Sather Replaces Trottier

Archived from 2002-03 season.

NHL teams

The New York Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather took over as coach of the team Thursday, one day after he fired Bryan Trottier.

"We're making the playoffs," Sather said.

The Rangers with a league-high payroll of more than $70 million are in danger to miss the playoffs for the sixth time in a row.

"After the last three games we made the decision that the team is sliding in the wrong way," Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. "I just felt that I had to do something and had to do it quickly if we were going to salvage the season."

Sather, who coached the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cup titles, said he is not an interim coach, and what happens beyond this season will be decided later.

"I hope this turns this team around and gets us into the playoffs and gets some success from a lot of people who have been making mistakes," Sather said. "All of the players have to be held accountable. The old cliche is you can't fire 20 players. It's not an escape way to get out of it, but it's a way to try and help everyone redeem themselves."

The Rangers are last in the Atlantic Division with a 21-26-6-1 record. They won five of six games earlier this month to climb within two games of .500 but sandwiched a pair of losses to lowly Atlanta around Sunday's 7-2 pasting at Washington.

"I think it's easy to have 20-20 (vision) in this situation. At the time I hired Bryan Trottier, I thought he was capable of doing the job," Sather said. "They way he handled himself, I thought he'd be a great match for us. It just didn't work out for us. ... This might not be the right group for him."

Trottier became the seventh NHL coach fired this season, following San Jose's Darryl Sutter, Calgary's Greg Gilbert, Colorado's Bob Hartley, Atlanta's Curt Fraser, Columbus' Dave King and Montreal's Michel Therrien.

Hartley and Sutter have already landed elsewhere. Hartley took over in Atlanta and Sutter in Calgary.

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