine, at least good enough to play at a high level. The long concussion injury, especially if he sustained a secone one has me quite concerned.
Step situation is as we all expected. Should be no worries there. Slats tone did seem a bit cantankerous to me as well.
No comment on the Torts comments...
....still looking for a big trade. If it's no secret to us that our team lacks the grit to compete ( especially after the winter breaks) our GM who's been around this game 50+ years know it too. IMHO we got great goalie, solid d and adequate talent to go far if we get some added snarl. It will be interesting to see how that's addressed. .
"Sather acknowledged that teams have been calling about Brian Boyle's services, but he's not anxious to trade him as it could be something he regrets."
That's sather controlling the price as much as he can. Smart. It's possible no one has contacted him about Boyle. He is establishing value here for sure.
@TheNYRBlog thought it was interesting he also said pretty blatantly he wasn't a fan of the system because it stifled the offense, too
"What we've done historically...", you mean over the past 6 years? Because I'm pretty confident that "bridge" deals didn't exist prior to the existence of the cap. Especially in Sather-land!! The historical precedent here is like 8 players, and does not include McDonagh, who began his career the same year as Stepan. Stepan's star is definitely on the rise, not buying 3 years of free agency now will cost this team a helluva lot more 2 years from now. Baffling!
"It is not true the players came to me. I wouldn't allow a player come to me and tell me we don't like the coach."
Could be carefully worded. Could have been a messenger of the players (i.e. agent, rep, etc) My guess is that someone informed Slats of the players' displeasure in Torts, so maybe technically a player didn't come to Slats directly to complain. Also, why Torts knows his players turned on him, but not which ones.
But whatever...time to move one. It's the past.
@TheNYRBlog As usual, one has to go to Edmonton to find out what Sather thinks. Disgusting.
@TheNYRBlog Great..so, when it stretches into training camp & another team DOES give him an offer sheet, he's as good as gone.
I don't know what to think about Torts dismissal. There's been so much blabber and multiple stories about it I don't even care anymore. I still think the owner decided he didn't like it then told Slats to throw whoever he felt like under the bus. So the Rangers through Larry Brooks leaked one story, the Slats refuted it giving us this story and away we go. The only thing I agree with is that Brooks is a total jag off.
Re: Stepan - Slats words ring a little hollow when you take his buddy McDonaugh's contract into account. They ring a bit more irksome when you look at some of the deals tossed around this summer to some "building block type RFA's" (Duchene, Landeskog, etc. - guys who may or may not be as good as Stepan). The only leg the Rangers have to stand on with that is saying - "hey Callahan got the same deal what makes you a bigger deal than the captain?" If Kadri (identlcal numbers to Stefan without the previous two good years) gets a monster long term deal with the Leafs this thing could get pretty bad.
He still thinks its the 90s, no salary cap, money to blow, and no internet. Probably doesn't realize every in NY will eventually hear this when he talks on a radio show in Canada.
As for his comments, I don't disagree with his approach in Stepan, but if he always planned on giving him a "gap" deal, he should have signed that deal before giving McD 4 years with bigger money. You know Step's agent is sitting there pointing out that his client was our #1 center last year, and if you're going to pay our #1 D-man and break tradition, why are you not doing that for your #1 center? If I were Stepan I wouldnt want to be trying to renegotiate an extention next year while the team is dealing with Hank, Cally, Girardi, Brassard, Moore, etc, etc.
The only people who seem to not like Boyle staying seem to be those who think only players with good star lines are good players. They fail to see the little things Boyle does, and those things he keeps improving on. Also the fact that in consecutive years he stepped it up in the playoffs. Rangers fans will never cease to amaze and befuddle me.
@TheNYRBlog Enjoy that Sather seems to understand Boyle's value to the team.
@TheNYRBlog / good read. Thanks.
I both like and dislike these bridge contracts. I think it's good and safe for the team, but it causes resentment from the player and if this bleeds into camp it's going to pur step in the same situation Richards was in. not setting step up for success.
@shishya100 I like what you said about Stepan. He has improved every season he has been in the NHL and has also played in every NYR game since that 1st game he scored a Hat Trick. I would have liked for Sather to just give him a long term contract. They don't have as much money now as they will next season but they still have as much as 4 mil to spend. Remember Asham and Powe cleared waivers earlier this summer but their cap charge remains on the team until the season starts.
Having said that, I'd like to see Stepan do what he did last season again this coming league year. I think he can but many players have gotten bridge deals and then he can negotiate an extension after this season if he outperforms whatever bridge deal he signs this season. It's just best if we get him as cheaply as possible right now because of the cap restaints put on by the new CBA. The team may need something at some point in the season and won't be able to make a deal because of cap space. I think at some point Stepan will sign a 4 mil per year contract. He's worth that much but right now they don't wanna throw the world at the kid until he plays like he did last season for an entire 82 games. The question is not about wether he earned it with the way he played last season. He played out of his mind and he didn't score a point for the 1st 2 weeks of the season. Then Torts had a talk with him and off he went never to return. He's a future 70+ point centerman.
@dsclaw88 He definately allows the team depth. That's what he is. If you knew the sport well you would know that you don't just give up big defensive forwards like Boyle. Without him, this is shaping up to be a small team lacking in the physical department. He is a good faceoff man and so is Moore. AV likes to use his bottom 2 lines for defensive zone starts and his top 2 in the offensive zone. We need a couple big defensive zone forwards like Boyle. The LA Kings showed how important a defensive forward can be in the playoffs a little more than a year ago in 11/12 with Jared Stoll. Stoll didn't do much scoring in those Stanley Cup finals but winning all those faceoffs kept the Devils from setting up in front of Quick and makes the other team have to go 200 ft for a chance. Boyle always seems to equal his regular season scoring in the playoffs with some big goals.
Boyle was never cut out for Torts Strategies at least the offense from defense aspect. He's not the fleetest of foot and he is not great with the puck, especially in the nutral zone where he makes some real bad decisions. However, AV's 1-2-2 system doesn't require as much skating ability as players set up a trap more than a forecheck. There is more standing around at the Red Line than chasing the puck carrier. Therefor the offense is produced with the puck instead of without like on the forecheck. Boyle will be better suited for AV's Rangers than Torts. Tortarella liked Boyle because of his size and defensive ability.
We need to keep him around at least until Hagelin returns. Boyle can play the LW on the 3rd or 4th line. Brassard and Moore are better offensive players and will be the 3rd and 4th Centers. Boyle on the LW will provide more offense in front of the net than he ever did at Center under Torts. We need some big guys on the team. Could use another really. A guy that's willing to fight would be nice as well. Not a fighter per se' but a guy that will when needed.
@Lordstanleybroadway I doubt Stepan will get an offer sheet and it's even less likely Sather can't/won't match it. He has 4 mil to spend if he wants and he can go 10% over the cap (6.43 Mil) until the season starts if he has to. An offer sheet of that magnitude (That Sather would not be willing to match) would cost a team a number of 1st round picks and a 2nd and a 3rd. I doubt a team would value Stepan at that price and then have to overpay him. It would really have to be over the top for Sather not to match it. He'd cut or trade other players to make room for Stepans' Offer Sheet if he had to I'm sure!
@Betweentheworlds Smart assessment of the team. IMO you hit the nail on the head. We have everything needed for a long run except a little sandpaper. We could really use a gritty kind of top 9 player. A multi tool kind of big guy. A righty would be nice on this team but a guy like Stewart or Lucic. Hard to find that type of player. Maybe Sather should have kept Clowe around. They may have to use Mashinter or Bickel as a 4th line forward.
I agree that staal probably got a concussion on that big hit he took against Washington in the playoffs.
@IcyCup Very true.
@jhascup22 Very candid interview.
@gravey94 good point, especially if we're talking about 2 players of relatively equal value who started the same year. This tells me for one he's not so confident about Staal's future even if he says the eye is 100% if he's more willing to lock in McD given the fact that the cap structure necessitates a choice. Also the decision to not buy Richey out will probably bite him in the ass - no knock on Richey but this is the cap world now and based upon what Richey's done in his prime does not justify tying up so much cap space for the next 50 years. Yeah, I know they can buy him out next season but why wait a year to lock in your key players and build a better team.
@Jeff_Brosnan @TheNYRBlog No idea why he doesn't do these interviews in New York.
@TheGr8Tony @TheNYRBlog They have plenty of money left to sign Stepan, about 4 mil. Teams are also allowed to go 10% over the Cap until camp starts so that's an additional 6.43 mil. Any Offer Sheet too much for Sather to match would be too much for a team to send in an offer sheet. Not many teams have more than 5 mil to spend. 9 to be exact and 3 of them have their own RFA's to resign. They don't have the money. There's 5 teams with 10 mil in Cap Space or more. They're the low market teams like Florida, Buffalo, and the Islanders. The NYI are the only team I could see sending an Offer Sheet to Stepan and they won't because the NYR have more money than most and will get even some day. Offer Sheets don't happen often
@Rangerfan41 I completely agree with you. Boyle does a lot of little things right and while he had a tough start to last season, I think we can all agree that he had shining moments throughout.
@RangerSmurf He will be huge when Cally & Hagelin miss the first month.
Your comment is clearly a joke. Have you watched the Rangers the past 2 seasons? When has Boyle ever been physical? Guy is soft, Zucarrello is more physical and he is a hobbit. Not sure what your basis is for classifying him as a defensive forward, please explain it to me.
You have no clue what the return is for Boyle, so how do you know we will not get your quote on quote defensive forward in the trade?
Maybe I will agree with your screen comment towards the end, Boyle did do that during the season.
I am not disputing that size does not matter and agree come playoff time size is important, but Boyle does not play Big. If you think he plays Big you are drunk or high or both...
@Betweentheworlds @gravey94 very true about richards. I am a fan and believe that he will do well this season (I really feel he had a fluke bad last season). However, from a cap perspective, we could have paid stepan a similar contract to mcdonagh (probably a little less as projected earlier in the summer) and then still had enough to afford someone like grabovski, young talened center, just went for 1 yr $3 mil
@KevinDeLury @TheNYRBlog Because like he said 10 years ago, He hates the NY media. I have to agree in a way. It's like being the President. You have to carefully word everything or it gets spud 1000 different ways and is looked at from every possible angle. Sather did a radio interview on "Mike & the Mad Dog" in 03' I believe and it was the last time he did any kind of interview with any NY personality. Mike Fransessa got on Sather about taking a vacation in the Bahamas in the middle of the Rangers season. It got kind of heated and it's the last one he did in NY. Ask Mike Fransessa. He'll tell you. James Dolan doesn't force his GM to do interviews and so he doesn't. Other teams force the GM to be accountable and speak about all the moves made or not made. Dolan does not. That is why Glen Sather doesn't do interviews in NY.
He could be. If he's still a ranger and if he recognizes the importance and the opportunity before him.
@TheNYRBlog / I like Boyle. Also, I agree on GS take on Stepan contract.
1st of all you don't know me and if you can't debate a subject as an adult without adolescent insults then maybe you should wait for HS to start in the fall. You can argue with kids your age and at least say those things to someone's face. I'm sure you wouldn't say that to mine.
The GM of the team with 50 years in the business is saying Boyle is too important to the team and he's not willing to trade him. People like you have little clue about a team concept. A guy like Boyle is good for the locker room. Teammates root for guys like Boyle because he's a heart and soul type player. He had an off year last season because of the lack of camp.
Boyle was one of the leaders on the Rangers in average PK TOI. How is that not a defensive forward? Under Torts he was also one of the leaders in defensive zone starts and faceoffs taken but he's not a defensive forward? I'm guessing you're about 16-18. Not around the last time the Rangers won the cup. Boyle is going to have a bounce back season under the new system AV uses. He isn't the fleetest of foot but in this 1-2-2 there's more trapping and less chasing. Less skating involved in a trap. You maybe don't know much about the X's and O's of the game but the return on Boyle will not be worth trading him. Maybe Sather could get a 4th liner that's more Physical but you can't replace him on the PK or in the Faceoff circle. No way a team swaps the same player for Boyle and having 2 Centers on the 4th line ( Moore ) helps if one is kicked out. Center depth is important. If you think Boyle should go then you didn't know that.
Trading Boyle will only make the team smaller and leave a hole on the PK. If you don't think so or can't stand him that much then don't watch because he's a core player on this team from the bottom 6. If there's an injury to a Centerman then Guys move up and Boyle moves to Center from the LW. At least that's where I think he fits in. He's played here for years now in a defensive role and I think his offensive upside will come out more like in 10/11 under AV. He was concussed in the Ottawa series and I don't think he recovered from that and the lack of camp hurt him last season. With Callahan and Hagelin likely out to start the season he will be that much more important. Even if he's in the press box when they return. You didn't think of that. Must be a little short sighted. All you see is a big guy so he should be real nasty. How about Kreider. He's only 14 lbs lighter. He plays small so he's a bum? Just because he's big does not make him tough. You just want a scapegoat to blame for the teams failure. Not a good fan. Not very knowledgable either.