Update, 12:16 p.m.:
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that the Rangers flew Sauer to New York this week to evaluate his condition.
Leonard adds that Sauer's condition is not believed to have improved significantly, but the evaluation will tell the Rangers more.
...got to assume results are just going to confirm what we already know, he's likely never playing again.
H/T to reader Melissa.
During a live chat over at Blueshirts United on Wednesday, host Jim Cerny responded to a question regarding Michael Sauer's (post concussion symptoms) future now that he's a RFA...
"I'd be curious to see if Michael Sauer announces his retirement or not...he wouldn't have while still under contract last year, of course, but now as a RFA he just might."
...it obviously makes sense that Sauer didn't retire before his contract was over, even if he was ready to, as I'm sure he didn't want to leave money on the table. But now that he's a free agent, who will likely not receive an offer, he must seriously be contemplating the inevitable. Especially since there hasn't been a single report since the Phaneuf hit back in December of 2011 that he's even been remotely close to returning. In fact, I can't even remember the last update that noted he was even skating.
...it's very upsetting on a personal and a hockey level to see this happen to Sauer. With everything we've learned about concussions in the aftermath of Boogaard's death, you've got to assume he's suffered through some tough times including possible bouts of depression and excruciating headaches. And I don't have to remind anyone how much he's been missed on the ice. Think about how much more fresh Girardi and McDonagh would have been in the playoffs against the Devils last season if Torts was able to roll all six defensemen with Sauer in the line-up over Bickel in the earlier rounds. Not too much of a stretch to say Sauer's absence likely cost them a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. His presence meant that much.
...having said all that, his retirement should be second to his health and I wish Sauer all the best as he continues his long road to recovery.
Two of Sauer's brothers (Craig & Kurt) also had their professional careers cut short due to concussions. Craig has suffered from depression after sustaining multiple concussions while playing six years in the NFL for the Falcons and Vikings, while Kurt, who played for Ducks, Avalanche & Coyotes, has yet to play another NHL game since suffering a concussion during a 2009 preseason contest.
Oh this is just aweful news, but expected. I myself have suffered a multitude of concussions and PCS from my crazy kick boxing days and I can tell you PCS is about as miserable condition as there is. My wife use to tell me I would turn ghost-white and then she knew another bout of depression was coming on. No TV. No sunshine when you have PCS, searing headaches, nausea and can't concentrate. And while you're in it you think it is never going to end. With what we know today why can't we protect these athletes??? Blessings to all those including Michael who's career has been cut short. Wishing you a healthy prosperous life.
This is just a terrible situation.we all hockey fans at end of day and I wish this on nobody.(even cry baby 87)
Hope he gets better and is able to lead a normal life. Pretty obvious that his hockey days are over. Would be a shame if he's in a condition as say Marc Savard, who you can see has had so much permanent damage even to this day.
Sauer was shaping up to be a solid D-Man too.
Really crazy given how promising his career was looking. Terrible and unfortunate, and a real testament to how quickly life can change. Years and years of his life dedicated to the game, he finally is getting to the top of the mountain and boom, all gone in one instant.
Best of luck in the future MS.
Actually it makes me mad. Crosby got so much press, because he's a media darling...but Staal, Sauer, Boogard? None of these guys have gotten the kind of response in the media, because they are the grinders. It's a sad statement on the use of media by the NHL, and the lack of the NHL's response to these players.
So Larry Brooks' column tomorrow will cite "un-named sources" stating that Michael Sauer is one of the top candidates to coach the Rangers!
Best of luck to the guy with his life. He was really turning into a good player and it's a shame to see this kind of stuff happen to anyone. Hopefully he can live a normal life, even if it doesn't include playing hockey.
As far as "what could have been" it's dumb to speculate. Every team in the league can make a case that if player A or player B were healthy, things would have been different. Teams that win championships do so by either overcoming injury adversities or avoiding injuries altogether. Teams that don't win, blame injuries.
And finally, since Sauer looks like he's done, I think we can officially say that Sather's Leetch trade was the absolute worst of his tenure! All the players involved (including those picked with the draft picks) are now playing in the KHL, except Sauer. Not 1 NHL player for the greatest American-born defenseman in NHL history? Man, that bites!
I have been saying the same thing for the past year or so. With a healthy Sauer it would have been a totally different team. Probably not going to 2 straight game 7's and a fresher team all around for the Devils. Even this year would have been a different story in my opinion. The kid was blossoming into a solid NHL defensemen. It might have been one of the most impacted injuries to hit the Rangers.
Totally agree on Sauer. Truly a superb stay at home Dman who was first developing an offensive game. Huge loss.
Can't that family get some good news? It's amazing to me they have all gone through the same thing. I have heard rumors that he is actually doing much better but his family is stopping him from playing so it stays that way. If true (as I have no confirmation on that), I can't say I really blame them....
So sad. The guy was a monster.
Just think, Saure-Girardi-McDonagh_Staal. They were set for YEARS with 4 top defensemen. Now, they have Del Zaster.
I had a customer that played collegiate hockey and had his playing career ended by injuries. but at the time I knew him he was an AHL referee. so I hope Sauer can stay in hockey in some capacity if that's the path he chooses.
I can't imagine that after being out this long with no significant signs of recovery that he will ever play again. Especially after seeing his family go through the same thing. So sad.
@shoot_the_goalie I remember hearing the Toronto announcers laughing after that hit was made and Sauer was hurt on the ice. Phaneuf's dad enjoyed it too. Karma will come back to bite them, one can only hope.
@gravey94 That was 9 years ago. Really shouldn't expect to have anyone left from the deal.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) Hope the rumors of him feeling better are true.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG Maybe he can get into coaching.
@KevinDeLury Did you see this note from Pat before you wrote this or just completely coincidental you two both wrote about Sauer on the same day? LOL
HOPEFULLY SWEET FOR SAUER
The Rangers flew injured and inactive defenseman Michael Sauer, 25, to New York this week to evaluate his condition, the Daily News has learned. If the organization believes there is a chance Sauer can recover from the concussion symptoms that have sidelined him since Dec. 5, 2011, GM Glen Sather can qualify the soon-to-be restricted free agent and retain his rights for the upcoming season relatively cheaply. Sauer remained at his home in Minneapolis this season, away from the team, and his condition is not believed to have improved significantly, but the evaluation will tell the Rangers more.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/bruins-shake-epic-game1-loss-blackhawks-article-1.1372400#ixzz2WCrVfE3P
@KevinDeLury That's too funny! (That you both thought to write about him.) Don't like that Pat's note contradicts what I've heard though...