~~For years, The New York Rangers would make a trade for a big name, hoping to put the team over the hump. Glen Sather, the GM of the team, would trade away draft picks, and assets, jeopardizing the future, to put his team in position to win now, and for years the Rangers would just be a team good enough to be eliminated in the early rounds of the postseason.
Sather made bad move after bad move, signing guys like Scott Gomez and Marian Gaborik to fill offensive voids. The moves hardly ever paid off, as the Rangers always struggled to score goals, always relying on their all-world goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, to carry them throughout the season and into the playoffs.
This year, however, Sather made one of his boldest moves yet. He couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension with Ryan Callahan, the captain of the team and their heart and soul, so he traded him away and acquired 38 year old future hall of famer Martin St. Louis. The move early on looked as if it would be like every other big move Sather made, going for it all during the season with no success. The Rangers struggled to make the playoffs and then had to go to seven games to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers. They drew the Pittsburg Penguins in the second round and was getting embarrassed by them at home in game four, on their way to trailing the series 3-1 headed back to Pittsburg and were on the verge of completing another early playoff exit.
Then Martin St. Louis lost his mom before game five of that series and everything changed. The Rangers won the next three games and suddenly St. Louis was playing the way the Rangers imagined he would when they traded for him. The Play of St. Louis sparked the rest of the team, winning three straight games over the Penguins, and then the Rangers triumphed over the Montreal Canadiens in six games of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now the Rangers head on to the Stanley Cup Finals, looking to knock off a tough LA Kings team. They are a team riding high; they finally are scoring goals to help back up their goaltender. Glen Sather moves are paying off finally, and they’re are getting contributions from key guys, which Sather picked up, guys like Dominic Moore, who signed with the Rangers after taking a season off to recover from the passing of his wife due to liver cancer, Moore scored the only goal in game six against the Canadiens to put the Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals, Martin St. Louis, who was acquired in that trade deadline deal for Ryan Callahan, has played consistently well since that game five against the Penguins, and Ryan McDonagh, who was acquired by the Rangers in a trade for Scott Gomez, who was a bust, in 2009, having picked up his game, adding another strong defensive presence for the Rangers who will need it against the dangerous Los Angeles Kings.
Sather has been criticized for his moves not paying dividends for the Rangers time after time. The criticism was well deserved, now some of his moves are finally paying off and the Rangers are four more wins away from their first Stanley Cup championship in twenty years, job well done.