NEW YORK -- Bryan Trottier tormented the New York Rangers for 15 years when he starred for the hated New York Islanders.
After only 54 games, the Rangers decided he'd caused them enough trouble as their coach, too.
"I made the decision that the team was sliding in the wrong direction,'' Sather said. "If I was going to do anything to try to salvage this season I had to do something in a hurry, put some shock value into the team and get the reality of the discipline that we need to have to win.''
The Rangers planned to announce a new coach on Thursday, before New York hosts the Colorado Avalanche. Rangers assistants Jim Schoenfeld and Terry O'Reilly were considered likely candidates.
But Sather, who won four Stanley Cups as coach of the Edmonton Oilers in the '80s, didn't eliminate himself as a possible replacement.
Trottier was given the news after concluding his final practice with the team Wednesday afternoon.
"It was a shock, but he looked like the weight of the world was off his shoulders,'' Sather said. "He said he didn't think he was the right guy for this group of players and felt like it was the right thing to do.''
Sather said Trottier, who signed a three-year contract, could still remain in the Rangers organization.
Steve Jackson! Games! Sluggy.com! Games! And err..Games!
It was about time and definitely not soon enough - though the superstitious hockey fan in me sees symetry and an omen in 54 games - 54 years.....Slats is now on the hot seat for the final 28 games - could we see a repeat of Espo replacing Michel Bergeron ???? Schoenfeld should get the nod.
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Slats needs to be held accountable for this also. He is the one who put this team together. Before the season started, Al Morganti mentioned on the radio in Philly that either the Rangers were going to win the Cup or implode. He had a preference for the implosion theory because of all of the different personalities on the team. I have to agree with him. There are to many stubborn personalities in the locker room to create any semblance of a team.
They actually remind me of the Flyers except the Flyers get 90+ points every year only to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
I think this is Sather's last shot to retain the credibility he built in Edmonton. After the stars left the Oilers Sather got the reputation of being able to create magic with young, unproven talent. The cry always was "what could this guy do with a large budget team?". Well, he's spent an unbelieveable amount of money on players like Bure, Kasparitis, Holik and Lindros and added them to a team with Leetch, Nedved, Richter, Messier et al and the team still sucks. If Sather can't turn this team around and make the playoffs (and go beyond the first round), I predict he'll be fired in the summer.
"It takes a whole lotta whiskey to make these nightmares go away" -- Tom Waits, Blue Valentine