Sauer made a huge gaffe last night that cost the Rangers a goal but the young defensive defenceman improved throughout the game which culminated with his first NHL goal, a game winner. Sauer has established himself this year as a player that consistently plays, in part through his solid, low key style which rarely leads to mistakes. He is a calm, rarely flustered type that is an ideal complement to the top four. The Rangers should be wise enough to look to lock up Sauer for another year or two.
Sauer, primarily due to injury, has taken a long time to get to NY on a full time basis but now he is there he is proving to be a nice addition, a cheap one and a low maintenance one. If Sauer can add some level of consistent offense to his game then he will be a very nice core piece going forward. Sauer leads the Rangers in +/- with a very nice +8 rating. He has played physical and has good size. With Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko both progressing slowly but solidly (emphasis on the slowly) in the AHL the point here is that they shouldn’t be rushed. Would it be a disaster if they played another year in the AHL while Sauer kept his spot in NY? Absolutely not.
Sauer does have some offensive ability. In 08/09 he had 23 points in 67 games for Hartford and this season in NY he’s on course for 15 points as a rookie which is more than Marc Staal had in year one. Keeping Sauer makes sense. Last night he showed his ability to bounce back from mistakes. Keeping Sauer shouldn’t cost the Rangers much at the end of the season and that financial aspect could be crucial when it comes to pursuing your Brad Richards types. Sauer on the Rangers makes sense right now and moving forward. No need to rush the kids when one of them is already doing the business.