Glen Sather resigned as the New York Rangers’ president Thursday after 19 years in the team’s front office, the team announced.
He will take on a new job as a senior adviser to team owner James Dolan.
Jeff Gorton remains the general manager, and the Rangers said they will begin a search for Sather’s replacement. Sather, 75, had served as the GM for 15 seasons before Gorton took that role in 2015.
“I want to thank Jim Dolan for a great partnership working together over the last 19 years, and to everyone in the Rangers organization,” Sather said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to represent New York and our great fans.
“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.”
Sather, who played 11 years in the NHL, coached the Edmonton Oilers during the team’s glory years with Wayne Gretzky. Sather guided the Edmonton to four Stanley Cups in the 1980s while leading the team for 14 seasons, three in the WHA and the last 11 in the NHL.
He became the Rangers’ general manager in 2000, and he also coached New York for part of 2002-03 and all of 2003-04. The team didn’t get to the postseason his first four years in charge, then made it 11 of the next 12 years, losing the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.
The Rangers missed the playoffs last season and will not qualify this spring.
Sather told the New York Post on Thursday, “I certainly would have been happier about it if we’d won the Stanley Cup. We had the opportunity to do it, but those three overtime losses in the final in L.A. … 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.”
Dolan said in a statement, “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. 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.”