Glen Sather Holds Conference Call with Media Following NHL Trade Deadline
/ New York Rangers
On Tuesday, March 13th, at 6:30 PM ET, New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather held a conference call with the media to discuss his thoughts following the NHL Trade Deadline. Read below for excerpts from the call.
MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us today. We have Glen Sather available for the next ten to fifteen minutes to answer questions.
Q: Could you just tell us your general impression of how much you've been thinking you could do, and why you ultimately wound up not making a trade?
GS: Well, generally what occurred in all the deals we were trying to do today, you know things changed directions. As proceedings sped up through the day, people started getting deals and they kept looking for more young people from me and I just wouldn't suppose, at this stage, to sacrifice the future of the Rangers for some immediate curing of our problems right now. I just thought it was more important that we stick with the youth we've been trying to bring along all year, and stick with the future youth that people seem to be after.
Q: How close were you to trading Graves, and at this point because the trade did not go through, do you still feel that the team can make the playoffs this year?
GS: First of all, I spoke to Adam after the game last night because I wanted him to be aware that there was a possibility that he could be traded. I told him that I had inquiries from three different organizations and that although there was nothing in them at that time, that if there was a chance the deal would be good for both of us, would he be interested in being traded. Being as up front as I could and Adam being the up front, straightforward guy that he is, we discussed it and it was a discussion of the possibilities that could happen. I just didn't want him to be faced with a phone call at 3:00 in the afternoon, and be blind-sided, telling him hes been traded. I wanted him to know there was a possibility and I said, this may not occur, and it may occur' but I want you to know that there could be a possibility of it happening. He understood that and appreciated the fact that I went to him and looked him in the eye and told him there's a chance it might happen. That was basically the extent of it. As far as us making the playoffs, if we play the way we played against Pittsburgh last night, yeah, I think we can make the playoffs. A lot of things have to happen in the meantime. We have to play well, and somebody in front of us has to fall.
Q: Do you think that Adam can still be a positive contributor to this team either later this season, or next season?
GS: I think Adam is such a strong character guy that he's gone through so much in the last 15 months that whether it happens in the next game or three weeks from now, Adam's character is not going to change. He's had some confidence problems this year and I hope that he gets over that and gets his game back together and starts playing on the edge like we've all seen him play in the past. The last thing that I want to have happen to Adam, is tell him over the summer that 'I want to retire you'. I don't want to have that happen because he's the one guy who bleeds Ranger blue all the way through, and he's been a terrific sports hero for the people of New York. This is a game that has to march forward. We all get changes in our lives that happen to us and we have to overcome them one way or the other.
Q: Do you at this point have an idea in terms of how you'll go about assessing his situation once the season is over? Do you an in your minds eye right now what you think might happen?
GS: Well, we've still got 13 games left. We've still got time to see what happens in the future. I can't tell you for sure what's going to happen and I can't tell you what's going to happen over the summer. But this team is going to change by next year in a lot of different places because of the evolution of some of the younger guys coming and some deals that will probably be made for free agents that are going to be available over the summer. There's going to be a lot of free agents that are available that are real superstars.
Q: You mentioned before that there were some deadlines that passed in the early days in Edmonton that gnawed at you. Is this one gnawing at you? Or do you just walk away saying it just wasn't right today?
GS: Well, what I was referring to in Edmonton was, I had a bunch of young players who were just starting in their careers; and a lot of people came after those guys, and I turned the deals down. You know, whether you make a deal or you don't make a deal it always gnaws at you because you second-guess, go back through your mind and your notes about people you talked about and possible deals, and what you can do with the team. I've been trying to do this for the last five months. This day is usually the day that you can make some deals, but this day passed without making a deal and I said that maybe this is the best deal. By not making any deal, I'll let the team grow internally.
Q: Just one last thing and I asked you this before about the complaint about Ranger personnel in the past that you guys' have to pay a higher price than the rest of the teams. Did you sense any of that today?
GS: Well I sensed it historically, maybe some of the deals that the Rangers have done, they always pushed pretty hard to do things for a higher price. You know, I would think it should be the other way. It should be an honor and a privilege for someone to play in New York because it's a great city and it's a good opportunity for these guys. You've got to turn around the thinking of the rest of the league so that they understand that.
MODERATOR: That concludes this evening’s conference call. Thanks everybody for joining us.