Glen Sather … unplugged


Here are the first batch of quotes from the Glen Sather conference call tonight, regarding the Rangers coaching change (please excuse any typos):

“I’ve been thinking about it probably the last couple of weeks. I could see the team starting to slide and, after the start that we had at the beginning of the year and the way we were playing and moving and controlling the puck, the game just started to erode and I thought sooner or later we were going to have to do something. I wish that it hadn’t have come to this, but it did. The last two or three games it was pretty obvious that we had tohave something done.”

“Talked to Tom this morning. I’m sure as you know, he’s a very classy, intelligent human being. It was a tough thing for both of us to deal with — emotional. But he handled it very well, very professional. He understands the coaching profession, he understands the mentality of the players sometimes and he knows that a lot of these things are out of his control. And coaches can only do what they think they’re doing is right. That’s the way Tom tried to deal with everything. He’s very optimistic, very upbeat every day.He approached everything very professional and I can’t say enough about the way he worked with us th elast three and a half years.

“Torts is certainly a lot more fiery and a lot different as a coach … I htink that he’s going to bring that fiery attitude and a lot of games we seemed to be missing it. It’s certainly not a sleight against Tom. It’s two entirely different styles.”

“I didnt know John at all at that point (in 2000). I had talked to John Muckler. I talked to John (Tortorella) a little bit, and one of the things I thought was really honest was that they’d done sucha poor job they deserved to be fired. I liked that approach, that he was honest and accepting what happened. I guess in retrospect you can look back and say, you know, that it would have been smart to keep him. But that was eight and a half years ago now. Things have a way of coming full circle. I know that he’s alwaus been interested in the Rangers and he’s always loved to be here and coach here, so I’m looking forward to getting to know him very well.”

“Absolutely. I think we all have to take responsibility for this. We think that we have a better hockey team than we’ve been playing the last 10 games. I don’t think we’ve played very well. To come out of the gate the way we did and play and perform and move the puck and control the play in the beginning of the year, something happened. Something shifted, and you can’t point your finger at Tom. You have to point it at everyone, the players included, to take responsibility for the way they played. And they have to be smarter, and play smarter and play harder. I think we all recognize that.”

“I think that some of the players that (were) brought in are better than they’ve played up to date. But I wouldn’t start to point fingers. … But I know a lot of players here have played very well in the past and I expect they’re going to play very well in the future. Sometimes, who could ever tell you about this coaching business? One guy gets some players to perform really well, and another guy can come in and it doesn’t work for him. It’s a strange business, a strange profession. We’re all trying to do the same thing. We’re all trying to do the right thing.”

“No, there was no compensation. (to Tampa Bay) These things just take time. They’re always complicated when you start dealing with different people and it just takes time to iron things out. Everything is fine.”

On the need to bring in a complete opposite personality: “Yes, I think Torts is going to bring a lot more fire to his game, to his approach and that’s not to be critical of Tom’s approach. That’s just Tom’s personality. If you look at some of the players on the team, the past coaches that they’ve had in their history, a lot of these guys have thrived under that kind of coaching. I felt we needed to get some more fire in there.”

“We had a lot of meetings with the players and a lot of meetings with the coaching staff and we tried to analyze it the best we could. We spent a lot of time dealing with the films, trying to figure out exactly what was going on. There really wasn’t any conclusive answer. We had lost our zip at one time, whether it was the game in Toronto when we were up 2-0 with seven minutes to go and there was a giveaway that started that onlaught — we ended up losing 6-2; or the game against Washington that we had them down 4-0. We have to be more of an attack team rather than a team that’s going to pull back and back in.”

March 4 trade deadline moves: “That’s certainly an option that’s coming soon. It’s not far away. The telephones are very busy, certainly a lot busier than they were in the first half of the year when teams were trying to sort themselves out. SO many of us are in the position of moving up or moving down, a lot of guys have to be careful. We have to be careful after a coaching move that we start to fool around with the personnel. I think it’s going to depend on how John sees the team and sees it going forward. He’s certainly going to have input into the lineup as well as the personnel, and it’s going to take him some time to see who’s here, but I wanted to be able to give him enough time to analyze that.”

“I wanted to be able to give him the opportunity to know the team and see where he’d like to make some improvements and get his input where he’d like to see those changed occur.”

On conversations and philsophy discussions he had with Tortorella: “I think he has a reputation that preceeds him. He also has a history with Jim Schoenfeld (from the Buffalo organization, presumably). They know each other very well and Jim, of course, knows me very well. He thinks our attitudes and desires are going to mesh quite easily. Our philosphies are the same. I know that John works hard. He’s very demanding. I like that. He’s going to bring some of those things back to our game on the ice. We need it at this stage.”

“Schoeny is going to be an interim assistant coach. There was no consideration in giving him the head coaching job. He really wasn’t interested in it.” (others were considered, he said).

On Tortorella being on record as not being a Sean Avery fan: “I think you always have to be cognizant of the fact that coaches have opinions about players and people in different organizations at different times can have the history with Sean that we do. I think that, over time, you learn to love him just like I have. That’s going to be something we’re going to have to deal with. Sean is still part of the Dallas hockey club and we’re not really at liberty to speak about it.”

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  1. Did Sather take any responsibility for his role in this mess? Did he address the salary cap issues he’s created?

  2. Rick –

    This is an effing awesome blog you posted. I mean, wow – talk about getting the down low on EVERYthing he said!!..writers usually pick out key statements and phrases..

    Brav – effin – O!


  3. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    All good comments by Sather. Again,”talk is cheap play the game” as a very successfull coach once said not too long ago. I’m also shocked that Sather actually said how he loves Avery.Maybe I’m wrong and we will see Sean in blue again.Sean Avery could be used as the instrument of Tort’s ire.It will certainly be very entertaining.

    Carp- again you are the man!!! thanksfor all the great updates!!!!

  4. Carp, the title of this post makes me think of Sather showing up in a Starbucks with a taxi driver hat and acoustic guitar playing Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie covers.

  5. Left this one out I think:

    “Well guys, I really gotta get going. There’s only one flight back to Afghanistan tonight and they said they’d close the cave up on me if I’m not back by dawn. I’ll speak you fellas same time next year.”

  6. First – Did Sather say he LOVED Sean Avery?

    Second – hats off to Carp – GREAT REPORTING!

  7. onecupin69years on

    Sather proves he’s an ass___le.

    BTW Carp how many drinks did you haev wehn yuo tyiped tihs?

  8. Not a big Sather fan but he actually said all the right things there and seems like he was pretty classy in his treatment of Renney.

  9. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    I’m watching the Stars/Sharks game.The score is 0-0.But it’s amazing how even a scoreless game can be fun to watch when it is played the way theses two teams are playing it!

  10. Who Needs Lohan on

    MAKO, i agree with you. We actually agree a lot you and I. I thought he said the right things. Yeah, he could have pointed a finger at himself, but at least he left me with the impression that he a) gave a crap b) wanted to change it and c) actually knew what was going on with the team.

  11. i effing hate glen effing sather

    he’s making me nostalgic for neil effing smith and phil effing esposito

  12. onecupin69years on

    sather about Torterella ” our philosophies are the same”
    that means Torts likes to fish.

    So why was Pearn Fired?

    “We have to be careful after a coaching change that we statr to fool around with the personnel”
    Look I admitted to one mistake , (Renney)I’m not going to admit my UFA signing mess to the line -up.
    I’M hoping torts makes the playoffs to save my ass or i’m toast.
    Torts has Sather by the short hairs.

  13. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on


    Great point about Torts having Sather by the balls.I think that’s a good thing.It will give Torts alot of say into personel decisions which is a good thing I think.

  14. steve trac (sec 303) on

    AWESOME post Carp. Thanks a lot for the info.

    It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks and now I’m pissed I got rid of so many tickets!! LOL

  15. Yikes… Sather mentions the tow games that I always do when talking about why this should have happened the blown 2-0 lead in TO and the blown 4-0 lead that was my only visit to MSG this year at x-mas.

    Does that mean we think alike? YIKES!!!!!

  16. Lohan

    We do indeed. I think Rick said he did take some of the blame. But it really was good to hear all that he had to say. All A, B, & C with C being most telling of Sather’s spot on assertion of the downfall of the team. Just wish he would have reacted sooner. Cant fault the guy, I really believe he thought Renney could steer the ship in the right direction like he did the last 2-3 seasons.

  17. NYR have 69 total points. 21 games left (last 1/4 of season)

    Renney’s calculator says 94+ points to clinch playoff spot.

    NY Rangers need to go 13-8. That would give them 95 points.

    NY Rangers playoffs Round 1 vs Washington Capitals. MSG & Dolan’s dream come true due to playoff gate $$$ and best player in the world (AO) being a part of it and tons of exposure.

  18. Maybe shaking up the lines all the time to get the players attention is not a good idea. He also did not play some players like Prucha and Fritsche which was surprising.

    The power play was and still is a joke. They are too heavily defensive minded and the defensemen are not playing well.

    Naslund was brought in because he played for Renney. It could have been another player. Renney knew the players he was going with otherwise there would have tried to resign Jagr or Shanahan. Shanahan could have been resigned if Renney wanted him at the beginning of the season.

    Now the team will probably forecheck more than rush but at least attack more.

  19. one things for sure we shouldnt be parting with any draft picks in the first 3 rounds unless we are somehow getting a young impact player…which aint gonna happen. if sather goes and trades for keith “ive never been good in the playoffs” tkachuk we will know that he hasnt learned a damn thing from this season

  20. onecupin69years on

    Sather’s time is short.

    I doubt the compensation delay BS, Torts wanted multi year to protect his butt in case sather got or gets dumped soon.

    The reason being a new GM wants their own coach and assistants, so Torts covered his ass.

    I wonder who advised Dolan on the pick? Messier?
    Why would sather go outside the organization for renney’s successor?
    Therefore , sather has lost his grip. He’s next!

  21. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    I think you might see Eric Cole and a Tom Gilbert on the team real soon.Cole is fast,hits and despite this year,he can score goals and is real good in the playoffs.Gilbert is tough and can be the Physical presence this team needs.I think a Dawes/Rozy/ Prucha and perhaps one or two players from Hartford not named AA,Sauer,or Sags might get it done.I read somewhere that the Oilers were hot for Rozy during free agency.

  22. Thanks for the excellence in the jobs you(Carps)along with Jane have been covering in this new chapter in Rangers History today.

  23. onecupin69years on

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Sather suddenly retires before the 09 draft and becomes an advisor or some BS .

  24. Going 13-8 is doable with this group, but will be difficult.

    Torts has a tough task to get this bunch into the playoffs.

    I am not sorry to see Renney go. I have no doubts he is a class act and works hard, but that just doesn’t get it done at the professional level, results are what matters.

    In my opinion Sather waited much to long to make this move, this team has played like dog meat for 2 months now. Sather could have moved on it, Torts could have picked his guys and Sather could have dealt the players Torts didn’t want, but Sather gave Renney too much time.

    Obviously coulda shoulda woulda, but really, it’s about time Slats. But it’s probably too late and the reason why Sather should be fired in the summer.

  25. Sather is probably done as GM. Sounds like Schonefeld will be GM. He picked Totarella, and will work with him to get on the same page. They’re friends.

  26. thanks for your work!!!
    just wondering if there were any comments
    as to why Pearn was canned
    yet Pelino is still there.

  27. And so it begins…

    So, Torts like an aggressive attacking style of hockey. Likes to pressure the puck, and likes his forward to fly through the neutral zone at top flight speed. If so…Where does Maguire come up with the rumors that the Rangers are actively shopping Scotty Gomez? Yep, Torts didn’t include him in his fantasy version of the 2010 USA olympic team…but I am pretty sure that once he sees that Gomez is the best guy on the club to carry the puck with speed through the neutral zone, he is NOT going to want to get rid of him that quick.

    Hey Carp, is it true that Torts is not a fan of the rough stuff, and doesn’t like to employ an enforcer? If so, d you think it’s the end of dayas in NY for Colton Orr? I personally hope not as this guy has worked his butt off to stay in NY.

  28. It is obvious from Sather’s statements, that the delay in firing Renney was so Sather could get his talking points in order. He never took responsibility once. He said “We all have to take responsibility.” No. He needs to take responsibility. Jagr & Shanahan should be given the credit for the past 3 years. Wayne Gretzky & Messier should be given credit for Edmonton’s success. Sather, like many an insecure egomaniac, has made a feeble effort to gloss over his catastrophic reign by shifting the blame. Scott Burnside’s column at ESPN was dead on.

  29. Dolan said to Sather kill me a coach

    Slats said man you must be pullin a hoax

    Dolan said no

    Slats said what

    Dolan said you can do what you want slats but if you want some more of my fat checks don’t walk’d better run

    Slats said when you want this killing done

    Dolan said right after Howell/Bathgate night in the noon day sun

  30. “We have to be more of an attack team rather than a team that’s going to pull back and back in.”

    exactly what I, and ford, and some others have been saying all along.

    persistent forechecking was not allowed by Renney

    he had a hangback trap that was the worst possible system for scoring goals.

  31. “….or the game against Washington that we had them down 4-0. We have to be more of an attack team rather than a team that’s going to pull back and back in.”

    Sather may be a lazy, blame-shifting SOB. But he is dead-on about the creeping fear that is Renneyism and that took over after the fast start.

    Renny tried to run the clock out on the season after 10-2-1 just like he tried to run the clock out against Washington. Disaster followed, for the team and finally for him. Sad, but his terror of letting his players play with passion and emotion did him in, and he did it to himself

  32. Rick or Jane,

    Is Messier a factor in any of this? Will he have a job with the organization any time soon?

  33. Thanks to all. Onecup, I don’t need no stinkin’ alcohol to type like that. But I sure could use a beer.

    jpg, sorry, but time was short with Slats — we don’t get to talk to him very often, you know? — so couldn’t go too deep into the assistants. I imagine he wanted some continuity in the room until Torts picks his own staff after the season. And from what I’ve gathered the power play was Pearn’s baby, so …

    Runninamok, I don’t think Torts minds the rough stuff at all. I think Gomez stays and could flourish with Torts. I don’t see why Orr wouldn’t stay, although with fewer minutes.

    Just put up a new post with the last few comments from Sather.

  34. dg & wd40

    Yes. Additionally, Tortorella knows enough to know that his best players need plenty of ice time to perform at their best, that you cannot drone-like keep rolling four lines regardless of the circumstances.

    I can count on one hand the times I can recall Renney double-shifting a player who was in the zone, with a hot hand, etc. He showed almost a total lack of feel for how to coach a game once the puck dropped.

  35. I have to say I am impressed that Sather seemingly did the “right thing” in hiring this guy (and flushing The Professor) because as someone wrote over the weekend he’s always tended to hire one of his buddies. I wonder what this means for #11 (or #35 or #2) and their aspirations to be a part of the management of this organ-i-zation.

  36. thanks for the answer Carp

    i thought Pearn had something to do with the power play.
    i guess his excuse last year was it was all Jagr’s fault.
    i had hoped that Florida would have done us a favor and hired him as their coach, but no luck.

    i’m guessing that Pelino worked with defense and penalty kill. so, he gains points for PK but is he very close to chopping block due to our horrible d-zone coverage (i.e. watching the puck and allowing players to sneak in to shoot/score) as well as panic/bad rushes out of our zone…

  37. Please Torts, PLEASE, bench Redden’s sorry @$$. Nail down Voros and Reitz as well. It’ll take the sting out of Renney’s sacrificial firing. Thank you.

    (And Sather will die in this job. Basketball James Dolan will never fire him. Because he’s NOT PAYING attention.)

  38. Outstanding blog indeed. I’m a big Torts fan from being a former Florida resident and watching what he can do for a team. Hopefully Wade Redden and the other slackers on this team are sweating right now. Torts will not stand for their lack of effort.

    So happy with this move!

  39. wd40
    February 23rd, 2009 at 9:27 pm
    ”….or the game against Washington that we had them down 4-0. We have to be more of an attack team rather than a team that’s going to pull back and back in.”
    {Slats was referring to them pulling back when leading in the games against Toronto and Washington specifically, not the philisophical style of play the coach wanted every game}

    Sather may be a lazy, blame-shifting SOB. But he is dead-on about the creeping fear that is Renneyism and that took over after the fast start.

    Renny tried to run the clock out on the season after 10-2-1 just like he tried to run the clock out against Washington. Disaster followed, for the team and finally for him. Sad, but his terror of letting his players play with passion and emotion did him in, and he did it to himself

    {Are you insane?… yeah… cause every coach wants to win games 1-0 or 2-1… Renney was a fall-guy… as typical and cliche as most mid-season firings happen in professional sports… he was a fall-guy for poor evaluation and poorer performance…}


  40. bathgate / howell night i shed many tears reminded of the good old days classy tean with lots of heart Slats should stick to golf Dolan has killed MSG sports fo newbyork Rangers and Knicks are un watchable I have boycotted the Garden for 3 years now and will not buy from any msg sponsors have saved thousands My personal boycott Just to doSOMETHING ABOUT A SICKENING SITUATION VERY HOPRLESS KUDOS AND HOPE FOR CHANGE .DOLAN PLEASE SELL THESE TEAMS BRING BACK EWING AND MESSIER TO THE COACHING STAFFS THEY HAD HEART AND FOUGHT HARD THESE TEAMS SEEM GUTLESS ALMOST LIKE THEY DO NOT CARE. VERY DISAPPOINTED NYC FAN

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