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01-20-2011, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Originally Posted by
I'm not sure Sather is an exception within the observation I'm making here, though. I think the fact that he's held onto his job is an exception, but also a byproduct of how dysfunctional the Rangers are internally. What I think the career of Sather demonstrates is how certain strengths can be played up in one set of parameters while also masking weaknesses.
In Edmonton, Sather was forced to rely more on drafting, scouting, etc. to build his teams. He did a good job of that, and, therefore, despite giving away a lot on the salary front, the Oilers remained a competitive team after they had been plundered during the great expansion in player salary in the early 90s. The thought was that he could take those strengths with him to NY, and the added money in his pocket would return even better dividends. However, the opposite happened. In NY the value of whatever drafting, scouting, etc. strengths he had either evaporated, or were overwhelmed by his poor contractual choices.
In Edmonton, the emphasis was more on Sather as a "hockey man" than a true "manager." Given a strict budget, the problems a team face are almost entirely related to the field. This is precisely where the
philosophy enters. A philosophy geared towards prioritizing scouting and looking for undervalued skills that can maximize the effectiveness of dollars spent. On teams with bigger budgets, the focus swings far more in the direction of managing your budget. In both cases (both MLB and Sather with the Oilers and early on with the Rangers) we are talking about leagues lacking in caps. When you throw a cap into the mix, managing your budget (both short term and long term) is always present. Something which teams have struggled with at first in each league that has put one in place... largely because the folks in charge at the outset didn't have the tools to quickly adjust as the paradigm shifted.
i think sathers difficulty was in adjusting to the great big pile of cash he had to work with. i dont know that his skills as a hockey man actually deteriorated simply that transition to both a larger budget and the cap his instinct was being pulled in opposite directions. he seems to have righted the ship as well. you can teach a guy math but an eye for talent is a rare skill. as much flak as sather takes id rank him above lombardi or dudley who get overly praised for icing borderline ah teams
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