UPDATE 10:58A - Larry Brooks just tweeted that there was nothing to this rumor. So take that for what it's worth as you read the below.
I'll be completely honest with you. I saw this report this morning on Twitter and brushed it off like you might brush away a fly at an outdoor lunch. I brushed this off for two reasons: 1) I didn't realize the author who wrote the story worked for ESPN (and thus would have legitimate sources) and 2) he never named Jeff Gorton as one of the potential replacements. And also because rumors like this sprout up all the time and they've never been true to this point.
But there's enough smoke for me to warrant at least talking about it.
Don't be surprised if Sather, 69, decides to step down from his GM post and places another in charge of running the player personnel decisions. An NHL source as well as a Rangers team source have told MurphysHockeyLaw.com that Sather is considering such a move as he prepares to meet with his hockey operations staff in La Quinta, California this week to discuss the coaching situation, the roster going forward and prepare for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark on June 30.
If Sather was to make such a move, he would retain his position as President of the Rangers and it's believed he would name either Jim Schoenfeld - the current Rangers Assistant GM as well as Assistant Coach and General Manager of the team's AHL affiliate the Connecticut Whale or current Rangers hockey consultant and former Wild GM Doug Risebrough to replace him as the new Rangers GM.
The story was also picked up by Yahoo, which in many ways also gives it some legs since Puck Daddy isn't just some rumor-swirling hockey site.
Sather did have prostate cancer this year, and while surgery went well something like that clearly has an impact on people. As you can see from the above, Sather wouldn't be leaving the organization (if this report is true) just handing over the general manager duties to someone else.
Personally, Gorton has to be the hands down favorite for the job if it becomes available. He's been with the team for a long time and it's believed that he already has his hands in all of the general management decisions as it is. I don't know how involved he is, but I do get the sense that he's heavily involved. Again, I have no inside information so I might be off track, but it's telling that he took over while Sather was out.
I'll also state right here that I don't think anything is going to come of this. Especially since Sather did say during the John Tortorella conference call that he would be the general manager next season.
Anyway, more on this as it comes along (if anything).