Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Brendan Shanahan (2) vs. Michael Sauer (15)

Blair Betts won yesterday.

Blair Betts won yesterday.

As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #7 Blair Betts take out #10 Marcel Hossa. Today’s matchup is #2 Brendan Shanahan vs. #15 Michael Sauer:

Brendan Shanahan (acquired – 2006 unrestricted free agent)

Shanahan might be ranked a little high, but that’s because he’s Brendan freaking Shanahan. Shanny only spent two years with the Rangers, but his signing was a big one for a team that was one errant Marek Malik pass away from taking the #1 seed to the brink of elimination in the Conference Semis. With Shanny on board, the Rangers finally had much needed scoring depth to take the pressure off the Straka-Nylander-Jagr connection. In Shanny’s two years, the Rangers made it to the second round of the playoffs each time, something Ranger fans had not seen since 1997.

In his two years, Shanny put together a line of 52-56-108 in 140 games, including 29-33-62 in 67 games his first season. Shanny may have been old when he was brought on, but he was still effective and a solid second line player. Shanny also scored his 600th career NHL goal during his first game as a Ranger.

Michael Sauer (acquired – 2005 draft, 2nd round)

Sauer holds a special place in Ranger fans hearts for two reasons. The first is that if not for this hit from Dion Phaneuf, Sauer might still be a player in the league, likely still with the Rangers. The second is that he was the last remaining piece of the Brian Leetch trade. Sauer was drafted using that 2005 2nd round pick that the Leafs gave up in that trade.

Sauer only played two years with the Rangers before having his career ended (probably) by Phaneuf, but he made a lasting impression with fans. Sauer played a hard hitting, physical game. His presence on the blue line reminded fans fondly of Jeff Beukeboom. He wasn’t going to score much (4-14-18 for his career), but he was going to stay back and punish you if you went near Henrik Lundqvist.

Sauer’s first full year with the Rangers was very good, in fact it may actually be under rated. Sauer played to a .190 Corsi Rel QoC, with a 5.0 RCorsi and 51.5% OZone starts. All told, he received what would be defined as two-way defenseman minutes (meaning he wasn’t getting sheltered minutes or shutdown minutes). It’s truly a shame that his career probably is over.

So who do you think is the better Ranger, Shanahan or Sauer? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Shanahan), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Sauer). Voting ends at midnight tonight.

13 Responses to “Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Brendan Shanahan (2) vs. Michael Sauer (15)”

  1. Bayman says:

    Surprised to see Shanny seeded this high and Sauer this low, but still gotta give it to Shanny.

    • Dave says:

      I think with Sauer, a lot of people view it as “what could have been” as opposed to what it is.

      Shanny may be seeded high, but he drew the toughest #15 seed.

      • Brendan says:

        I fully agree on the “what could of been” feeling with Sauer. Even though Shanny took up valuable ice time away from younger players (Prucha) I still gotta give him my vote.

        • Dave says:

          If Prucha were truly an NHLer, Shanny’s two years wouldn’t have affected him.

        • bill_goldthorpe says:

          are there really still members of the petr prucha wagon?

          • Hatrick Swayze says:

            I believe Prucha was leading the rookie scoring race (goals) as of Christmas of his rookie year ahead of other freshman by the name of Crosby, Ovechkin….. obviously didn’t last but you know I got a Prucha t-shirt (Liberty face) for Christmas that year

  2. bill_goldthorpe says:

    In my eyes, Shanny coming to the Rangers in free agency gave the team some legitimacy. Fans tend to forget how much of a joke the Rangers were coming out of the lockout.

    Plus, I was at the game when he fought Brashear which is one of my all time favorite moments.

  3. Spozo says:

    I was at the game where Shanny challenged that POS Brashear to a fight. That’s certainly a moment I will never forget.

  4. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Man I miss Sauer.

  5. Ray says:

    I don’t understand Sauer at #15 when you’ve got someone like Nigel Dawes at #8. Granted, Sauer didn’t have a long career but he did prove he was a true NHLer and was IMO the top right defenseman the Rangers had when he went down.

  6. Johnny Red says:

    I’ll take Sauer because of what he could have been. For the record if you look at the hit he took you will see he was wearing his helmet lose and not strapped down the way it should have been. If the helmet doesn’t fly off his head doesn’t hit the boards unprotected. Lets hope the league uses the tape to show other players what can happen when you don’t strap a helmet down tightly!!!!

  7. Matt Josephs says:

    I see that a few people have some issue with the seeding but I think in regards to Sauer based on the amount of games he’s played it would have been tough to give him something higher than 10. Maybe in retrospect 15 was a bit harsh, but I don’t think it’s too far off. Maybe if he was seeded differently he would have gotten out of the first round.

    Maybe Shanny is ranked a bit too high himself, but he was a serious player in his short tenure here. He was a very important part of the Rangers revitalizing themselves. Some of you already brought up that time he beat up Brashear which was awesome, but that OT goal against the Devils was pretty good too.

  8. TeaneckMike says:

    Whenever I think of Sauer it is depressing. Hard luck his whole career, including junior days; ended by that head hunting Phaneuf.