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2008 Final Grade: Kurt Sauer

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2008 Final Grade: B

2007 Grade: B

Links:

{{sauer}} (hockey-reference page)

2007 report

2008 ITCS (aka highly unofficial) Sauer game log

Season Stats: 54gp 1g 5a 6pt +17

Minutes: 1,009 (5th), EV 15:26, PP :05, PK 3:10, ATOI 18:41

1st Half: 24gp 1g 5a 6pt +11

2nd Half: 30gp 0g 0a 0pt +6

Playoffs: 10gp 1g 0a 1pt -3

Best Month: November (13gp 0g 4a 4pt +6)

Linemates: Clark (19), Foote (11), Finger (7), Skrastins (7), Hannan (4), Leopold (3), Liles (1)

Season: Sauer set a career high in +/- (+17) as well as matching his previous - if underwhelming - highs in goals (1), assists (5) and points (6).

Report: Sauer had another nice season for a guy that Joel Quenneville scratched 77 times. He still doesn't hit as much as a 6'4 220 lb guy should, but he plays good positional defense and is a puck-clearing machine in front of the net. He's not the fastest of guys and can get beat by a speedy puck carrier up the wing, but he doesn't make a ton of mistakes or take a lot of stupid penalties. He looked really good in the regular season when paired with Adam Foote, and was terrific in the Minnesota series. He missed 28 games with a neck injury, and that really affected his scoring - all 6 of his points were scored before the injury. He recovered in the postseason, though, scoring a sweet goal against the Wild. That was an aberration though - he generally has nothing to offer offensively.

Fast Fact: Sauer has 4 goals in 288 regular season games and 2 goals in 43 playoff games.

2007-2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $719,000 ($719,000)

2008-2009 Status: UFA

Outlook: Sauer is one of four free agents on defense (along with John-Michael Liles, Adam Foote and Jeff Finger). The Avalanche already have four other guys returning (plus Kyle Cumiskey), so it stands to reason that at least one of those UFAs will be on the move. I think that guy will be Liles (unfortunately). Although it's less certain than Liles, I think that Sauer could be moving on too. The Avs have a lot of money tied up in their blueliners already, and that number will go up even more if Adam Foote re-ups. If that happens, Sauer and Finger might find that they'll get a better deal on the open market.