Sather stepping down as Rangers' GM, will stay as president
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Glen Sather didn't get a chance to raise the Stanley Cup as general manager of the New York Rangers, so he'll just have to settle for making them a lot better in his 15 seasons in charge.
Sather on Wednesday announced that he was stepping down as the Rangers general manager and being replaced by longtime assistant Jeff Gorton.
The past four years have been the best part of the run, with the Rangers making the Eastern Conference finals three times and playing for the Stanley Cup in 2014 against the Los Angeles Kings.
New York had the NHL's best regular-season record this past season, but lost the conference finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.
The 71-year-old Sather, who will remain as the team's president, said he has been thinking about leaving the GM post for two or three years after spending more than three decades as a player, coach and front office executive with the Edmonton Oilers and Rangers.
"Last year we had the run at the Stanley Cup and this year we thought we would have another shot at it," Sather said. "I think you would like to retire as a champ but it didn't happen.
"We gave it a good shot but there were a lot of things in our way, and it just didn't happen. I felt at the end of the season with the people we have here, it's a good time to do it for me. I have been doing this a long time."
Sather also said that Jim Schoenfeld has been named senior vice president and assistant general manager and general manager of the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL).
Sather, who led the Oilers to four Cups as their coach and one as the general manager, said the past four years have been fun, adding the best time he had was criticizing the officials over a goal in the Cup finals against the Kings, who won the tight series in five games.
"It was disappointing and you think back over the years and what happened and what could have happened and how close things were, all those moments will live forever in my mind," Sather said.
Gorton, 46, has been with the Rangers for the past eight seasons, serving as assistant general manager the past four seasons. He originally was hired as a scout in 2007.
"There is not a lot changing other than I'll have the final decision on players," Gorton said, adding that he still expects to talk with Sather five times a day and doesn't expect to be a "one-man show."
Gorton said the Rangers have a skilled, highly competitive team and he won't be afraid to "got for it" if the chance to win the Cup is there.
During his tenure, Gorton has played a key role in the selection of current players Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, and J.T. Miller in the draft, and was vital in the Rangers' acquisitions of Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, and Keith Yandle, as well as the signing of free agents Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello.
Prior to joining the Rangers, Gorton spent 15 seasons with the Boston Bruins organization, serving as assistant general manager during the final seven years.
Schoenfeld, 62, served the past eight seasons as assistant general manager of player personnel. He had a hand in all player transactions, and was also responsible for all hockey-related matters for the Wolf Pack.
Schoenfeld has served as general manager of the Wolf Pack for the past 12 seasons and served as head coach of the team for two seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
In addition to his front office roles with the Rangers, Schoenfeld also served as an assistant coach with the Blueshirts during the 2002-03 season.
Schoenfeld compiled a 256-246-78 record over 10 seasons as an NHL head coach with the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and Phoenix Coyotes, and he reached the playoffs in six of the 10 seasons.
Schoenfeld skated in 719 games with the Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins from 1972-73 through 1984-85.