Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, Just wanted to let the Rangers know, we're about to delve into more "irresponsible fan behavior"......take it away joereiter:
Yeah, we all know the deal. Terrible with free agents, worse with his own RFAs, completely invisible to the fan base and media, a cigar smokin' tool sitting in Banff and running the team remotely like it's his fantasy hockey entry.
But in the course of looking up the "you've got to be a lion" quote in the aftermath of the Lindros trade waaaaay back when (which led to my calling him Simba in a bunch of emails after someone I knew got me his personal email address, they started getting bounced back shortly thereafter), I found some quotes, mostly pre-lockout, that are just a window into what a complete FAIL the Sather Error has been.
The best of the bunch after the jump.
I'll try to do these chronologically, but some of 'em just aren't dated.
The infamous pre-Rangers hire quote:
"If I had the Rangers payroll, I'd never lose a game"
Still in the pre-Rangers hire mode, a commentary on free agency:
"But even if I had been in Atlanta and I had the budget that team may or may not have, I still would not have paid
(goalie) Curtis Joseph $24 million for four years. I think you're a lot better off getting a group of young guys
together, teach them about the game and about life and bring them along. You're much better off than trying to hit a home run with a bunch of 30-year-old free agents."
After being hired by the Rangers:
"I'm going to send out a bit of a wakeup call to the entire team. If you're not going to work and sacrifice yourself, then there's no room for you."
"I'm not singling anybody out, but if these veterans don't come in ready, we'll be the first team to have $6 million players in the minors, and I'm not kidding. I don't want anyone to waste my time."
"I'm going to send out a bit of wakeup call to the entire team," Sather declared. "If you're not prepared to work
and sacrifice yourself, there's not going to be room for guys on this team that are just along for the ride. It's
not a retirement process here."
After introducing Ron Low as head coach in July 2000:
"It's not acceptable for this team not to make the playoffs"
On signing Vladimir Malakhov:
"If you look through the NHL, there aren't many players with his type of ability; he has superstar ability."
On trading for Lindros:
"No. I don't think it's very risky. You can be a lion maybe once in your life. If you don't make this deal, you're a
mouse forever….Wouldn't you rather be a lion for one day than a mouse for life?"
After signing Dave Karpa and Igor Ulanov as free agents:
"I just want to make sure that these are the kind of guys that we were going to get. I've talked a lot about Karpa
with other people, and I know that both of them wanted to come here. So I was very happy to get both of them."
On trading for Tom Poti:
"I think he'll be one of the top players in the league."
Sather's thoughts on fans booing throughout the 2001-02 season:
"Well, that's the way it works in sports. You cheer and help the team get better. You boo them, they get worse. It's the same as your children. If you have a child who is having trouble in school and you berate him every day he's never going to get any better."
After several years of running amok on the free agency market and stockpiling high-priced veterans without an infusion of youth:
"At some point in time, this organization has got to get younger and get some enthusiasm."
On his plan for the future, I think pre-lockout:
"The hardest part for everyone will be to stay patient and understand that we are committed to building a team from within that can have long-term success in New York"
On signing Marek Malik:
"Marek is a big, strong defenseman who adds a physical presence to our blue line. His size and skill will bolster our penalty-killing unit."
On his #6 overall pick, Al Montoya, currently a backup in the AHL:
"Al is one of the top goaltending prospects in hockey and we are extremely pleased to have signed him, ... We feel this will be a big step for Al in advancing his development. He has been working extremely hard this summer and we are looking forward to seeing him on the ice at training camp in September."
On the overall plan for the future of the Rangers.....again:
"I feel really reluctant to talk too much about it because this is only the first step in what we are trying to do and what we are trying to accomplish. There are more goals to achieve and there is a bigger picture ahead of us."
This is just a stunning collection here amassed from across the interwebs, and the scary part is how much it shows a clear disconnect between his talent evaluation and the actual talents of the players mentioned. Poti & Malakhov superstars? Did he really believe that?
I didn't even include the 'best first passer' line he had after signing Redden, and I'm probably missing some other doozies...but this just goes to show nothing has changed in his running of the team in ten years.
I was TWENTY-FIVE when he took over. Sather has been GM almost 1/3 of my life.
I need vodka.