Rangers fans have a tough time agreeing on a blue print for turning the organization into a perennial Stanley Cup contender. Some want to blow the team up and start from scratch, while others feel a few moves to an already skilled roster would transform the Blueshirts into a top tier team.
However, one thing we can universally agree on is that Glen Sather has worn out his welcome. 13 years and just five playoff series victories isn't going to cut it. Sather said this offseason that coaches like John Tortorella have a shelf life, but I think we all know that Sather's has long since expired.
Unfortunately, Rangers owner James Dolan has recently given Sather a vote of confidence in the form of a job for life. So there's no sign of him being fired soon.
Having said that, Sather is 70 and recently needed surgery for prostate cancer. So the idea of him stepping down in the near future may not be so far fetched.
So the question then would be, who's going to replace him?
The most popular answer would be current assistant GM Jeff Gorton, who has prior experience as the GM in Boston and is said to be basically running the show for Sather anyway.
However, Adam Proteau at The Hockey News feels there could be a greater candidate.
Yes, Proteau feels that Wayne Gretzky could be a serious contender to replace Sather...
"We all know how franchise owner James Dolan loves putting former-star athletes in charge of his Madison Square Garden empire’s teams and Gretzky fits that bill perfectly. His presence in the world’s biggest media market undoubtedly would be welcomed by league brass as well. Gretzky doesn’t have NHL GM experience per se, but was director of hockey operations for the Coyotes and famously constructed Canada’s 2002 Olympic gold-medal-winning team. The Rangers also represent something Gretzky never had in Phoenix: an unlimited ownership checkbook allowing him to be as creative and aggressive as he wishes."
Proteau adds that there have been no reports of the Rangers possible interest in Gretzky, who was one of the names mentioned for the Blueshirts head coach vacancy this offseason, as the heir to Sather's throne.
...sure Gretzky would be a sexy pick as the next GM of the Rangers. He'd be a great ambassador of the game and likely spread the popularity of hockey in the New York area. But I'm sorry, I don't want my GM to be a marketing tool. I want a guy who will put his nose to the grindstone and do whatever it takes to build a winner at Madison Square Garden. My worry is that Gretzky will spend more time being paraded around than on the phone with fellow GMs trying to make the Rangers better.
...and if the Rangers are going to go the super star GM route, I'd much rather they bring back Messier, who has a much better understanding of the organization through his past role as special assistant to Sather.
...while I'm starting to get giddy just thinking about the idea of a successor to Sather, I know this is probably a scenario that won't play out for a number of years. Ugh.
H/T to reader Mattias D.
As I so stated when this post went up.... John Davidson. JD. He has the experience and body of work..... trading and drafting players that actually make it to the big show......
Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope,Nope. Its either Messier or Gorton. Gorton if you want to take the safe, experienced approach and Messier if you want to risk some bumps, but also possibly great success. Gretzky shouldn't be a GM here.
Why would the Rangers pick Gretzky over Messier as GM?....What an insult that would be to "I gaurantee"
Another thought here.....there is out there in the NHL world, a marketplace for GMs and I don't have a clue how GMs and prospective GMs "view" working for Dolan. In other words Dolan has a reputation among GMs and I don't know what it is? JD is a very sharp senior manager and I wonder privately why he never worked here prior. I am sure there will be some answers to my question. I just wonder what the political reasons were that kept JD away?
AV had a good understanding of our organization....didn't he? It is so much more important to get a GM who has had successful experience in creating a Stanley Cup winner.....has had successful experience in developing a strong farm system.....has successful talent identifying relationships at the collegiate and international levels and has hired successful coaches. All of that being said Jimmy will do just the opposite!
All u have to do is look at JDs body of work in St Louis.... and look at the 1 yr after he left. .... would be nice to have a team like that
JD gets my vote but gretzky or messier wouldnt be a bad option. What gm in the league wouldnt pick up a phone call from wayne gretzky? But i think as long as the garden sells out dolan wont get rid of sather. If i owned a store and all of my products are sold out everyday would i fire my manager? Hell no! I kind of dont blame him. Hate it but cant blame him.
IDK, Gretz's personality doesn't strike me as the GM type. He'd be good in an NHL ambassador type position. I think JD could be a viable option, or Mess if he would come back.
If they do hire him, Sather should at least have the decency to punch Messier in the nuts before they announce it.
My vote for a former player that would be a kick butt GM for us would be JD!
And I think JD would love to come back home to us!
This is something we, as fans of a NYC sports team, will have to deal with for as long as James Dolan is the owner of this franchise: the glitz and glamour will always beat out the smart, logical choice. Dolan is a twit, and he doesn't know anything about hockey. And that CAN work as an owner, if you admit that hockey is not your strong suit and you hire a qualified staff under you. However, Dolan thinks he knows about hockey. To come out and call Glen Sather "one of the best, if not the best" in the business is one of the craziest things I have ever heard. Glen has a knack for making some spectacular trades, that's for sure. But the facts are facts, and the fact is we haven't won anything under Glen. The anti-Sather attitude has calmed because we're playing well, but he should not be let off the hook for how brutal he's been the past 14 years. Only ONCE during his tenure have we made it past the second round of the playoffs. ONE time in 14 years. That is not success. But still, Dolan has his back. And I find it very hard to believe that Glen will step down on his own any time soon. And when he does, I have zero faith in Dolan to make a smart decision, i.e. Clark or Gorton. I fully expect a marketing move like Gretz.
With a guy like Dolan, he's going to want someone he knows.So Gorton is probably a good chance for the GM.Gordie Clark and Marc Messier also know Dolan But who knows.JD would be a good change.Gretz would be awesome from a PR point of view but what is his skill at management?
non sense... gorton is the next GM, he knows the organizaiton and the depth of the farm system that is down there. Mess is president material.. Gorton GM, no one else.
I know it will never happen but.....for our next GM I would get Craig Patrick (Sabres) he was great with the Rangers in 80s and Penguins in early 90s. Plus he has great Ranger blood lines. The next would be JD! What Ranger fan wouldnt want either of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbS6ZLQ2FoE last night was the return of Hank giving out wine to 3 players lol
Bring back JD to be president of hockey operations, and then have him pick a competent GM, so you have two smart guys in the room. Pass on Gretz.
And Proteau is saying Gretzky's credentials are Director of Hockey Ops in Phoenix and the 2002 Canada Gold Medal team? Gretzky was sub-500 as coach/GM of the Coyotes and the Coyotes were basically re-built by Tippet and Maloney. Also, the main reason Canada won in 2002 was because of the epic meltdown of the US team. I love Gretzky as a player but as an exec he's basically Isiah.
Good assessment, Kevin. However, Sather likely will be in the job until the day he dies. Even then, he might hang around and haunt this franchise for years to come. As for the team, I fall into the second camp. A couple of tweaks here and there could make a difference.
Are there comparisons to be made between Gretzky and Neil Smith? They kind of look like each other if you think about it. Yea, Messier would be a much better choice.
Messier would be a far better option. He knows this organization. And until Glen Sather put it in his head that he could be the coach, and then didn't give him the job (not that he should have) it seemed like Mess might be the next guy. Having said that I would take Kevin over Glen. Or why not me? Or Torts? He has a history here ;)Glen Sather may be able to make a trade, and sign big names. But big names want to come to NY. The draw isn't Glen. Its the building, and the team, and the history. #ANYONEBUTGLEN
@boogiepicker "one of the best, if not the best"...don't worry he described Isiah the same way!
@Snot-Bubbler JD would be my choice as GM. And I think he would be receptive to it.
@rangermom So what's your point?
@FireSather This is the best post of the month.
@FireSatherJD all day!!!!!
@Iron Mike Can you elaborate on that a little?
@KreiderisTheChosenOne Gorton is a good evaluator of talent. I doesn't necessarily means that he would be a good GM.
@bk59 Refresh my memory, what is the name of the GM. who put to gather the only team winning the cup in 74 years? Oh wait, he's name is Neal Smith.
@rjonyr87 The problem with all of us is that we're still smitten with Messier for what he did for us in '94 and it may cloud our judgment when it comes to other positions. I think he would make a better coach then a GM.
The Rangers have two guys in Jeff Gorton and Gordie Clark who have proven their worth for a while now and are ripe for promotion. There's no way James Dolan picks a guy with absolutely no success in a management position over them.
Actually, that sounds exactly like what James Dolan would do.
@Herman_NYRBlogSad but true.