New York Rangers GM Glen Sather has been under fire, especially from fans. They point to his unwise spending, like contracts handed out to Chris Drury ($7.05 million cap hit), Michael Rozsival ($5 million) and, of course, Wade Redden ($6.5 million). And they point to questionable trades and free agent decisions.
But perhaps there is an excuse for Sather: his drafting. For all his faults, he's recently drafted a strong group consisting of Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky and Michael Del Zotto -- a core with which coach John Tortorella wants to build. Plus, the Rangers have been an above-average team, making the playoffs four of the last five seasons. So maybe things aren't so bad, right?
Don't be fooled: The drafting's been bad. And they've had help covering up this weakness: money.
We looked at the drafts from 2001 to 2008 -- four years before and after the lockout. And the rate at which the Rangers found NHL contributors has been remarkably average.
To see exactly what has gone for the Rangers -- as well as why there may be hope in the air -- you must be an ESPN Insider.