Glen Sather steps down as Rangers president, will remain advisor to James Dolan

New York Rangers team president Glen Sather is stepping down from his role, effective immediately, the team announced Thursday.

Sather, 75, will transition into a role as alternate governor and senior advisor to James Dolan, CEO and Chairman of Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the Rangers. Jeff Gorton will continue in his current duties as the team’s general manager, and the team is immediately beginning a search for Sather’s replacement.

TSN reported Wednesday that Sather was considering the move, and “this is Sather’s call.”

“I want to thank Jim Dolan for a great partnership working together over the last 19 years, and to everyone in the Rangers organization. It has been a privilege to represent New York and our great fans,” Sather said in a statement. “I truly believe the team is headed in the right direction and think the future is bright. I look forward to transitioning to a different role and continuing to play a part in building the next Rangers Stanley Cup contender.”

The Rangers are 31-36-13 this season, their second straight losing campaign. But the team has enjoyed great success since Sather joined the club as president and general manager in June 2000. In 14 seasons as general manager from 2000 through the 2014-15 season, he earned more wins (556) than any GM in franchise history. The Rangers won three division championships, advanced to the Eastern Conference Final three times and the Stanley Cup Final once, in 2013-14. Gorton assumed the role as GM in 2015.

Sather told the New York Post Thursday that Stanley Cup Final loss to the Los Angeles Kings is his biggest regret.

“I certainly would have been happier about it if we’d won the Stanley Cup,” Sather said. “We had the opportunity to do it, but those three overtime losses in the final in LA … that’s the biggest regret. “But then also the reality that we were starting to get older — not me personally, but the team — and we could see that we would need to make changes to get better. That’s always painful.”

“Since he first joined the Rangers 19 years ago, Glen Sather has been singularly focused on delivering our fans a team that can consistently compete for the Stanley Cup,” Dolan said in a statement. “In doing so, Glen has become one of the most successful executives in Rangers history, and his current strategy has set the team on the right path to achieve our ultimate goal.

“Glen and I will work closely together to identify his successor. We thank Glen for his dedication to the Rangers, and to all of hockey, and look forward to his continued contributions to our team in his advisory role.”

Sather played 10 seasons in the NHL before moving into the coaching/executive ranks. He’s best known for serving as a mentor to a young Wayne Gretzky and coaching the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup wins in the 1980s. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.