Glen Sather

Glen Sather stepping down as Rangers president

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The changes in New York continue as the Rangers announced on Thursday that Glen Sather, who has served as team president since 2000, is stepping down from the role to become Senior Advisor to the owner and alternate governor.

“Since he first joined the Rangers 19 years ago, Glen Sather has been singularly focused on delivering our fans a team that can consistently compete for the Stanley Cup,” said Rangers owner James Dolan in a statement. “In doing so, Glen has become one of the most successful executives in Rangers history, and his current strategy has set the team on the right path to achieve our ultimate goal. Glen and I will work closely together to identify his successor. We thank Glen for his dedication to the Rangers, and to all of hockey, and look forward to his continued contributions to our team in his advisory role.”

Sather was also the team’s general manager from 2000-2015. Jeff Gorton, who took over as GM, will remain in the position as the franchise begins its search for a new president. After consistency for many years in the executive offices, this move continues the transition as the franchise moves forward.

During Sather’s time as GM, the Rangers won 556 games, reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs nine times, played in three Eastern Conference Finals, advanced to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, and won the 2014-15 Presidents’ Trophy. They’ve reached the playoffs since he focused solely on the team president role, but with an aging roster and Gorton now in charge the franchise has headed toward a youth movement.

After winning five Cup rings during his time as head coach and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s, Sather, a 1997 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, told Larry Brooks of the New York Post his one regret is not bringing a championship back to New York.

“We had the opportunity to do it, but those three overtime losses in the final in LA…that’s the biggest regret,” he said. “But then also the reality that we were starting to get older—not me personally, but the team—and we could see that we would need to make changes to get better. That’s always painful.”

The goal is to have Sather’s replacement in place by July 1.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

PHT Morning Skate: Subban crashes street hockey game

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

P.K. Subban was in Montreal’s Westmount neighborhood on Sunday when he came across eight-year-old Jack Fraser and his friends playing street hockey. The 26-year-old Habs’ defenseman decided to join in and test Fraser’s goaltending skills. (Bar Down)

Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville’s connection to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. (The Canadian Press)

With Glen Sather unsure of whether he will return for the 2015-16 season, Adam Proteau writes it’s time for the 71-year-old to step aside. (THN)

Bolts, beer and sun: How Lightning fans watch Stanley Cup Final, outside arena walls. (Puck Daddy)

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts are always a must-read. (Sportsnet)

A couple of Tampa tattoo artists made the ultimate bet prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. (Bar Down)

Thanks predominantly to Rocky Wirtz, Blackhawks popularity in Chicago is at an all-time high. (Toronto Sun)

Sather impressed by Hayes’ impact on Rangers

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Rangers’ rookie Kevin Hayes netted the overtime winner on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh giving New York a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to MSG.

It was the 22-year-old’s first career Stanley Cup playoff goal in just his fourth career postseason game.

Hayes, a free agent signing out of Boston College last summer, has been a surprise fit for the Rangers.

“Oh, it would be completely different,” Rangers GM Glen Sather told the New York Post Wednesday night. “Not only wouldn’t we have had him, but we would have had to go out and gotten somebody else [to fill the role as third-line center].”

Hayes had 44 goals and 132 points in 142 games with the Eagles over four seasons. The Blackhawks draft pick was unable to come terms with Chicago making him a free agent last August.

The Boston native had 17 goals and 28 assists in 79 regular season games with the Rangers.

Hayes rookie campaign has surprised even Sather.

“No, I didn’t envision it would happen this quickly,” Sather said. “It’s very rare to be able to do what he’s done. He’s a very smart player, he learns quickly and he’s a great kid.

“The mistake I made was not getting his brother from Chicago,” he said, alluding to Jimmy Hayes, who was in the Blackhawks’ organization for a few years before joining the Florida Panthers last season. “I wanted to, but it just didn’t work out.”

The Rangers can close out their series with the Penguins on Friday night.

Blue Jackets’ Dubinsky had equipment held hostage

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Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky has been where Ryan Johansen is.

As a restricted free agent, Dubinksy, who shares the same agent as Johansen (Kurt Overhardt), was a holdout from New York Rangers camp in the summer of 2009.

The 28-year-old remembers things between the two sides getting so bad that he didn’t have access to his own equipment.

“(Rangers general manager) Glen Sather actually held my equipment hostage from me,” Dubinsky told the Columbus Dispatch. “I’m not sure I should tell you guys that. But I was using rental skates. I was just skating laps, just burning my legs out every day to try to keep my legs in shape.”

After missing eight days of camp, Dubinsky eventually signed a two-year $3.7 million deal.

“Mine was a different situation, but I’m not proud of it,” said Dubinsky. “I’m not going to comment on whether I agree or disagree with what (Johansen) is doing. All I’ll say is, he’s an individual that has got to look out for his interests and his family’s interests. He’s got to make his own decisions.”

Johansen has reportedly turned down offers of $6 million over two years, $32 million over six and $46 million over eigh years.

The Blue Jackets center has gone home to Vancouver while he awaits a new deal.

Oilers to celebrate 30th anniversary of 1984 Stanley Cup championship team

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We know there hasn’t been much success in Edmonton the past eight seasons now, but during the 1980s they were the team.

Back in 1984, the Oilers started their dynastic run by ending the New York Islanders’ dynasty beating them in five games. Now, 30 years later, they’re getting the band back together again on Oct. 10 to celebrate the first of what ultimately became five Stanley Cup titles in Edmonton.

As Derek van Diest of the Edmonton Sun shared, the idea to get everyone back together was Wayne Gretzky’s.

“I think everybody, which Wayne (Gretzky) alluded to, and him being the architect of getting this idea, wanted to see the guys and get together,” Oilers President and member of that ’84 team Kevin Lowe said. “We’ve never celebrated the team in any capacity, we did have the Heritage Classic in 2003, which was a bit of a celebration. This is a real fitting event and it looks like everybody is going to be here.”

By “everybody” Lowe means just about everyone involved with the Oilers’ success. Players, coaches, scouts, equipment staff, and executives will all be part of the celebration. We’ll see if former owner Peter Pocklington is welcome since he’s the guy who traded Gretzky and all.

That ’84 Oilers team was one of the most talented teams ever assembled. With Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, and Glenn Anderson along with coach Glen Sather they scored 446 goals that season, 86 more than the second-best scoring team, the Quebec Nordiques.