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

To read more of this story, click here

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.”