For years I couldn’t stand Glen Sather. The man steadfastly refused to stop star chasing and as a result the Rangers failed to make any progress, stuck as a perennial borderline playoff team and incapable of putting together a true contender.
Sather learned his lesson and now just as stubbornly refuses to abandon his plan of sticking with youth by including prized youngsters as trade pieces in pursuit of the latest high-priced stars around the league.
Sather has reversed his ways and earns frequent praise from many of the Rangers fans that once loathed him, but many of those fans are refusing to acknowledge the same lesson they so desperately wanted Sather to learn.
There’s also no debating that there are few shortcuts in sports and especially in New York, as we should have learned over the last decade.
Only by meticulously stockpiling prospects and putting focus on development and drafting have the Blueshirts suddenly turned the corner.
Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh are the latest homegrown stars on Broadway, and there will be more to come from an extremely deep pipeline.
In the past, Sather would have been more than willing to reach into the cupboard and sweep its contents out if it meant getting another big name on board.
Now Sather knows that that won’t work. Trading for a superstar can still be sensible, but Sather has to wait for the right opportunity – the right fit financially, on the ice, in the locker room and that doesn’t strip the organization of its future assets.
It’s a shame that Sather has recognized his own past mistakes and righted them, yet many of the Rangers fans that ripped him for his past ways have quickly grown impatient and now want him to reverse course.
The good news is that more than anything else; Sather has proven to be stubborn beyond belief. Here’s hoping he continues.