New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather said Monday that he expects his team to be among the NHL’s elite when the playoffs begin.
Sather, who has the power to draft first overall, said he expects the Rangers to be in contention to contend for a Stanley Cup, if not more.
The Rangers have been the best team in the NHL for several years, but the team has been a little slow to adjust to a new, fast-paced NHL.
This season the Rangers have won nine of 10 games, and they have won the NHL title.
They have the NHL playoff seed with a chance to get to the conference finals if they win their first five games.
“The playoffs are coming up, and you can’t say that a year ago, because it’s been a roller coaster,” Sather told reporters Monday at a news conference.
“This is a great time to be an owner.
We’re not going to be out of the playoffs this year.
We have a good team, and we have a very talented team.
We just have to take it one game at a time.”
The NHL has expanded to 28 teams this season, but Sather is a proponent of the idea that the league should expand to 40 teams.
Sather, 56, is the second-longest-tenured general manager in NHL history, behind Detroit’s Ken Holland, who became GM in 1996.
Sillers name was announced Tuesday on the NHL website.
He joined the Rangers in December 1999 after 13 seasons with the New York Islanders.
Sayers first team was the Eastern Conference’s second-best team in 2001-02 and he was named GM of the year in 2005-06, winning the Hart Trophy as the league’s best player.
Says Sather: “I want to be able to bring that same success in the playoffs that I had in the regular season.”
Sather is the fourth GM in franchise history to be fired.
The last were New Jersey’s Ron Hextall in 2007 and Phoenix’s Mike Sullivan in 2010.
The Rangers are 5-8-2 in the past nine playoffs and the only playoff team in franchise lore.
They lost in the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals to the San Jose Sharks, 3-1.