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Glen Sather Conference Call Transcript - Bure Trade

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Q: “Well was there any pressure at all to make this trade?”

A: Glen Sather: “No, there was absolutely no pressure.”

Q: "Were you surprised that you were able to get him for this cheaply?”

A: Glen Sather: “Well I don’t think that trading draft picks is always as cheap as it seems and Novak is a good prospect, so I think that both teams are happy with the deal.”

Q: “Was there ever a point where you thought the Panthers weren’t going to deal him, because there was a lot of talk that they were going to not trade him. Did this heat up again today or was that not really going on?”

A: Glen Sather: “Well it’s been a real roller coaster on whether they were going to do it or not do it. I think it was a tough trade for them to do. Yesterday, they called me and said they weren’t doing the deal, and then this morning they called back and wanted to get it back on the drawing board again, so we worked at it and it happened. But I don’t think over the last couple of weeks we really thought anything was going to happen.”

Q: “What do you think this does for your team, in general, by adding this guy for not really giving up anybody on your roster?

A: Glen Sather: “Well, it should do an awful lot for us in almost every position because it makes everybody better. The team is more mobile, we’re quicker, you’ve got better goal scoring. I mean, this guy is a world-class player. He’s one of the top four or five guys in the NHL today. He’s going to make our team go.”

Q: “Any concern on your part making this deal bringing in a guy who’s character has sometimes been question and who’s work ethic has sometimes been questioned because it could be a precarious time of year for you guys heading towards the playoffs? Any concerns at all about the character issue with him?”

A: Glen Sather: “No, not at all. We’ve got a lot of strong characters on this team and Pavel wants to be a winner. He wants to play in New York. He’s anxious to come here. I talked to him today and he’s very excited about it, and he said he would do anything to help the team win and play anywhere they wanted him to play. So he’s quite excited to be here.”

Q: “Did he indicate to you why this is really where he wanted to be? What is the attraction for him?”

A: Glen Sather: “I never really asked him that. I suppose that is something you can ask him tomorrow. I think even when he was in Vancouver, he said he wanted to come here. I think the biggest thing is he wanted an opportunity to win.”

Q: "You’ve traded a lot of great players – Gretzky, Messier, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr – how does it feel to actually to go out and get somebody and have the resources to do it instead of have to give players away because you didn’t have the money to do sign them and did you have any reservations that when you were in Edmonton you didn’t like the fact that other teams were able to go out and get high-priced players and you couldn’t.”

A: Glen Sather: “It’s been a long time since I’ve done something like this. I think the last time that I did something like this was when I got Kent Nilsson and Billy Guerin – there have been some other players. But the distinct difference is we need somebody to help push us into the playoffs. He’s a great player. I think he’s one of the top four or five players in the league and it was a great opportunity for us. It makes our team much better.”

Q: “ Was it your perception that there was another team in this? Obviously, the other team everybody was talking about was Dallas, and if and when they dropped out, the terms kind of changed for you?”

A: Glen Sather: “I never asked Mike specifically if there was somebody else involved. Early on in the discussion he told me that there was two other teams, and I didn’t ask him who they were. I don’t think anything really changed going through this thing. I mean, there were a lot of names bantered about, but the names that were discussed, those are names that are always going to be discussed in any kind of a trade. That’s why I don’t particularly like to talk about it.”

Q: “I wonder how we should read this as far as activity this summer. I know that you can’t talk about specific players that will be free agents, but should we read it in terms of, how will it effect how much money you can spend this summer and is part of the reason to do the deal to show potential people who might consider coming here, “hey that we’re serious about this and we just went out and got Bure?”

A: Glen Sather: “Well, I suppose you could look at this in a lot of different directions. Free agents that are going to be available over the summer, you don’t always get the guy you’re interested in. Guys make deals some place before they become free agents. A lot of things have changed. If you have a player like Pavel Bure, it changes some of your needs. We’ll have to see how this works out. We’re happy with the deal, we’re happy with where we are right now, and we’re going to keep looking ahead.”

Q: “Is it fair to say that this trade fits in with what you had been hoping to do all along. Not purely rebuild the team, not mortgage the future, but bring in players that are already in their prime and get the team as strong as possible as quickly as possible?”

A: Glen Sather: “Well, we’ve tried to help the team as quickly as we can without giving up everything in the future. I think that we’ve still got people that are developing. I mean, our farm team is first overall in the American League now with a lot of prospects in it. We’ve got a lot of prospects coming out of junior hockey this summer and I don’t really think that we’ve mortgaged our future. You get an asset we can move to try and help you in the present, that’s what you have these assets for. You have to keep moving ahead. Draft picks are always something down in the end some place that you are hoping will turn out and a lot of them don’t turn out. We don’t have a very old team right now. We got beat by a team the other night, that team was a lot older than ours. As these guys get older, they get a lot smarter. I don’t think the golden rule in the NHL is younger is always better.”

Q: “So is it fair to say that in that that’s what you trying to do, to bring in players that are in their prime and continue to add to that and be as competitive as possible right now?”

A: Glen Sather: “Absolutely. We’re trying to build a strong nucleus so that we don’t have to wait forever for somebody to develop.”

Q: “The Rangers have a long history of acquiring electrifying talent a little late in their careers. Bure is still young, do you see him being as great as he was going forward?”

A: Glen Sather: “Absolutely. This guy is in tremendous shape. He wants to play. He’s happy to be here. He thinks it’s a great opportunity for him, and he’s very excited."
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