We’re getting down to the final days of the preseason, with just the home and home series with the Ottawa Senators remaining on the schedule. The final cuts to the team will now be made Sunday, giving a handful of players a little more time to make an impression.
The Rangers still have to make a handful of cuts before the October 6th deadline, and the subject of today’s Rangers Countdown profile, Michael Sauer, will be hoping he can beat the odds and make the line-up.
A 2005 second round draft pick, Sauer’s career has been marred by a myriad of ailments, including a shoulder injury that limited him to just 42 games last season in Hartford.
At 6-3, 220 lbs, Sauer has size to go with solid skating and passing, making him a good candidate for the NHL. On paper at least. His injury woes have not helped his development, and a nervous ending to his three game stint with the Rangers in 2008-09, probably linger a little in the minds of the Rangers coaching staff.
Whether the St Cloud, MN native can develop into an everyday NHL defenseman at this stage of his career remains to be seen. He’s shown plenty to suggest he might be able to make the transition, and the Rangers appear to be concerned that they’ll lose him if he’s placed on waivers.
In the preseason to date, he started with a steady game in New Jersey, but looked tentative against in the loss to Detroit. Last night his play settled down again, although he got caught with his head down a couple of times in his own zone.
Even with two out of three steady games, it still appears Sauer is likely behind Ryan McDonagh for the battle to secure the last space. It’s possible of course, that the Rangers send McDonagh down to Hartford in order to hold onto both resources, or they could elect to dispose of Steve Eminger or even another forward, but none of those scenarios appear to be likely.
What appears more probable in this instance, is that the Rangers will indeed put him on waivers, or try to trade him. Either way, there seems to be a high likelihood that he won’t be with the team much longer.
Team: Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Stats: 3 goals, 9 assists and 45 penalty minutes in 42 games
No longer with the Rangers’ organization
Sauer is the younger brother of Kurt Sauer, who is currently with the Phoenix Coyotes, and Craig Sauer who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings in the NFL.