19 June 2008
At first glance in the above photo Jose "Pimp Cane" Theodore is mesmerizing. The pink
In a way this picture is the very definition of Kurt Sauer, always in the background even when his performance (or ensemble) in other circumstances should stand out.
Strengths: a quiet workhorse on the blueline. Until Adam Foote came along he was probably the most well positioned Avalanche blueliner. He's a big body that plays suffocating defense and is nearly never out of position
Weaknesses: He's not the best skater, and can get beaten off the rush by guys like Pisani and Hemsky. Despite his big frame he plays more like Scott Hanna, not very physical but positionally sound. He should be able to create some more punishing hits.
Analysis: In my mind Sauer is the odd man out this overflow of Defensemen, but I'm not really happy about it. The need Liles for the skating ability, Finger for the physicality (and he should be slightly cheaper than Sauer), Foote for his leadership and superior play. Sauer's defense is superb, but I think Scott Hannan and Jordan Leopold make Sauer expendable, based on the current defensive lineup.
Verdict: I think some other team that needs a really solid positional defender should offer him a 5 year deal worth about $3-4M/season. If the Avs do decide to bring him back, they should offer the same.
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