With the Stanley Cup Finals taking center stage and set to begin Wednesday in Chicago between the Blackhawks and Bruins, there is still plenty of scuttlebutt around the NHL. The coaching carousel is in full motion and trade speculation that usually ramps up after the finals and leading into the NHL Entry Draft is already spreading with a heavy focus on goalies. The New York Rangers are fine between the pipes for now as Henrik Lundqvist still has a year left on his contract. They do however have a coaching vacancy after general manager Glen Sather fired controversial head coach John Tortorella following the team’s five-game loss to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Bruins and are the subject of plenty of coaching rumors.
But while sources have mentioned the same names to MurphysHockeyLaw.com that are being reported by many outlets, such as former Sabres bench boss Lindy Ruff and former Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault as possible hires for the Rangers coaching job there could be a bigger change coming for the Blue Shirts. 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. Nothing is certain right now but according to these sources, Sather is seriously considering the decision.
Sather has been the General Manager of the Rangers since 2000. He also coached the team for two seasons from 2002-2004. Prior to that he worked for the Edmonton Oilers where he won four Stanley Cups as a head coach and five as a GM. He has never been to the Stanley Cup finals or won a Stanley Cup during his time with the Rangers.