Is it Time for Glen Sather to Step Down?
For starters, Sather put the Rangers back on the NHL map, especially after the lockout in 2004-05. Prior to that, the Rangers were known for spending big bucks on free agent busts, making questionable trades and missing the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That all changed after the first lockout as the Rangers became one of the more consistent teams in the NHL. Since the 05-06 season, the Blueshirts have missed the postseason just once, advanced to the second round three times and even went the Eastern Conference Finals.
Under Sather, the team also made some solid trades. Moves like acquiring Ryan McDonagh, signing Marian Gaborik, and getting John Moore will go down as smart moves for Sather and ones that made the hockey club better.
While these are all good things and facts that cannot be taken away from Sather, one has to wonder if the time has come for Sather to step down/retire and give the reins to someone else. Sather has been with the team for over a decade and while the team has taken a lot of strides in that span, the club also really has not been able to get to the next level.
This fact has been abundantly clear this season. When the Rangers' hired head coach Alain Vigneault back during the off-season, Vigneault envisioned that his team would play a much more offensive style of hockey.
Unfortunately for Vigneault, that has not been the case this season. The team may have some solid offensive players in the likes of Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider, but even with those guys, this team is still having trouble putting the puck of the net.
This is one of Sather's problems. Vigneault needs better personnel in order to play the kind of hockey he wants to play and Sather has not done the job of getting the right players to make it work.
Another problem for Sather is that while the Rangers have been able to make the playoffs in six of the last seven years, only once did the team come remotely close to getting a chance to play for hockey's Holy Grail. One can applaud the fact that the team has made it past the first round three times but in the end, it means nothing if the team does not win the Cup.
Staying on that subject, the team's best chance to win the Cup was two seasons ago. That year, they were the best team in the Eastern Conference, were one of the best teams in the entire NHL and came within two wins of getting to the Final.
The Rangers' Cup window, even with the contract extension of franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, is probably just about closed. Sure, the team can make the postseason but the general makeup of this franchise does not appear to be built to win the Cup.