Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants reports on the dilemma the Rangers might face if they decide to send Mike Sauer back to Hartford...
"As you can see, defense prospect Mike Sauer is one of those players who would need to pass through waivers to be sent back to Hartford and, based on the way he’s played in training camp and the preseason (and could very well play tonight), it stands to reason another team might put in a claim for him. That may leave the Rangers with this question: Keep McDonagh or start him in Hartford because they can send him down without fear of losing him or risk losing Sauer (I suppose you could insert Valentenko into this part of the conversation, since he doesn’t require waivers, either)."
Gross adds that Derek Stepan also does not have to clear waivers.
...this could be a major factor in the Rangers decision on defense. As Gross points out, Sauer has played well in camp, so why wouldn't team with a lack of d prospects take a chance on him?
...if he gets claimed, that would be a big hit to the Rangers defensive depth.
...i doubt the decision will be between McD and Sauer, more likely Eminger and Sauer.
Here's Sauer on his performance so far in camp...
“That I can be counted on to play solidly in our own end,” Sauer said. “The last game, we seemed to line up against the top line a lot. As a defenseman, what you want is to play well against those elite athletes and show the coaches that side of your game. I think (tonight) is a big opportunity for me. Any time you play at this level, with people in the stands and a high caliber team like Detroit, it’s a good chance to show what I’m really capable of. You can only control what’s yours and you’re accountable for that. It gets back to your game and you let the coaches and general managers do their job.”
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