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Sather: ‘Every coach has a shelf life’

May 29, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Glen Sather AP

Glen Sather didn’t want to get into specifics when asked why he fired head coach John Tortorella.

The bottom line, according to New York’s general manager, was this: the Rangers were supposed to compete for a Stanley Cup, and they only lasted five games of the second round.

Sather even admitted that the reasons for the dismissal may seem “a little vague.”

“There isn’t one specific incident or one specific reason that brought this about,” he said.

But if there was a money quote during Sather’s conference call with reporters, it was this: “Every coach has a shelf life.”

The phrase “shelf life” has been used in conjunction with Tortorella a lot. Everyone knows he can be extremely demanding, and he’s certainly not afraid to use the media to call out his players. After a while, that approach can lose its desired effect. (Just ask another former Rangers bench boss, Mike Keenan, whose shelf life expired many, many times during his coaching career.)

You can listen to the audio of the call here.

Also worth noting:

—- Despite what was reported earlier today, Sather said Henrik Lundqvist‘s comments had nothing to do with Tortorella being fired — “We plan on signing Henrik to a long-term contract.”

—- Scratching Brad Richards for Games 4 and 5 of the Boston series was “an organizational decision,” according to Sather.

—- Sather hopes to hire a new coach in time for the draft on June 30.

—- Sather: “I can’t predict what the next coach’s system will be like.”

—- For those wondering about the shelf life of the GM, Sather said he plans to be back next season.

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - May 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    GM Sather has expired his shelf life too, after many infamous FA signings.

    • ibieiniid - May 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      has the mental capacity of a shelf*

    • 950003cups - May 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      You wanna know what’s interesting? Sather may be on the hot seat as we speak. This years draft is widely considered deep in the first couple of rounds. Rangers don’t have a 1st or 2nd round pick this year. It was all in due to Sather trading them away. The 1st rounder, OK. That’ s worth it for Nash. But the 2nd rounder for Clowe (as a rental)? Not worth it at all when you don’t have a 1st pick in a deep draft year. Looking at the forwards, and the comparisons, this draft may be close to the 2003 class. Oh, yeah, in which year Sather picked up Hugh Jessiman ahead of Parise. If you’re asking yourselves “Hugh who!?” then you understand the point.

      So, I hear Jimmy Dolan is hiring Isiah Thomas to coach the rangers.

  2. DED - May 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Sather said he plans to be back next season.

    Of course he will. No Ranger fan wants to know how badly Sather has to screw up in order to get fired. It would have to be epic because he’s been allowed to sweep his mistakes under the rug (and the AHL and Montreal and early retirement and so on…) for years and always comes through smiling with a stogie.

    • challer9 - May 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      You can say what you want about his trades and veteran FA signings, but you can’t deny his eye for young talent. Drafting Lundqvist (205th overall), Stepan (51st), Marc Staal (12th), Callahan (127th), Hagelin (168th), Del Zotto (20th), and Sauer (40th) is a pretty good track record. Also notice that none of those are top 5 or 10 can’t-miss picks. Add to that Girardi was signed as a UDFA and we stole McDonagh from Montreal when he was like 20 years old. That is the reason he still has his job.

      • challer9 - May 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        Plus the three guys we traded for Nash (Anisimov, Dubinsky, and Erixon) were drafted by Sather.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        I think the test of a GM is more in free agent signings as the draft picks are generally made with reliance upon the scouting department

      • DED - May 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        @ challer9: I don’t dispute his eye for young talent at all! And you’re right in saying that’s why he still has a job. But when you screw up on draft picks, it doesn’t really cost the team much in cap space. It’s these crazy FA signings that get the team into trouble. It’s amazing how well Sather can sign someone right after they’ve peaked so that they can come to NY and sputter. Yes, there have been exceptions but they are outnumbered by the disasters.

  3. 950003cups - May 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Slats might wanna look at that Torts expiration date again. It’s been expired for well over 2 years. having a goalie muscle your way to a conference finals isn’t on the coaching skills.

    • govtminion - May 29, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      …people in the Buffalo front office are scribbling notes furiously and whispering angrily to each other. 😉

    • hockeyflow33 - May 29, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Goalies have muscled the last few Cup winners so the approach isn’t that far-fetched

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 29, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Pat Burns once said, and I am paraphrasing; coaches are like war pilots going into combat. you never know if they will return when they go out on a mission. To accept the pleasures of coaching one has to accept that one day he will get fired.

    • 950003cups - May 29, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Every coach says things like that. So did Pete DeBoer when he was released from Florida.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        I guess he was paraphrasing Burns. Burns was saying it before he ever got fired.

  5. tfaltin - May 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    No question Sather has made some awful signings over the years, but I really like this roster. I’m excited for this next decision. The right coach and a passable power play and the Rangers are not on the links today.

  6. tkushy - May 29, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Sather inherited the Oilers young talent & has done nothing in NY. His model is to sign the biggest names each yr in free agency w/o a thought to team chemistry etc. Terrible GM.

  7. johnstone17 - May 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    As a Rangers fan, I remember Sather saying ” If had the Rangers payroll I’d win the cup every year!” Still waiting Glen !

    • jaybyrd99 - May 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      I remember that well johnstone. The guy’s an arrogant POS whose teams haven’t won ,let alone been to a cup final, in almost 25 years.
      The rangers have been unfortunate to have had sather before ( when he was a player) and after(as ranger Gm,president,and coach)his success.

  8. dumbassgreg - May 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    remember he is from alberta. the number one skill men from alberta have is brownnosing their bosses. especially if they are americans. lmao

  9. stonewallhank - May 29, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    rangers did not draft Erixon

  10. barkar942 - May 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    OK. So two questions-
    1)Is Mike Sullivan gone, too, or is he up for a promotion to head coach?
    2)If he is not up for head coach and is also let go, who then will be the next Rangers head coach?
    Ken Gernander? Has coached all of the Rangers young prospects.
    Lindy Ruff? Hope not. Time for him to take a lighter work load and take over Team Canada.(Probably less media coverage than here in NY-LOL- well at least less tough!
    Alain Vigneault? Never could get the Canucks over the hump- would he do any better here in NY? Don’t think so.
    Dallas Ekins? Don’t know enough about him.
    Mike Haviland? Has won at every hockey level from Trenton and Atlantic City in the ECHL to winning the Cup as an assistant in Chicago. Has been successful at every level he has coached. Plus lives at the Jersey Shore- fairly close to home.
    Mike Keenan? Oh-Wait- he went to Russia for a few weeks before he quits because Russian hockey players don’t play defense and quits and returns to MSG Network.
    My guess is Gernander, but personally I would be happy with Haviland.

  11. bleedrangerblue - May 29, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Look torts had to go. He acts like Rex Ryan.

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