Why Blame Sather?

Signing Bobby Holik and Darius Kasparaitis was big for the Rangers. Big for size, big for what kind of players they are, and big for their money. There are a lot of debates on that topic, which then created the blaming on Sather and the Rangers payroll. I just want to present what I have to say about it. Starting with Holik, I’ve said this many times. Three teams bidding for Holik, and they are: Rangers, Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils.

The Devils made their last offer of a long term contract to Holik worth $8 million dollars a season. The Maple Leafs and the Rangers beat that price, obviously. Reports did say that the Maple Leafs offered $8.5 million dollars a season to Bobby Holik. No reports did mention the Rangers early offers, however. In the end, the Rangers made an offer of $9 million dollars a season, showing that they desperately needed him. It was also said that Pat Quinn did mention to a radio station that he did offer $9 million dollars to Holik.

Two scenarios:

1: Quinn did offer $9 million dollars a season to Holik, but Holik chose to stay in the metro-area and the Rangers bonuses were more valuable than the Maple Leafs bonuses.

2: Quinn didn’t make a true statement, but showed his effort to the fans that he really did try to not be cheap with the UFA’s. But, after signing Fitgerald, Aaron Gavey, Belfour, and then refusing to go after Cassels, Fleury, and Amonte…that tells me that the effort wasn’t really there now, was it?

So, would you have made such a big deal if the Leafs did sign Holik for $9 million dollars a season? Or even $8.5 million a season? I seriously, and highly, doubt that the media would. What if the Devils had to pay that much? I doubt that the media would criticize them as much. Come on, don’t deny it. The media can’t compliment the Rangers more than criticize them, unless the Rangers are a top team. Don’t deny it, the media proved it enough during the Jagr and Lindros saga in the summer of 2001.

Flashback: The Penguins had to trade Jaromir Jagr, and the team most likely to land him were the Rangers (weren’t we all surprised). The media attacked the Rangers and Sather by yelling out that the Rangers would usually give up their youth. In addition, the media nixed Sather’s plan of building the youth for the Rangers. But, what happened? The Capitals popped in and landed Jagr for three prospects. Sather stuck to his plan of keeping the youth, yet he still got criticized. All that was said, and still is, was that Sather missed out on Jagr. The media contradicted itself there, and that proves enough that they can’t compliment a rich team more than criticizing it.

So, the media would have done the same with Holik. If the Rangers didn’t sign Holik, then they’d call them the “miss outs”. If they did, then they’ be called “the usual big money spending team”. Just like the first two off-seasons of Glen Sather. The media criticized Sather for not addressing the team’s needs. Sather only did sign Vladimir Malakhov, Mark Messier, Igor Ulanov, Dave Karpa, Andreas Johansson, and Zdeno Ciger. No real big names or high priced players there. But, he still got criticized for that. When Sakic and Rob Blake were UFA’s, the media pointed fingers at the Rangers, and when they both signed with the Avalanche, they still pointed their fingers at the Rangers. Something just doesn’t make sense.

Moving on to the Rangers so called “pathetic” $70 million dollar payroll. By signing Holik and Kasparaitis, the media points fingers at Sather again and blames it all on him. Why? Because he addressed the team’s needs? Because in order for the Rangers to get Holik they had to spend $9 million dollars a season? Same with Kasparaitis? Now, the talks for the 2004 lock-out season have the term salary cap mentioned many times. The reaction to that: Rangers would have a very hard time. Why? Well, I really don’t know. Did Sather sign Pavel Bure for $11 million dollars this season? No. Did Sather re-sign Leetch and paying him $9.6 million dollars for this season? No. Did Sather sign Sylvain Lefebvre and paying him $2.5 million dollars this season? No. The salaries of those three players total up to $22.1 million dollars this season. Subtract that from the current payroll and the total would be around $50 million dollars. Big difference, right?

I am not saying that Sather will get rid of those players, but Glen Sather didn’t sign those players. If Poti has a solid offensive season, and Leetch an underachieving season, then Leetch would be traded or be “let go”. Sather wouldn’t mind that. Sather knows how to build a young team through draft. In fact, people and the media don’t recognize the fact that Glen Sather is building a young and strong Hartford Wolfpack team, and lately letting veteran Brad Smyth and Derek Armstrong go. Sather’s draft picks have been better than Neil Smith’s. Rangers future does look bright and scouting sites have the Rangers ranked top 15 in prospects. It’s not great, but it is an improvement, it is a building process.

Sather might be spending big bucks on players, but they are valuable players. Holik, Lindros, Bure, and Kasparaitis are his major big money valuable players. Not Fleury, Kamensky, Kevin Hatcher, Stephane Quintal, and Sylvain Lefebvre. Leetch is a valuable player, but not worth $9.6 million dollars. Richter is a valuable player and he is at the very least worth $4 million dollars this season. With Neil Smith, chances are that no way would Richter have gotten that kind of contract.

There shouldn’t be a lot of fingers pointing at Sather. Now, this goes for any GM who is dealing with a big market team and a fat payroll. Let’s just take a trip in La La Land and see that Bobby Clarke is fired and let’s just say….Bob Gainey is hired. Remember, we are in La La Land. The Flyers are in desperate need of a top offensive defenseman, and Brian Leetch is available. Gainey talks with Snider, who is drunk, and Snider gives him the OK to go out and get Leetch. Now, Gainey wants to also dump Leclair and his big salary, but he can’t, so he is forced to keep him. Gainey signs Brian Leetch to a ridiculous $9.5 million dollars a season contract. He had to though, and the Flyers payroll is too high now. But, it wouldn’t be too high if Leclair wouldn’t be on the team. Who is to blame for that payroll? Gainey, or Clarke? I’d say Clarke. He signed Leclair and other worthless players, not Gainey.

It’s not easy to understand what I am trying to say, but I hope you do. I know it isn’t much and I’m just using my mind writing this article, but I disagree with the fact that all fingers are pointed on Sather. I disagree with the fact that small market teams are blaming big market teams. The first to blame should be the players and the agents (i.e. Iginla, Theodore, and Meehan).

Sather is not trying to create problems, he is doing his job. Any GM, even Burke, would do the same right now with the Rangers. Rangers are building youth and the youth will lower the payroll once they are ready to make the NHL.

This is all I want to say. Challenge me and start a debate. Immature and useless comments will show nothing and mean nothing. So, if you’re a Rangers basher and have nothing to really say, but a lame and dull critic, forget it…don’t even bother posting it because it means nothing.

Micki Peroni

34 Responses to Why Blame Sather?

  1. r_milley says:

    You need to get your facts right about Pat Quinn and who he did/did not go after…

    Quinn offered Holikd 9mil, but he wanted nothing to do with a Canadian team and didnt even consider them.

    They offered Guerin 9.5 but because of the taxes in Texas and less pressure he also didnt want to play in Canada.

    Cassels wanted Toronto, Toronto didnt want Cassels. Why do they Leafs need ANOTHER 2nd line center?

    Leafs wanted Fleury, he didnt want them.

    Leafs offered Amonte MORE then what he signed with Phoenix for but he didnt want to play in Canada.

    All of that info i’ve heard from Quinn or Watters over the summer.

  2. mikster says:

    Leafs offered Amonte $5.5 and Gillis (agent) said he thought they could have had a deal. Only the Rangers offered more than the Yotes.

    Another 2nd line center? McCauley or Cassels? Hmmm…

    $9.5 to Guerin? Not one more year for Cujo? Hmm….

  3. DaAvs says:

    I like your thinking but one thing is flawed. To say that Sather was filling a need for the Rangers when he got Bure is a bit ludicrous. Their offense was a power last year with York-Fleury-Lindros. Fleury dropped off and then York got traded for what they didn’t need in a offensive defensemen. Let’s face facts. The Rangers have a poor defensive defense. Leetch is mobile (though I still believe he is quite mistaken prone as well) as is (was) Berard. Their prospects are great in the sense of getting the puck through the neutral zone. But what players can get it out of the corners?

    Now I’m not disagreeing with your idea of this offseason and his acqusitions. Kasper was a good pick, and the term supply and demand comes to mind frequently. As was Hollik. Hollik was a bidding war, everyone on this site wanted their team to get him, but if asked ‘Would you take Hollik if you had to pay him 9 mil a year?’ I believe many would say not. Though there are others who would say yes.

    I believe Sather is a so-so GM, who traded away a few good things for a few good uneeded things (Bure was a steal, but did they need more offense or another forward to eat up ice time?).

    In my opinion it was a disgrace that after all that dealing with Hollik and Kasper, that Sather forces Richter to eat a 4 Mil a year contract. ‘Fair’ negotating is not the term, he had a bit of loyality and he really was mistreated there. How many would predict the Rangers to make the playoffs if Blackburn was their starter? I wouldn’t.

    So I ask, is it better to increase your payroll significantly to get a bit better at what you don’t need or to get slightly worse and get a few things you do need?

    Just a few thoughts.

  4. r_milley says:

    Amonte was talking to the Leafs but the Leafs felt he was just using them to get something better elsewhere. So they gave him a take it or leave it 5yr/32mil offer.

    50-60pts from Cassels isnt much different then 50-60 from MacCauley, Green, or whoever else is in that 2nd line center role. Leafs need another big name Center, not another 2nd liner.

    They all but gave Cujo another year(all he had to do was stay relatively healthy to reach the clauses the Leafs offered for the 4th year) but like Hasek last year he seen the chance to win a Cup and a chance many players are seeing in Detroit/Colorado because that chance might disapear after the CBA ends. Am I pissed Cujo left? Sure. But personally, i would have made the exact same decision.

  5. r_milley says:

    A couple other things…

    The small market teams SHOULD blame the big market teams. But not for the money the Sundin’s or Bure’smake but for what the Martin Lapointe’s of the league are getting. When your ROLE players are getting paid 5+mil then there is a problem.

    Personally I think Iginla and Theodore are asking for REASONABLE salaries(dont anyone bring up that 6.5mil is reasonable, if you have a problem with sports salaries thats fine but dont compare then to your $10/hour 9-5 5 days a week job because the situations are completely different) compared to the other big named stars making 9, 10,or in a couple cases 11mil. Iginla asked for 7.5, he could have asked for 12 as the league leading scorer. Theodore wants 6.5, he could have asked for 10 as the vezina winner/league mvp.

    Personally I can understand what Sather is doing because if the team doesnt do anything soon he wont have a job anymore and he’s just using the current terms of the CBA to his advantage.

  6. Ari says:

    is still the most overpaid player in the league.

  7. MyCaptain11 says:

    i’m a rangers’ fan, and what the basic point your column made was correct. a lot of people seem to lump neil smith’s problems with glen sather’s in regards to the team. or people think sather has become as reckless with caring for the team like smith was. they are wrong.

    first off, this the first summer sather has really spent money on the team through free agency. his first year all he got was malakhov and messier. his second year he TRADED for lindros and signed minor parts for the team.

    second, all of the trades, albeit not many, sather has made during his rangers’ tenure have in fact been viewed as “winners”. the first year he spent eating contracts and ridding dead weight. this past season he made very sensical deals, beginning with lindros.

    another point: at the time the rangers traded for bure they were in a horribly deep offensive slump AND it was apparent they needed a go-to goal scorer which was not present before the deadline.

    and finally, other than the back-end stiffs they have (lefebvre, karpa and this past season a readjusting berard), how can anyone tell how bad defensively the rangers d-men were with ron low as coach? low was completely clueless about defense and special teams and it showed not one but 2 seasons.

    the bottom line is this: there is a reason sather signed a 7-year contract when he first came to new york and it’s not just because he gets more money that way. he was fully aware of what a big task it was to not only rebuild the team but to rebuild it in the way he likes it. he has spent the first 2 seasons doing the only “popular” way you can rebuild in ny: keep the team competitive and change the makeup of the organization inside out. this offseason symbolizes the teams’ willingness to go forward now beginning with the hiring of bryan trottier.

    sather is exactly on schedule with his plan so far. which is a hell of a lot more than smith could have offered. if people can’t see that then they are mistaken in my opinion.

  8. saiklo says:

    This all really does not matter, cause the Ranger’s will still somehow manage to not make the postseason, and we will all get our kicks when Micki frantically tries to make excuses when the Rangers fail, again.

  9. guinsfan4life says:

    The Rangers lost out on Jagr because they wouldn’t give up what Patrick felt was necessary to obtain him. It wasn’t that Sather didn’t want to give up his youth, he just felt that their were no other bidders in the market so he could stand pat and wait for the Penguins to give in. That is when the Capitals came into the fold offering what they did. So the Rangers not getting Jagr has more to do with Sather’s misperceptions throughout the league that no other team could afford Jagr’s salary, rather than him not wanting to forfit the youth necessary. Sather thought he was bidding against himself, but he was wrong.

    With that in mind, I see where you are comiing from with this column, Mick. You are saying that the Rangers are Damned if they do and damned if they don’t , so they just went with the prior figuring that gives them the best chance to win.

    What I am saying in criticizing the Rangers is the fact that they overpaid for both of these players and so would any other team if they would have paid them that much.

    I think the blame here goes with the owners. If the owners didn’t pay and send out all that money, it wouldn’t be there to make. Therefore, I feel they should take the majority of the blame. If they would unite and make a pact that no player is worth a certain amount of money, no matter how badly they want to win, then the league would stand united.

    I don’t blame Sather for wanting to assemble the best team possible, my criticism is more directed at Rangers upper management/owners for constantly overpaying players then not making the playoffs and continually loosing money.

  10. mikster says:


    Would you have picked Belfour at $6.5 million dollars? I mean….seriously…

  11. mikster says:

    Great comment.

    I don’t think that acquiring Bure was a bad idea. Lindros was scoring, York was not, Fleury was not, Nedved was not, Dvorak was shooting the puck 6 times a night but didn’t get it over the red line, then he got injured. The Rangers offense was not working. The FLY line was dead. Bure was acquired a day before York was traded.

    The Rangers needed scoring power, because no one was scoring enough goals to make the team win. Sather had the opportunity to acquire a 50 goal scorer for basically nothing. He got a good deal and acquired the NHL’s best scorer when the Rangers weren’t scoring.

    Acquiring Poti was a pretty smart idea. One, Leetch is a UFA after this upcoming season is over, and two…Poti will be the Rangers 2nd offensive defenseman, and the 2nd PP unit’s quarterback. They didn’t have one. I don’t think the Rangers did not need Poti, i think they did. York was small and he didn’t score a goal in like 18 straight games. The Rangers needed a change. If Leetch is injured, then Poti is the main offensive defenseman.

    Rangers young defensive corps are good skaters, for the most part, but Sather acquired 4 young defensemen (2 from draft, 2 from signing 20 year olds) who are stay at home, plus Kloucek is there as well.

    I disagree with Holik making $9 million dollars a season, as well as $8.5 million dollars a season or $8 million dollars a season. He was getting overpaid right from the start, so in the end…it didn’t matter to me what he got. As for Richter, the word loyalty is blurry. He did want to retire a Ranger, but if Richter was asking, probably $6 million dollars, which is what his previous contract was (3or maybe even a raise) then Sather said “the hell with it”. Richter will start the season as a 36 year old, he is injury prone, his career is ending soon, and he hasn’t played a playoff game in a very long time. Richter wanted a winning team and that meant that he did think about leaving the Rangers. He failed to get an real good offers from any other team so he was stuck with the Rangers. Sather played hardball with him and won the negotiations. To me, that defnes a good GM. Unlike Neil Smith who lost most negotiations and wind up overpaying the player “fearing” of losing him, he had not guts. Sathe has guts and takes risks. The biggest risk is not taking a risk.

    Richter is a steal at $4 million dollars, but his bonuses are worth drooling for, believe me they are quite high. Bottom line is, Richter wanted a winning team, Sather got players that would make the Rangers a winning team, and Richter saw that and came back….so he is happy.

    I really liked your comment, and i thank you for not making any immature remarks.

  12. rrudd says:

    once again, mick, i think you’ve got a good grip on the facts.

    i will say it until my face turns blue:

    if you’re a pissed off vancouver fan, STOP BLAMING DALLAS AND NEW YORK AND GO HAVE A TALK WITH YOUR SORRY OWNER!!!

  13. mikster says:

    I agree about overpaying role players like Lapointe.

    Iginla had his major season, he is still very young, early career, no way in hell does he get $7 million. He should get $5.5 for one season, and if he does score 40 goals, then he gets a much better contract. Same goes with Theodore. Too early in his career to make that much money, because if he has a bad season coming up….then he is worth nothing because of bad performance and especially because of his salary.

  14. mikster says:

    Keep polishing your crystal ball.

  15. mikster says:

    Craig Patrick got three prospects from the Capitals. Beech, and i forget the other names.

    Patrick wanted more from the Rangers. Lundmark/Brendl are worth more than Beech by prospect value. Then Kloucek, and Mike York. Now, you tell me if you’d give that up for Jagr, would you? I wouldn’t. Sather said and it was printed black on white that he didn’t feel it was right to give up on two young players that Patrick wanted. Lundmark and Kloucek were probably it. So that’s that…

    I think the players are the problem. If the owners agree to not pay players so much, then guess what…the players go on strike. Remember, the workers always win when the word “strike” is used.

    I think the NHL should be tougher on the UFA market and set a limit.

    I like your comment though, and i agree with it too….but i blame the players and agents first, then owners.

  16. guinsfan4life says:

    The players couldn’t just strike if the owners didn’t pay them as much as the market dictates. It happens in the NFL all the time. Players get cut based on what they make and then they HAVE to sign at a lower price, or else not work. That is happening now with Rickey Watters. He refuses to work for the league minimum, so he doesn’t have a job. The players couldn’t walk out if that happened, they’d be forced to play again with a court injunction because it would be against their part of the CBA. See, the owners here are making it 10x harder on themselves. If they would sit down and say, hey lets not pay third line centers 9 mil. a season, and stick to it, the money would not be there. What could the players say about that? If they want to play, they’d give.

    IT has been said around Pittsburgh that Sather offered only the prospects you mentioned and Patrick wanted more since Brendl has been a flash in the pan. I think Sather would have given it up at the time had he known he wasn’t bidding against himself. Maybe you have heard different in NY but here in PGH it was made out to be more of Sather’s loss, in the fact he wasn’t aware enough of the market value rather than him not wanting to pony up with players. With that said, I would have not taken Lundmark and Kloucek for Jagr. If York wasn’t involved, I would not have done the deal either.

    The only thing that will work for the league long term, is if owners show more unity and work for a salary cap. Anything else is a bandaid for a wound that is close to gushing..

    Nice to talk with ya, mick!

  17. r_milley says:

    I’d have rather seen them sign Dafoe for a bit less.

    But if you had to pick 1 goalie to win a game 7 would you chose Byron Dafoe, or Ed Belfour?

    I’d go with Belfour even after a mediocre season. 3 and 4 years ago he was beating Patrick Roy in game 7’s, I doubt he’s gotten THAT much worse since.

    Should be an interesting season in Toronto, but, what else is new.

  18. mikster says:

    I’d take Tugnutt over Dafoe.

    I would have picked Richter over Belfour though, for a lesser price too that would have given the Leafs an Amonte type player. Richter can definitely win a game by himself, especially a game 7, and he is used to see 30-40 shots a game.

  19. Aetherial says:

    I disagree, the Rangers WILL make the playoffs.

    Who else in the East improved that much?

  20. mikster says:

    Oh well, hey….as long as the NHL does something before 2004, who cares right? I’d accept a salary cap of $60 million or $55 million. Better yet, the cap is $55 million, but if a team goes over that then the team has to pay the taxes, but the team cannot go over $60 million. Also, no UFA should receive more than $8 million dollars a season. Sounds good to me.

    It was either Lundmark or Brendl. Patrick seemed to ask either one, probably Brendl though since the Pens have the Czech mania.

    I doubt Sather would have given up that much. He made a different offer involving York and Holmqvist. He did say he did not want to give up on two prospects.

    I think the media here and in PA did give different info, but what you and i know is that Sather did not want to give up on two players. He said it at the start of the Jagr saga, and after Jagr was dealt to Washington.

    In the end, i am glad Jagr went to Washington. The guy owns the team. The coach got fired, the team has changed, their system will change and their atmosphere is changing.

    Glad that didn’t happen to my team.

    But, what you’re saying is that you’d rather have the Caps three prospects, rather than Kloucek Lundmark and York? Get outta here!!!

  21. Sands says:

    Let’s look at what Sather has done for his team. Brought in Lindros and Holik, 2 top big Centers. Brought in a sniper for Lindros with Bure. Flury is a mess…. If he wasn’t, Bure would have never been here. brought in Kasparitis. A gritty defence-man to back up Lindros…. By the way who could pass up a trade like the one for Bure…. That move alone makes Sather a great deal maker.

    The blaming should almost start with the players….. Some of the players are a little out of hand when it comes to there contracts. They want a high amount. Holik was not coming to the Rangers unless he was offered the money that was given to him. This is a no win situation for the Rangers. Who’s to say that the devils didn’t offer him 100,000 less then what he wanted? What’s the difference in that? If the rangers didn’t offer that little extra more they would lose out. So what is the difference if the Devils signed him for 100,000 less then the rangers? no one would make a big deal out of it.

    The players are at fault here. If small market teams want to cry about it I have no problem with that, as long as they cry about the right people.

    If the league wants a salary cap. Start with a salary cap on the players. Players should have a limit on what they can sign for… giving Small market teams a chance to make a bid for them. Think about it. If Jagr was a free agent and wanted 12 million. Is that fair for the smaller markets? not at all, put a limit on what a player can ask for and then every team has a shot at the player, this would make contracts more createable and longer deals, which would have more trades being made then signings.

  22. jnyfive says:

    I don’t really think he made Richter eat a smaller contract. Mike was a free agent. He was available for nothing more than cash. All the teams that needed a goalie got there’s some other way (St Louis, Toronto, Detroit, etc) Its obvious that no one wanted Richter for whatever reason. Sather let Richter run free, then, when Richter was out of options, was given a contract even though it was for less than he made last year. Come on… its not like Sather could have stopped Mike from making more. If there was an offer out there for 6-8 million, I’m sure he would have taken it. I don’t think he got it and instead came back. That’s just my opinion.

  23. Synergy27 says:

    It is incorrect to place “blame” on either the players or the owners. The escalating salaries in professional sports today cannot be simplified to the fact that larger markets can afford and are willing to pay players such ridiculous amounts of money. The problem is more fundamental, and in my opinion, is due largely to the market economy and the “American Way”.

    If they try to place a limit on what a player can ask for as a UFA, be prepared to watch sadly as Jagr goes back to the Czech Republic, Bure goes back to Russia, etc. If you think these guys come to North America to seek the best competition in the world, you’re WRONG. They come because they can make ALOT more money here than they can back home.

    The same can be said about North American players. Although the NHL means more to them than Europeans because they grew up near it, the main reason why they strive to get there is because it pays better than the AHL, ECHL… Hockey, of course, is their livelihood, and making it to the NHL can be compared to rising from the mailroom to becoming the CEO of a company.

    I am not condoning these ridiculous salaries. I think that things are getting out of hand and that change is inevitable. I just wanted to bring to light the fact that the problems that need to be addressed may in fact be much more deep-seeded than alot of people realize. Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin… those guys may have been onto something. (hehe)

  24. Sunnyg says:

    I don’t think that all of the NHL’s problems need to be blamed on Sather. But I do think that it is a little ironic that he used to be one of the most vocal critics of the Rangers’ big spending ways and now he is doing the same thing. Plus, I think that the last couple of years have showed that maybe he is not so good at putting together the pieces of a winning team (please exclude the Oilers’ dynasty of the 80’s). It seems as though Sather is trying to add every high profile player instead of really allocating his resources to building a good team. While it is true that he has only had 2 years, look at what Savard has done in Montreal in a similar time frame. It shows that a GM with a good game plan can really improve the team rather quickly. Unfortunately, Sather’s version of the Rangers aren’t much different than before he got there b/c they are still viewed as a team full of overpaid, underchieving players who haven’t won very much in their careers (e.g Bure, Lindros, Malakhov)

    Some of his signings were definitely not so smart. Didn’t he give Malakhov something like $4M/year?? Last time I checked Malakhov has been nothing but an injury prone underachiever for virtually his entire career. What about Bure?? Almost everybody knows that he is a great scorer, but nothing more. He possesses no toughness, very few defensive skills, and his leadership character has always questioned. You can’t blame Sather for overpaying Bure (it was Florida), but he still traded for a guy who most of the league would consider to be vastly overpaid. Just think, Bure makes as much as guys like Sakic, Roy, and Forsberg-these guys are franchise players, Bure is not.

    While it may be true that other teams are offering close to what the Rangers are offering, I think the reality is many of the other teams feel as though they HAVE to offer excessively high salaries b/c if they don’t, they know the Rangers are always ready to pounce on a high profile player. So the threat of the Rangers is also what drives up the price.

    Bottom line, Sather has not managed to improve the team in his 2 years as their GM, and whether it is fair or not, if you have a team that consistently has one of the highest payrolls, and you cannot be considered to be even in the better half of the NHL’s teams… then you are going to get criticized.

  25. aaron says:

    Savard had a lot less of a mess to take over. The Habs sucked, but a lot of that was b/c half their lineup was hurt every year. Also, he wasn’t under the insane pressure Sather is (Sather has to make big signings and stuff, or he’d be accused of not doing anything to improve the team).

    I don’t think he gave Malakhov that much, but I remember earlier this year, he was #1 in the league in +/- for a long period of time. You cannot possibly criticize the Bure trade (and in hindsight, w/ Fleury gone, Bure and Lindros are the only decent scorers the Rangers have).

    BTW, Sather has done a great job of acquiring players he needed instead of just random players who commanded the biggest attention on the market. Look at who he got: a defensive specialist and a bruising defenseman (who is MUCH more solid defensively after his stay in Colorado, #1 in the playoffs among non-Wings in +/- I believe, and I watched him in the Wings/Avs series too). Tons of big offensive names out there, and he boosts his defense, and resigns his goaltender instead of going after another really high priced one. I think that shows he’s not just throwing money around randomly.

    Also, the Rangers were a good team last season…until Lindros and Messier got hurt, and then they imploded, until Bure was acquired, and then they started kicking ass again.

    Frankly, I don’t know why ppl look at the Rangers as the herald of doom for the NHL. I mean, they’ve spent a lot, yes, but they’ve sucked while doing it. You want heralds of doom, look at Detroit, Colorado, and old school Dallas. Teams who sign smartly and frequently, and translate cash into wins. Even old school Dallas and New Jersey, after they started throwing money at their problems (why doesn’t anyone criticize the Devs for paying Stevens 7 million a year? That got PRAISE from a lot of ppl), what happens? Collapse. From what I’ve seen, teams who unintelligently throw money at problems tend to suck.

    A salary cap, IMO, will unbalance the league, b/c a lot of great teams who got ruined by high spending will be great anyway. But those teams will also implode reguarly. Do you think the Oilers, Isles Habs, or Wings dynasties of the past could happen under a cap? That Gretzky trade would have happened 5 years earlier. And has anyone else noticed that there hasn’t been anything approaching a dynasty since salaries escalated? Reason: no one can afford one. Well, also dillution of talent due to expansion; that’s really helped balance the league out too.

    Hehe…I am honestly not looking forward to the total chaos that will ensue when a salary cap goes into place. Your “franchise players” will likely be either put on waivers or traded for prospects b/c the team can’t fit them all under the cap. Welcome to NHL-Capped.

  26. mikster says:

    I can’t believe Hitler is considered worse than Stalin…

  27. mikster says:

    All i have to say is, awesome comment. But, i’m not surprised that you wrote this comment.

    I forgot about Stevens’ $7 million dollars salary, hehe…that is one big fat salary now eh? Would you pay any stay at home defenseman, 37 years old, slow, and contributes little offesnively, $7 million dollars? Overpaid, and no one criticizes that. But, if the Rangers had Stevens and they re-signed him for $7 million…..the emdia would destroy them.

  28. saiklo says:

    Who else in the league has so many egos about to clash with a captain that calls his own shots and a brand new coach with no real experience?

  29. BWbullies says:

    There is no way that Iginla should make that after 1 good year on a bad team… Look at LeClair, he had three 50 + goal years in a row and only made about 2 mil. Everybody complained that he was getting taken advantaged of. So they gave him 9 mil contract and now he is over paid. So I think it takes more then one good year to earn a huge pay raise..

  30. BWbullies says:

    Why does it take the Rangers 70 plus million a year to make the playoff when teams win the Stanley Cup at the 50’s mark..If justify the need for help in those positions then dump the others to compensate financially. Like you need more help on the defensive side then go a head and pay 9 mil for a position player like Holik and trade Bure or Lindros for draft picks. This is the reason why there needs to be a cap. Something will happened in 2004 to correct this and the players most likely will go on strike because they can go play in Europe and other places. They will have a job so do you think they care if can play in the us or over seas. Either way the Rangers have drawn a line in the sand and really gives the league a bleak outlook.

  31. pat says:

    Anyone who can trade Igor Uselessnov, and get Bure is a GENIUS!! Sather would have been a genius if he traded Ulanov for a 6 pack of Diet Coke.


  32. Synergy27 says:

    Why you gotta hate on commies?

  33. Sunnyg says:

    Please keep in mind that the first line of my post did say that I didn’t that all of the NHL’s problems should be blamed on Sather.

    In regards to your comment about Savard having less of a mess to sort, I find it rather inaccurate. I agree that Sather may have had a bigger mess in terms of attitude/personalities on the team, but keep in mind that Savard and the Canadiens had to deal with Koivu being out for the large majority of the year. Also, Savard made things work with less options in terms of money-he couldn’t go out and sign/trade for absolutely anybody he wanted. He simply made it work by making smart key moves that filled the basic weaknesses on the team (guys like Dackell and Juneau). Also, were you trying to imply that Montreal is not a tough hockey/media market to manage a team in???

    I do agree that the Rangers are not the only ones driving up prices (also teams like Colorado, Detroit). But there are key differences. Like I said before, the rangers take even more heat b/c they are not even successful. All the other teams you mentioned have been elite teams and have won the Cup in recent years while the Rangers aren’t even close. The other thing is that there is a big difference in perception when a teams re-signs its best players vs. the rangers who just try to “buy” everybody. the core of teams like colorado, detroit, and new jersey have been very homegrown (colorado-sakic, forsberg, tanguay, foote, even detoit with guys like yzerman, fedorov, lidstrom). meanwhile, the core of the rangers has been bought b/c they’ve haven’t been able to produce any impact players in recent years (richter and leetch are not recent!).

    Lastly, the reality is that in many cases, the rangers are offering players more money than ANY other team is offering, and that is why players sign there. In Colorado’s and Detroit’s cases, they are offering the market rate to their current roster (ie.Sakic did not get more in Colorado than he would have gotten with another team). In fact, detroit has even been able to get a couple of players for slightly less money b/c of the strength of their team (e.g hull signed for less than he was offered in montreal, cujo got an equal offer to what he got in toronto).

    So in many cases, it does look as though the Rangers are trying to compete simply by outbidding everyone else.

  34. guinsfan4life says:

    What I meant is that I would rather have the three prospects than Lundmark and Kloucek. The only way I would have done a deal is if Sather would have included York.

    I think a salary cap of 55-60 mil is too much. Keep in mind that more than half of the teams are not making that money to even afford a cap of that magnitude. I think a cap of around 45-50 mil is more reasonable, okay, 55 at most. Then you have revenue sharing which will also help with a level playing field. Now, I’d do that with a cap, but I wouldn’t limit player salaries. They will never, ever go for a limit on salaries such as you suggested. I think it would be easier to get them to agree to a cap rather than a cap on player salaries. They still have more of an opportunity to make money (I mean that loosely) when you impose a cap, but when you put a ceiling on the most a player can make, they will definately not agree to that. So a player could make 15 mil a season, but it would take up around 25-35% of the teams total payroll. Then GM’s and owners would have to ask themselves if having a player take up that much of your total payroll helps or hurts the team.

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