Read: What Neil Smith Thinks A Winning Team Should Include

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Here, former Rangers GM Neil Smith talks about how he thinks a Stanley Cup winner needs to be built.

“I think that, for me, the number one ingredient if you want to win the Stanley Cup is you better start getting people who have won the Stanley Cup…The whole key to the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup was Messier, along with Tikkanen, Kevin Lowe, Buekeboom and Anderson….because they knew how to get there.

Smith was the Rangers GM from 1989 to 2000.

Read: Glen Sather On The Salary Cap

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Here, Glen Sather gives his thoughts on the salary cap:

“The league wants a different cup winner every year , and they want parity, and that is what the cap us supposed to do. Parity comes because good players are supposed to move around. It hurts your fan base, because fans get emotionally involved with these players, and then those players leave and you have to start all over again.

Read: When Glen Sather Stuck It To The Flames

In the 1980′s the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames played four times in the playoffs with the Oilers winning three times.

In 1986 though, after the Flames defeated the Oilers in the playoffs, Glen Sather got some revenge on the Flames by making a move at the draft.

Sather told Jason Farris in Behind The Moves:

“[Edmonton] had a rivalry with Calgary for years, and we never made any deals [with them]. I heard they were going to pick a Scottish player, Tony Hand, in the last pick of the draft, and I knew it because our scouts had been talking to their scouts. We ended up picking him one pick ahead of Calgary just to piss them off.”

Sather also stuck it to the Flames when he traded Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins for Brandon Prust and Olli Jokinen.
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Read: Glen Sather Talks About The Process Of Making A Trade

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Here, Glen Sather talks about part of the process in making a trade.

“It is hard to make a deal if you are going to to tip your hand and ask for somebody all the time. You need to have the other GM come around and suggest that he would like somebody and maybe would give you this. If you are too anxious, you are not going to make the deal, and if you are not eager enough to make a deal, then you can’. I find that the best time to make a deal is when there is a deadline. If you are going to try to make a deal for somebody, it is generally at the trading deadline now. That’s when teams are trying to get better or are trying to unload players.”

Sather added “If a guy tries to screw you, you find a way to screw him back. I wouldn’t say be vengeful, but I wouldn’t forget stuff like that.”

Read: Glen Sather on Being GM Of The Rangers and Why Some Moves Are Made

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Here, Glen Sather talks about what it is like to be GM of the Rangers:

“I thought the challenge [coming to the Rangers] was going to be terrific, as it has been. I wouldn’t say that it has been even close to successful; it has been competitive but it takes a long time to change things. Guys get into a position and it takes you three or four or five years just to clean out the bad contracts and change the environment….Owners don’t want to hear it. But do they want reality or bullshit? When I went to New York, [Dave] Checketts told me that we have to have stars in New York or we are not going to sell tickets. Bottom line is that every team wants to sell every ticket and create as much revenue as possible…Only one team is going to win. Does every owner in the league know that? Do they honestly think they have a legitimate shot at winning? We bullshit each other and we tell our players that our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Well, that is the goal, but do you really believe it?”

Read: Glen Sather Always Calls Everyone Back

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Here, Glen Sather explains how important it is to immediately call  a fellow GM back:

“If you get a phone call from a GM, he is calling you for a reason. It may be a deal hatched in his own mind that he is going to trade you [someone less valuable] for a good player who you have on your team and you just laugh at the deal, but you need to call back and say that you are either interested or not interested…. You can’t leave it for a week and then call him back. It happens, but those guys aren’t around very long when it does. You might miss an opportunity, too, if you don’t call back. So I always call back, and I tell every guy who works for us to keep their cell phones with them, because there is no time off in our game.”

Calgary GM Jay Feaster says, “You can take three days to call your owner back – at your own peril. You can take time to call the league back. But if a manager calls, that phone call needs to be returned immediately.”

Read: When Glen Sather called about Vinny Lecavalier as told by Jay Feaster

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Current Calgary GM Jay Feaster tells a story of one of his first interactions with Glen Sather:

“When I was a rookie GM, 2002, Glen would call and he’d start, ” What’s going on” What are you doing? Got anything going?’ I’d tell him what we were looking for, and then I’d say, ‘How about you? What are you looking for?’ Well, I don’t know. We need a second-line center. Let me ask you something,. That Leceevaler, Laclavier, or what’s that guy’s name that you have there, that young kid? Would you ever think of moving him?

Feaster adds that his response was “‘No, we’re not going to move him, thanks.’ That was his way of going about it.”

Sather said “I called about Vinny more or less just to check [Feaster] out a little bit, see how he handled it. He did the right thing with Lecavalier. But at that time, Vinny was bitching about everything and he wanted to get out of there. Feaster was smart and hung on to him.”

Read: How Not Trading For Pavel Bure Got Neil Smith Fired

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Neil Smith talks about how he had a chance at Pavel Bure but didn’t want to pay the price.

“There was a deal on the table for Pavel Bure when [Brian] Burke was in Vancouver, and he was shopping Bure to us and Florida….Burkie wanted [Manny] Malholtra, [Dan] Cloutier, and some other young guy which was like stripping me of what I thought at the time were my best guys. I was trying to rebuild the team, and [Wayne] Gretzky was on the team and now Pavel Bure was available, so our owners here wanted me to do everything I could to get Bure. They were new owners and they didn’t understand that you had to do [to rebuild]. I was like, ‘No fucking way. I don’t want this guy. Even if I could get him on the team for free, I’m not going to do it.’…That’s what ultimately led to the end of me [as Rangers GM]. [Owners Charles and James Dolan] didn’t analyze the club to see [where I had] brought it since 1989. They just said, ‘Today. Today. Today.’….They went out and got Glen [Sather] and paid him a bunch of money, and he got rid of all of my young guys and brought in all old guys. And they missed the playoffs for four more years.”

Bure was traded to Florida in 1999 with Bret Hedican, Brad Ference and a third round pick for Ed Jovanovski, Dave Gagner, Mike Brown, Kevin Weekes and Florida’s first round pick in 2000.

You can order the book here.

Flashback: When Neil Smith Didn’t Pull The Trigger On An Adam Oates Trade

On February 7th, 1992, the St. Louis Blues traded Adam Oates to the Boston Bruins for center Craig Janney and Stefan Quintal. According to Behind The Moves, Neil Smith had a chance to add Oates to the Rangers team that won the Presidents Trophy that season.

“Ronnie Caron in St. Louis was a very impulsive GM. He called me one night and said, ‘I am going to trade Adam Oates. Are you interested?’ I said yeah, because we’d had him when I was recruiting in Detroit. He wanted to do the deal right away. He ended up trading Oates to Boston for Craig Janney…. But that was Ronnie. He made the snap decision. I had a trade done [with him]: Adam Oates and Paul Cavallini for Darren Turcotte and James Patrick, [but] I didn’t want to make a trade without the coach’s blessing. So I went in to Roger [Neilson,] and he was the opposite of an impulsive guy…. He figured that there must be something wrong with Oates; otherwise, why would they trade him?… To this day, obviously I should have [made the trade] but my coach didn’t want to do it. There are some GMs who don’t talk to the coach [about potential trades,] but in my way of doing things, I don’t want to give [my coach] an excuse for not winning. If I told Roger that he was going to get Adam Oates no matter what … then every time Adam Oates screwed up, he was going to look at me and say, ‘I can’t win with this guy. Why did you give me this guy? I told you I couldn’t win with this guy.’”

In November of 1993, the Rangers traded Turcotte and Patrick to get Steve Larmer, Nick Kypreos, Barry Richter and Hartford’s sixth round choice.

Read: How People In Hockey Feel About Mike Keenan

In the book “Behind The Moves,” Jason Farris spoke with NHL General Managers past and present about how they conduct business and to tell stories about their lives in hockey.

Neil Smith said: “After we won, I was happy to see him go to St. Louis. …Certainly, he was the mot insubordinate guy I had ever worked with. It was unbelievable, unbelievable. He never made you feel like the boss ever. He was disrespectful the whole way….I definitely think he wanted my job too….Once he realized there was no way to unseat me from the position, then he looked to leave….He has said since that he should never have left New York. There is a proper way to [exit a job], but he decided not to do it that way.

Jim Devellano has some very harsh words about Keenan, below

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