Kurt Sauer

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Kurt Sauer
Born (1981-01-16) January 16, 1981 (age 33)
St. Cloud, MN, USA
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Colorado Avalanche
Phoenix Coyotes
NHL Draft 88th overall, 2000
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 2002–present

Kurt Christopher Sauer (born January 16, 1981) is a professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently an Unrestricted Free Agent. He has, however, not played a professional game since October 3, 2009 because of post-concussion syndrome whilst under contract to the Phoenix Coyotes. In addition to the Coyotes, he has previously played in the National Hockey League with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Colorado Avalanche. Sauer was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, but grew up in Sartell, Minnesota.

Playing career[edit]

Sauer was drafted 88th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Sauer remained unsigned and continued to play for his junior team the Spokane Chiefs. Unable to agree to a contract with the Avalanche, in June 2002, Sauer was signed by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on the influence of new coach Mike Babcock, who coached Sauer at the Spokane Chiefs.[1]

In Sauer's first professional season in 2002–03 he made the jump to the NHL with Anaheim and was amongst the league leaders for worst Plus/Minus. The following year on February 21, 2004, Sauer was traded to the team that drafted him, the Colorado Avalanche, for Martin Skoula.[2] Sauer spent the next 4½ years with the Avalanche used as one of their primary shut down defenseman when not hampered by injury before leaving as a free agent.

On July 1, 2008, Sauer signed a four-year free agent deal with the Phoenix Coyotes worth an average of $1.75 million per year.[3] In his first season with the Coyotes in 2008–09, Sauer played his most regular season games since his rookie year with 68 games for 7 points.

In preparation for the 2009–10 season, Sauer was initially injured in a September pre-season game against the Anaheim Ducks. In receiving an innocuous hit into the boards, Sauer's head whip-lashed and resulted in nerve damage through the neck and head which blurred his eyesight.[4] Sauer continued to practice and played in the season opener against the Los Angeles Kings on October 2, 2009, but was still affected by his eyesight. Scratched for conditioning, Sauer suffered the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. He continued to rehabilitate but by the All-Star break in February he was ruled out for the season after still suffering major symptoms and swelling.

Despite intensive therapy program's and numerous specialists visits, Sauer was unable to gain a clear diagnosis and remained sidelined with concussion symptoms for the remaining three-years of his contract with the Coyotes.[5] Although unlikely to ever resume his professional career, he was still hopeful of a return, and has made slow progress through sensory rehabilitation to restore brain balance.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Kurt and wife Carmen have 4 children; son Kohl (born April 2003), Kasen, Kade and Kruz.[7][8]

Sauer comes from a distinguished sports family. His father, Curt, played professional baseball in the Minnesota Twins system. He is the older brother of Michael Sauer, also a defenseman who plays for the New York Rangers whose career was also threatened by concussions. In addition to younger brother, Michael, an older brother, Kent, was a draftee of the Nashville Predators who was forced to retire due to knee problems. His oldest brother Craig played college football at the University of Minnesota and played in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings until a foot injury forced him into retirement. He also has two sisters that played college basketball and soccer.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 North Iowa Huskies USHL 52 1 4 5 67
1999–00 Spokane Chiefs WHL 71 3 12 15 48 15 2 1 3 8
2000–01 Spokane Chiefs WHL 48 5 10 15 85 3 1 0 1 2
2001–02 Spokane Chiefs WHL 61 4 19 23 73 11 0 3 3 12
2002–03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 80 1 2 3 74 21 1 1 2 6
2003–04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 55 1 4 5 32
2003–04 Colorado Avalanche NHL 14 0 1 1 19 3 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 4 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Colorado Avalanche NHL 37 1 4 5 24 9 0 0 0 4
2006–07 Colorado Avalanche NHL 48 0 6 6 24
2007–08 Colorado Avalanche NHL 54 1 5 6 41 10 1 0 1 8
2008–09 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 68 1 6 7 36
2009–10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 1 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 357 5 28 33 250 43 2 1 3 18

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
WHL
West First All-Star Team 2002

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Young Star stories- Kurt Sauer". National Hockey League. 2002-05-22. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  2. ^ Dillman, Lisa (February 21, 2004). "Sauer joins Avalanche in trade for Skoula". latimes.com. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Phoenix Coyotes signs defenseman Sauer". Phoenix Coyotes. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ "Coyotes' Sauer still dealing with concussion effects from 2009". NBC Sports. 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Coyotes' Kurt Sauer still struggling from 2009 neck injury". AZ Central. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  6. ^ a b "The Quiet Room: The Sauers". TheScore Inc. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  7. ^ "It's sweet for Sauer". Inlander. 2003-05-22. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  8. ^ "Phoenix Coyotes media guide 2010-11". Phoenix Coyotes. 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 

External links[edit]