Former Rangers GM Glen Sather announces retirement from NHL

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-New York Rangers Media Day
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Glen Sather announced his retirement Wednesday. The former president and general manager of the New York Rangers, who also was a defenseman for the Blueshirts during his playing career, spent the past 24 years working in their front office.

Most recently, the 80-year-old was the senior advisor to team owner James Dolan and was the Rangers alternate governor. His Hall-of-Fame career reached six decades, starting as a player, then coach, and front office executive.

“Having the opportunity to be associated with the National Hockey League, and specifically the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, has been one of the great privileges of my life,” Sather said in a statement. “I want to thank Jim Dolan for giving me the chance to work for the Rangers 24 years ago and for his consistent guidance and friendship. I want to thank everyone in the Rangers organization for their dedication and pursuit of excellence throughout the years, as well as the family atmosphere they helped create. I would also like to thank the great Rangers fans for their passion and loyalty. This experience is something I will always treasure.”

Sather replaced Neil Smith as president and general manager in 2000. Despite some lean years to start, he was part of one of the most successful stretches in Rangers history, when they reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs 11 times in a 12-year span, beginning in 2005-06. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, Sather continued his incredible career by overseeing 1,114 games as New York’s general manager before stepping aside for his assistant Jeff Gorton to take over in 2015.

During his 14 seasons as general manager, Sather earned more wins (556) and held the position for more games (1,114) than any other GM in franchise history.

Sather was also a huge part of the Oilers dynasty, which lasted from 1983-1990, when he helped them win the Stanley Cups five times in seven years as GM, and the first four as coach.

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Glen Sather retires from Rangers, NHL

NHL: New York Rangers at Edmonton Oilers
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The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup once with Sather as GM, in 2014, when they lost in five games to the Los Angeles Kings. They also reached the Eastern Conference Final in 2012, losing in six games to the New Jersey Devils.

Sather remained part of the organization, helping Gorton and then current president and general manager Chris Drury in their roles. He was a big part of “The Letter” in 2018, which outlined New York’s rebuild plan in an honest and straightforward way to its fans.

“From the time he joined the Rangers organization 24 years ago, Glen Sather has been the consummate professional,” Dolan said. “I am thankful for the friendship that Glen and I have had over these many years and for the success he helped bring the Rangers franchise during his tenure. Glen, Ann, and his family will always be a part of the Rangers and Madison Square Garden family, and I wish them all the best in the years ahead.”

Sather was also lauded by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

“The National Hockey League congratulates Glen Sather on his retirement and salutes him for his legendary career,” Bettman said in a League statement. “Glen enjoyed a remarkable six-decade career as a player, coach, general manager and executive that earned him election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997. Whether with the dynastic Edmonton Oilers teams of the 1980s, the contending New York Rangers clubs of recent years or various iterations of Team Canada, Sather always showed a keen eye for elite talent and a deft touch for bringing out its best.”

Drury is following in the same footsteps as Sather. After playing for the Rangers as a part of his illustrious NHL career, he is now working in the front office, trying to capture that elusive Stanley Cup.

“I would like to congratulate Glen on his tremendous career,” Drury said. “I will forever be grateful to Glen for giving me the opportunity to play for the Rangers, and I was so fortunate to lean on him for guidance as I began my own career in the front office. I wish Glen – along with Ann and the entire Sather family – best of luck in the next chapter of their lives.”

Sather is 31st all-time on the NHL wins list for coaches with 497. Most of those came with the Oilers, but he also stepped in to coach the Rangers for 90 games in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, winning 33.

He had 724 penalty minutes in 658 NHL games as a rugged defenseman. Sather suited upo for the Rangers for all or parts of three seasons from 1971 to 1974.

It is the end of a long, and largely positive era, in Rangers history. Sather became a Rangers staple, with his trademark stogie, and helped bring success back to the franchise.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh

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