Friday, June 6, 2008

The EOOCC No Longer Exists

With the end of rumors that just fired John Tortorella is not going to take over as Ranger head coach sadly the renewal of attacks upon Tom Renney and Glen Sather are starting back up again.

We have never been fans of Glen Sather's hiring if one goes back to our days over at Ranger's Fan Central. We took a ton of flak because we opposed the hiring of Sather back then as we wanted new thinking and fresh people.

We were proven right as Sather as both GM and coach during his first 4 seasons did a poor job as the Rangers sunk further and further into the ground. We have heard if not for the NHL lockout and salary cap that the Rangers would never have changed.

If it is true then no matter what caused Sather to change his ways; Sather did and the Rangers are in much better shape today than they were when Sather took over. We do not in any way shape or form absolve Sather from the screwups of his his 4 seasons in charge but we will give credit where it is due.

People trashed Glen Sather for only hiring from within his "inner circle" and until Tom Renney and Jim Schoenfeld came along it was all too very true. Those days are in the past as the current Ranger management team has very little in common with Sather's days in Edmonton.

If anything one can make a case that the Rangers are more run by the folks from Hockey Canada these days.

We used to call the Sather Inner Circle the "Edmonton Oilers Old Cronies Club" (or as we called it the EOOCC ) and there is no doubt for the first few years of the Sather Ranger era that those accusations were all so very true.

That is no longer the case with the Rangers as Jim Schoenfeld (out of hockey) has no EOOCC connections nor do Tom Renney (Hockey Canada), Perry Pearn (Hockey Canada), Mike Pelino Hockey Canada), Jim Hammett (Hockey Canada), Gord Clark (Islanders or Cameron Hope.

As one can see that the days of the EOOCC are gone and if anything the truth is that the new group are the ones who are doing most of the work with the Rangers. There are no more out of work pals of Sathers working as Ranger scouts like there used to be.

The days when Ron Low or Harry Howell were doing selective scouting are over. Whether it was to give someone a job or in the case of Low to finish out his contract after getting fired no longer happen.

When you look at the list of who is scouting for the Rangers, who is coaching at Hartford or who is working in the front office it is as if Sather is the outsider. If you look and demand that Sather get rid of anyone with an Oiler legacy then the only one person who played for Sather and that is Adam Graves.

Now who among Ranger fans wants to see Adam Graves fired? We did not think anyone did either so we can forget that idea. The truth whether you like to acknowledge it or not is that Sather is really not as powerful as he used to be.

Cameron Hope is the one who works out the contracts, Jim Schoenfeld talks the trades and runs Hartford. Gord Clark handles player development and the scouting departments while Tom Renney is coaching the team with his system not Sathers.

Sure we hear Sather's name as he is the one who supposedly is calling all the shots, Sather decides this or Sather decides that and maybe he still has a major say in which free agents are signed.

But that we believe is it as the drafts are run by Schoenfeld and Clark, the contracts as we said by Hope and Renney decides who makes the roster and who does not.

Sather is the public face of the Ranger's front office and let him remain that way as it keeps the focus (and blame) on Sather which lets everyone else do their jobs in peace. The Rangers are already set for when Sather leaves which is a good thing if you dislike Sather.

There is one thing though that people may not realize and that is for whatever reason, Glen Sather does inspire a lot of loyalty by those members of the old EOOCC. Whenever we run into one of Sather's "disciples" they are quick to defend Sather while at the same time giving him credit for helping them in his career.

But like Sather or not the one thing we are going to have to say in his credit is that the Rangers are finally in way better shape than they were when Sather took over.

Sather it seems is going to have the last laugh on Ranger fans when all is said and done.


captjameson said...

i wish the notion of "the salary cap saved sather and the rangers" would go away. the big roster purge happened before the lockout and before any CBA was signed. the players did not have to sign the CBA. if they had held out longer (and should have listened to bob goodenow) who knows what kind of deal would be in place. maybe a cap, maybe not. the rangers saw a window of opportunity to purge the sytem and restock and took it. before the lock out he started to retool even with the team over spending for poop. pre lock out sather draft picks (good players not necessarily with the rangers): Lundqvist, Tyutin, zidlicky, Prucha, Dawes, Callahan, Dubinsky, Korpikoski (jury still out) if the draft is a crap shoot, then having at least one player from each years draft making it to the big club is pretty damn good and there are more coming. not to mention other teams are calling the rangers trying to make deals for the kids. also if you dont want to give sather credit for running the team now, at least give him credit for surrounding himself with good intelligent hockey people that he trusts will make a good decision. to me, that sounds like good management.

Jess Rubenstein said...


The NHL had been preparing for 3 years for the lockout and the NHLPA knew it was coming especially Goodenow. Bettman stacked the deck against even some of his own owners by imposing a gag order with major punishment if an owner broke it.

If the players had held out longer then there was a greater chance the NHL today would not be in existence.

As for Sather and what happened in 04 sorry it was not a chance to purge the system because there was nothing in the system.

Sather gets credit for hiring Renney who rebuilt the entire scouting and development process.

Sather gets credit for hiring Schoenfeld.

Sather gets credit for getting out of the way and letting people do their jobs as his way was a huge part of the problem.

Other than that Sather has rightfully earned the ire and dislike of Ranger fans for his treatment of Ranger fans.

FYI The accepted standard is 2 players out of every draft

The 2000 draft was run by the Neil Smith leftovers which netted them Lundqvist. Sather gets no credit there.

2001 was a good draft had Blackburn
not been lost to injury.

2002 only produced Prucha but the Rangers did not sign any other prospect.

2003 was Dawes, Baranka but as long as Jessiman is around then it will always be known as a bad draft.

2004 was the first draft run by team Renney and that is where the Rangers started their turnaround.

Once Sather stopped taking active roles in the scouting and development process is when Ranger draft picks greatly improved.

Sorry I have spent the last 4 plus years watching the Ranger scouting process work so no offense but the credit belongs to Tom Renney more than it does Glen Sather.

captjameson said...

thanks for the answer Jess, i can see your point from the bitter fan point of view as we all suffered the same 7 years. when i said 'purge the system' i meant the old vets to get back the draft pics, i'm well aware the cupboard was bare in the minors on down. no one know what the nhl or what ever incarnation it would be if the players held out longer. speculation is just that 'what if'. either way a cap was not forced on the players as they did not have to endorse it with their signatures. i guess i just find it hard to believe that a man who was the architect of the 80's oilers and picked other players that were drafted into that system (ruchinski, devries, damphouse, and others)suddenly became an idiot when he came to NY.

Jess Rubenstein said...


One of the reasons why I was so anti-Sather before his hiring was that since I live out west, I got to see a lot more of Edmonton and their situation.

From the late 1980s until his departure, the Sather era in Edmonton was terrible. Sather used not being able to spend money as his excuse for not winning but truth be told.

It was how poorly how the Oilers drafted during that same time span that caused their biggest problems.

The Oilers had 8 straight seasons with a losing record. Anywhere else and the GM is canned after no less than 3 and no more than 5.

Those Cups Sather won but him all that time to screw up.

captjameson said...

if that's the case than i guess they put him into the HHOF too soon. i know he didnt draft them but gretzky and mess can make any GM look good. if he had kept some of the guys i mentioned maybe the oilers would have faired better through the ninties.

Jess Rubenstein said...

On keeping players that was not Sather's fault and I have to acknowledge that to be fair.

The Oiler's owner at the time Pocktingon (sp?) used the Oilers to prop up other money woes he was having and sold off players.

Had the Oilers had a stable ownership then we would have seen those players stay as you said.