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Rangers owner Dolan had ‘special relationship’ with Tortorella

Nov 22, 2013, 9:55 AM EDT

James Dolan

New York Rangers owner James Dolan believes that it’s important to be patient, as he has been with Rangers GM Glen Sather. He thinks that to do otherwise would run the risk of destabilizing things, but obviously teams can’t remain completely static. There has been turnover for various reasons, as was the case when the Rangers fired coach John Tortorella and replace him with Alain Vigneault over the summer.

The jury is still out as to whether the move will ultimately help the Rangers in their goal of winning the Stanley Cup – right now making the playoffs is a challenge – but regardless of what happens, he misses Tortorella.

“I’d visit Torts before a game and we would trade barbs for 10 minutes,” Dolan told the New York Post, “he’d tell me about his [lousy] cable TV service and I’d be sitting there saying, ‘You can’t clear the puck out of your zone, what the hell’s wrong with you?’ and he’d strike back and then play the game and I miss that.

“I’m developing a relationship with Alain [Vigneault] and he’s also a good guy, but Torts and I had a special relationship. It was fun for me. He banned me from the locker room for a while, all in fun. I miss that.”

Dolan noted that the Rangers are starting to adapt to the coaches new strategy and he remains upbeat about the team’s future.

As for Sather, he wants to keep him around until the 70-year-old general manager decides to retire.

  1. jasminedonut - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    So Sather is the lifetime GM of the Rangers. Dolan is the biggest idiot in hockey, what a jackass.

    • nyrfan - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      What do you know? How much GM experience do you have? Sather is one of the best GM’s in the NHL. There’s a reason he’s still here. There’s a reason Sather doesn’t have to speak publicly like the other 29 NHL GM’s do. Dolan gave Sather the keys to the Arena and he has Carte’ Blanche’ here. The job is his for as long as he wants it. There’s a reason for that.

      • jasminedonut - Nov 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        You’re probably just a fairweather fan that started liking the Rangers a few years ago. His 13 years of essentially ineptitude should speak for themselves. Aside from a few good trades, his era has been mired with terrible signings, for the most part crappy drafting and 0 cups. That should speak enough for itself.

      • stakex - Nov 22, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Sather is one of the best GM’s in the league? Yeah, ok….

        There is no doubt that Sather has made some great moves over the years (Gomez for McD for example), but he’s also made an avalanche of terrible free agent signings and questionable trades. On top of that, he has assembled a team that lacks chemistry and the ability to score. I mean aside from one year, the Rangers haven’t been a legit contender since Sather took over 13 years ago. There have been several coaches, complete roster turnover, and a rebuilt….. and things still haven’t changed. So what’s the common denominator? Its Sather, and I just don’t think the Rangers will be a winner until this relic is retired.

        The biggest problem is that Dolan doesn’t give a damn what happens with the Rangers. They fill the seats even if they miss the playoffs, so what’s he care. If the Rangers were in a more success oriented market, Sather would have been fired a decade ago.

  2. sjsharks66 - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    “He banned me for fun” was it really just for fun, or could you not take the hint?

    • mp1131211 - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Can you please do that to the flyers fans again. That was great.

  3. bsaures - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Maybe hes just waiting for the Cable guy to come and fire Sather?

  4. terrier92 - Nov 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Creepy headline lol

  5. xdj511 - Nov 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Yes, as a Rangers fan it’s definitely important to be patient. Luckily I’m young enough that I only had to wait a few of the 54 years it took to win the last Stanley Cup, but now it’s another 19 years and there is no end in sight. We have a good core but Lundqvist and Callahan are already passing their primes, guys like Staal and Nash are right behind them, and stalwart D-men Girardi and McDonagh have logged huge minutes in the past few seasons.

    And oh yeah, Lundqvist and Callahan are free agents after this season. So is this season the last hurrah for this group? If they don’t pull it together and win the cup this year, will it be time to blow it up yet again and start over?

    Dolan definitely has patience with Sather. More patience than any Rangers fan I know has. Who else remembers when he hired Trottier, only to find that hiring to be a disaster, dismissing him mid-season, taking over behind the bench, guaranteeing that the Rangers would still make the playoffs, and then failing? That was over ten years ago. Most executives would have lost their jobs based on a failed gambit like that, but not Sather. He has a long history of overpaying for free agents (Lindros, Holik, Gomez, Drury, Redden… need I go on?), and smaller signings that completely flop (I hate to even mention it, but if Derek Boogaard hadn’t passed, he’d STILL be under contract). The farm system was producing good young players five years ago but it has slowed to a trickle (Kreider yes, JT Miller maybe, Cam Talbot has been a revelation).

    So at what point does it stop? When does Dolan finally decide that Sather isn’t going to get the Rangers where they need to go? Apparently never. Sather may as well be on the supreme court for all the chance that he’s going to get fired someday. I would hope that if this season goes nowhere, if it becomes clear that the roster is going to get overhauled yet again, that this time the blame will finally fall on Sather, but I guess not.

  6. andyisfat - Nov 22, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Special, huh? Ho mos.

  7. bbk1000 - Nov 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    And people wonder why the Rangers and Knicks are the worst run franchises in sports….

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