Read: How The Rangers Used To Run Their Business

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 this about how MSG management wanted to run the Rangers during the offseason in 1997:

“When we lost Messier [to Vancouver as a free agent], [my boss] Dave [Checketts] comes in and says to me, ‘We should do an offer sheet on Joe Sakic.’… He said, ‘I’m on the board of governors and the Nuggets and Avalanche are broke and [their parent company CEO] Charlie [Lyons] says they are out of money. We’ll front-load [the offer] and they can’t match because they can’t come up with the cash.’… [When the Avs did match our offer, I met with] ownership – ITT was the dominant managing partner then – and one guy said to me, ‘We should sign Paul Kariya [from Anaheim] now and shove it [to Ducks owner] Disney and [CEO] Michael Eisner.’ I said, ‘I’m not doing that. I am not going to have any part of this. You are fucking going to ruin the league. I’ve got to live in this [league].’… It’s [about] how you get up in the morning; it’s how you feel about yourself – do you feel good about yourself?”

You can order the book here.

Read: George McPhee Talks About Dealing With Glen Sather

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.

Washington Capitals GM George McPhee had this to say about his dealings with Rangers President and GM Glen Sather:

“Glen is easy to have a conversation with but hard to make a trade with because he really grinds it out. I’ve done just one trade with him, for [Jaromir] Jagr, and it took forever.”

“I don’t think anybody tried to fleece me off the top, but I remembered Glen Sather saying to me, ‘Now, listen. I’m going to try to pick your pocket and you are going to try and pick mine.’ He was real frank about it.”

You can order the book here.

Read: Trying To Make A Trade With Glen Sather

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.

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman had this to say about his dealings with Rangers President and GM Glen Sather:

“it’s not that you can’t trust him; I just get the feeling like he’s not an open book, that way. I’ve had very nice discussions where you think you almost agreed on something….and then he’d be like , ‘Oh, no, no, no, no. That’s not what I meant’…You have to approach [the veteran GMs] differently, because I don’t know if you can take everything at face value.”

You can order the book here.

Quote: Glen Sather Must Win Every Negotiation

In the book “Behind The Moves” agent Don Baizley had this to say about his dealing with Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather.

“there’s no question that Glen Sather grinds and grinds and grinds on every negotiation, and you also have to give him something at the end, because he has to win the last point.”

 

Note: Neil Smith Never Wanted To Trade Tony Amonte

On March 21, 1994 the Rangers traded two-time 30 goal, and at the time 16, scorer Tony Amonte to the Chicago Blackhawks for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan.

It was a move that Neil Smith, in Behind the Moves, said that he didn’t want to make:

“Keenan was saying all season, ‘Trade Amonte for Matteau.’ Matteau was the guy he wanted. I made [Blackhawks GM Bob] Pulford throw [Brian] Noonan in that trade at the deadline because I just couldn’t possibly do that deal one for one. So it was tough to deal with that [influence from Keenan]. You can’t trade Tony Amonte—he was our future. But then we got the two players, and we were where we were, poised to win, so okay.”

Read: Neil Smith On How Everyone Feels About The Rangers

In August of 1997, the Rangers signed Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic to an offer sheet worth $21 million over three seasons.

The next day, Joe Lapointe wrote in the NY Times, “So what if the Rangers boosted the pay scale for hockey players by signing Joe Sakic to an offer sheet of $21 million for three seasons. Who cares if other general managers resent the Rangers’ bid for this elite Group 2 free agent, the kind of restricted free agent who rarely changes teams. “

When questioned on the Rangers stance in the league, GM Neil Smith said, ”I think we are the most resented team in the league, no matter what we do. The only way to make sure everybody likes you is to lose. Then they’ll all be in love with you.”

Smith added, ”I care more about our fans and our ownership and my own team than I do about the resentment of other people. As long as you are winning, they resent you. And I don’t intend to stop winning.”

In Behind the Moves, Neil Smith tells a story of when he interviewed for a job with Toronto and Ken Dryden asked him why he never got more involved at GM meetings. “I said, ‘you’ve got to remember, Ken, everybody hates the Rangers. Everybody. My only hope was that they didn’t hate me personally. My way of dealing with everybody was to be friendly to everybody….so that when I called, they were happy to talk to me and I could make some deals and it wasn’t the f—ing Rangers making the deal, it was Neil’”

Quote: Glen Sather On Long Term Contracts

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.

Glen Sather talked about signing players to long term contracts and how General Managers go about it:

“There are GMs who will sign contracts—- and it doesn’t matter how big they are or how long they are— because they think that at the same time they are protecting their own skin. [A GM] has got to make sure that he isn’t signing guys for the wrong reasons. That’s when it can get complicated because you can get into a long-term contract with a guy who is a hell of a player but he just can’t play in your environment.  He gets a big contract and he gets a lot of money and now his goals have changed. He thinks he has got a retirement contract and now he doesn’t want to get hurt, so he doesn’t play as aggressively as he did before, so his skills deteriorate and you are stuck with this guy. What do you do with him’?

You can order the book here.

Read: The Story Of How Glen Sather Cracked A Safe in MSG

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.

In this story, former Rangers coach and GM Emile Francis talks about an incident including a safe and Glen Sather:

Emile Francis: “[The Rangers] moved into the new Madison Square Garden in February 1968. At the end of they ear, the Philadelphia 76ers were playing against the Knickerbockers…..some burglars came in from in through the Garden roof and down into the Philadelphia [dressing] room and cleaned the players all out. So, the NBA set up a policy that every building that they played in had to have a safe….We were practicing the day before we were going to open the [1968-69] season, and I saw this guy and two [other] guys pushing something. Well, as it turned out, it was a safe….So, now, here we are the next night, and we were going to open [the season]. We had our warmup and I [came into] the medical room and Glen was sitting down there on the floor. [I head a] click, and he opened this safe door up. Just then, our trainer, Frank Paice, Walking in. He said, “Slats, what the hell are you doing? That’s not a toy! You’re not supposed to be opening safes like that!’ Glen said, ‘What kind of rinky-dink safe is this?’…The next day, the safe was gone and they got another one.

Glen Sather “They brought in this huge safe and put it in the training room, which was about the same size. So there was no room in the there, and they gave trainer Frank Paice the combination. Frank was trying to undo the lock, and I watched him, memorized the combination and then everybody left. Emile was there, and a guy by the name of Jack Cullen was showing half a dozen executives the big safe that they had put in there that was going to protect everybody’s valuables. I said, ‘that safe is nothing. I can open that in a second.’ Of course, they said, ‘Bullshit.’…So ding, ding, ding, and I opened the safe. Well, the safe was gone that afternoon and we got our training room back.

Note: Glen Sather played for the Rangers from 1970 to 1973 so the dates from Francis are likely incorrect.

You can order the book here.

Note: The Prank Neil Smith Pulled On Lou Lamoriello In The 90′s

According to Jason Farris, in the latest issue in The Hockey News, there was a point in the 1990′s where Rangers GM Neil Smith got access to Lou Lamoriello’s cell phone and changed the display to say “Devils Suck.”

Farris has more stories in his new coffee table book which you can buy HERE.

The Hockey News shows a picture of Farris with Rangers GM Glen Sather and the caption “Jason Farris sold Rangers GM Glen Sather 75 copies of Behind The Moves- enough for every player in New York’s system.”