A couple of days ago reports surfaced that New York Rangers GM Glen Sather will retire at the end of this season, according to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. However, this is not the first time rumors of Sather retiring were put out there. Just last year for example, rumor had it that Sather would be retiring at the end of last season, but that never happened. So why would this year’s retirement rumor be any different?
Well, I cannot say with any certainty that Sather will or will not retire at the end of this season because I am not in Sather’s mind or a close personal friend of his, so all of this is just speculation. I know, as a Rangers fan myself, that the majority of us will be rooting for Sather to retire, since he has been the Rangers’ GM for close to 15 years now and has accomplished just one Eastern Conference Finals birth and it took him six seasons just to get the Rangers to the postseason.
Sather might have been a great head coach and GM for the Edmonton Oilers back in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the game has changed a lot since then and some are better than others at keeping up with the times. Unfortunately for Rangers fans, Sather was not one of them.
It is obvious with bad free agent signings and poor draft choices the game of hockey does not love Sather anymore, but with Rangers owner James Dolan basically giving Sather a lifetime contract with the team by saying he has the job for as long as he wants to, why would Sather give up his GM title and his money for no reason and with no pressure to leave?
The only reason I can think of is health related. Sather is now 70 years old and last year was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery to remove it. Last I heard, Sather is now cancer free, but there is always that chance of the cancer returning and as the years go on, the more vulnerable the human body becomes to disease and health problems.
With Assistant GM Jeff Gorton waiting in the wings, and with Sather likely to remain the Rangers’ President of Hockey Operations upon giving up his GM position, while retirement may not happen as quickly as this offseason, you know that it is just a matter of time. Sooner rather than later.