5:59PM: James Dolan spoke with Larry Brooks in the NY Post and said that he saw a “weakness” in the organization that wasn’t being addressed and that the team was missing a “key component” that is preventing them from being a Stanley Cup contender.
Dolan told Brooks (NY Post):
- The entire organization, from top to bottom, “has to be together as a team, because everyone makes a contribution” and “our organization doesn’t have that.”
- The Rangers have “enough talent” right now to compete for the Stanley Cup
- Other owners and managers have been telling him for the last year “how stocked” the Rangers are “with talent, but talent alone doesn’t do it.”
- “We’re missing this piece and we need it” and “I felt we need to change the whole organization and change the culture.”
- Making the change now had to do with making sure Drury was in place to conduct the exit meetings, which Dolan called “the cornerstone of the entire summer.”
- Drury is a “consummate team player, a winner, a man of high character” and reminds him “somewhat of Brian Cashman”
- Glen Sather is “The Godfather of the Rangers” and that his “counsel” is “invaluable” to both him and Drury.
- The decision on David Quinn is Drury’s to make and “I think Chris has some pretty unique insight into it.”
- Making the change yesterday had to do with it being the last opportunity he’d have before the team went on the road and “I wasn’t going to do it on the road.”
- He started thinking about making these changes “20 or 25 games ago” at a point where the Rangers had games where they had to “show heart, come out strong and even if we lost, it had to be our best effort” and then “and we clearly had nowhere close to our best effort.”
- He is turning the “reins” of the Rangers over to Drury, has “complete faith in him” and hopes he’s in the role for “20-years.”
Adam Rotter: So much of this feels like James Dolan just wanted to make a change. There are bits and pieces of stories that are coming out that maybe Dolan didn’t like how JD was running things and that while Dolan liked Jeff Gorton, he didn’t have a ton of belief in him without Glen Sather still ultimately leading the organization. Maybe parts of these stories are true, maybe they are completely false, but there has to be more of an underlying reason for making those changes than “culture” issues. I had been wondering for a while what sort of role Glen Sather still had or how much sway he still had and it seems like a lot.
There are still just so many questions, like where in the organization were people not on the same page, other than Dolan and JD and Gorton? Where was the disconnect and why not give the JD and Gorton the chance to fix things this summer, either by firing David Quinn or acquiring the gritty, tougher players that everyone knows they need? How does the owner who says that he doesn’t “delude” himself “to say that I know what to do” know what is missing and keeping the team from becoming Stanley Cup contenders? The only answer to that question is Glen Sather, but neither Dolan or Sather have had any success with the Rangers that wasn’t carried by Henrik Lundqvist and goaltending is what is missing from this team. How can the team that is still evolving and determining who should stay and who should go be knocked for not being enough of a “team?” If this was the Rangers group for the next two-years and things stayed the same, then I’d get it, but the Rangers were adding college kids to the lineup every other game, so the whole team concept and culture was always evolving.
It just seems like Dolan wanted to make a change, which as owner is his right, and now Chris Drury is in charge. This isn’t a knock on Drury, who would have been a major loss had he left at some point, but more that it seems pretty arbitrary to fire JD and Gorton because of “culture” issues. I just hope that Drury is able to manage and run the Rangers in the same way that Sather was for 20-years and do so without much, if any, ownership interference.