Per the NY Post’s Larry Brooks, the Rangers have re-signed RFA defenseman Michael Sauer to a 2-year, $2.5m deal.
Brooks broke the news on twitter this morning and though at this point it hasn’t been officially confirmed by the Rangers, you have to believe it’s as good as done.
Sauer’s signing represents the first of (hopefully) five re-signings that the Rangers will make over the next few weeks: Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov are all RFA’s too, and all bar Anisimov have filed for salary arbitration this week.
After an excellent rookie season – critiqued by Adam here – it would have been a disappointment – and a surprise – to have seen Sauer not re-signed by the Rangers this summer. All the better, Sauer’s cap-hit of $1.25m per year represents excellent value in the current defensive market for a player that’s quickly proven himself very capable as a top-4 defenseman in New York.
Sauer’s partnership alongside Ryan McDonagh was undoubtedly one of the Rangers’ bright spots last season, Sauer posting three goals, 15 points, 75 penalty minutes and a tremendous +20 rating. One of the biggest plus points to take from Sauer’s play, though, was his physicality in front of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Sauer stood up for Lundqvist, something all Ranger fans have demanded to see their defenseman do for far too long now.
He’s an assuring presence, even as one of the team’s younger players. Here’s to hoping that continues for the next two seasons, at least.
UPDATE – The Rangers have now confirmed the re-signing via their official twitter page.
UPDATE #2 – Blueshirts United have recently posted some quotes taken from an exclusive interview with Sauer today;
It would be hard to imagine playing anywhere else. I love playing in New York and I’m glad I’m going back to New York. I like the coaches, the system, the team, the city. It’s just a great place to play.
It’s nice to not having that [arbitration] hanging over your head, to take the uncertainty out of it. You know you’re going back and you can just focus on training. Both sides are happy, which is good.