Thread: Sather Speaks
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08-17-2013, 12:02 PM
eco's bones
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Neil Smith did not build the Rangers into a Stanley Cup contender in a vacuum. He had support along the way within the Gulf and Western apparatus--one in particular was Bob Gutkowski (who was kind of a Mr. Fixit as far as getting opposed sides to compromise and more or less get on the same path) who was in the process of being dumped as the Rangers were about to finally win that cup. Cablevision moved in and much of the old guard moved out--they weren't wanted. Cablevision with a more toe the line or else mentality regarding its employees--remember Bob Page. It's never quite been the same since. It took a couple years though before James Dolan really became the guy leading the dog and pony show but generally the support Smith had before Cablevision had all but evaporated by that time and the emphasis was on buying a winner through free agency and not developing one through prospects/draft. I had the distinct idea at the time that Smith was pressured and not very happy with that. Smith started out as an amateur scout and was known to be astute judge of young talent. He'd been very successful in that capacity and had his worked his way up--starting out on the Island and then with the Red Wings.

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