I nearly fell out of the chair today. The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 1050AM radio spent at least a full hour talking about the NY Rangers, the hiring of new coach John Tortorella, and what that means for the team's playoff chances.
Also, the primary host, Michael Kay, who is definitely not a hockey guy, had what is probably the only Rangers/hockey rant of his career. He apparently just made a shocking discovery regarding the NY Rangers that he wanted to share. He teased his audience through a couple of commercial breaks before he revealed his big 'discovery' and let loose his insightful tirade.
Before that big revelation Michael Kay discussed with his co-host and hockey guy, Don La Greca, what went wrong for Tom Renney. Don La Greca, who works at the Garden and covers the Rangers, has fallen under the spell of Tom Renney. La Greca said Renney was a good coach and a nice guy, who was basically brought down by the circumstances (see Reasons #1 and #2 from the previous post). La Greca felt that Renney's defensive style was well suited to the Rangers personnel (an offensively challenged team) and their great goaltender, Lundqvist. However, if the Rangers were going to make a coaching change LaGreca said it wasn't a bad idea to go with Tortorella, the anti-Renney. This is a similar strategy to having a hard charger like Joe Girardi follow the easy going Joe Torre for the NY Yankees. That's worked out well?
But, back to Michael Kay and his big discovery. Mr. Kay has recently discovered that unlike every other General Manager in recent metro NY sports history the Rangers GM, Glen Cameron "Slats" Sather, is ducking the media and getting a big pass on his management of the team.
Every GM that Kay could think of: Brian Cashman, Omar Minaya, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Jerry Reese, Terry Bradway, Mike Tannenbaum, Mike Milbury, and Lou Lamoriello was accessible to the New York media to discuss their decisions. However, Glen Sather was the exception. He was allowed to fly below the radar and live in some sort of 2 Penn Plaza bubble. Kay was shocked that Sather was allowed such a free pass in his job. Shocked and outraged that Sather could hide out in an 'Ivory Tower.'
Kay and La Greca could only think of one time, several years ago, when they were able to get Sather on their show. Kay could not understand why a man who is considered a living legend in Canada and probably one of the NHL's all-time greatest GM's wasn't front and center and frequently talking to the New York media about the Rangers. It would be a fan friendly, positive thing to do. Especially, since Kay said that Sather is always doing Canadian radio hockey shows.
Kay was also shocked to realize that Sather has selected five, count them, five, separate men to coach the NY Rangers during his nine year tenure. The five coaches being:
- John Tortorella - current
- Tom Renney 2004 to 2009
- Glen Sather, himself 2003-04
- Bryan Trottier 2002-03
- Ron Low 2000-02
Most GM's get far fewer chances to pick coaches, two might be the average. Additionally, given his age (65), Sather's hiring of Tortorella might be the last coach he gets to select.
Kay and La Greca also scratched their heads over the Brian Trottier decision and wondered how Sather freely skated through that mess. LaGreca said that Sather certainly has the hockey smarts and verbal skills to logically articulate all his decisions, but he simply chooses not to. Kay said that it would certainly be nice to hear Sather's explanation of why he signed Wade Redden to a salary cap killing $6.5 million/yr for six years. But, that is not going to happen with Sather, who gets to hide out in that Penn Plaza bubble he has constructed.
Hoorah! Michael Kay found a black hole that Ranger fans have been in for years.
As a reminder, Mike, the Ranger Pundit, has been referring to Glen 'Slats' Sather as the Stealth GM for years. It is nice to see that the other pundits around New York, like Michael Kay, are finally starting to catch up to Mike and zero in on Glen Sather and his scam.
Scam I am Sather.
You could compare Glen Sather's operation of the Rangers to the infamous Ponzi scheme that Bernard Madoff ran for years. Everyone thought Mr. Madoff was some sort of financial genus who could grind out above average returns year after year. Sather has likewise hoodwinked everyone into believing that he is a hockey genus who will grind out a Stanley Cup championship like he did in Edmonton back in the 1980's. The 1980's, that's also when Bernie Madoff made his last real profit. Both men have made a handsome living while running a bogus strategy for the last decade. Therefore it's not surprising that Bernie and Glen both share a proclivity to keep a low profile while they fleece the flock.
Pundit Update: When I called the hospital Tuesday afternoon they said Mike was still listed in the ER and not allowed to receive any calls. I'm sure that the news of the coaching change lowered his blood pressure.