Sauer to Retire? (Update – Being Evaluated in NY)

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.

Original Post:
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.

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Kevin

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