The New York Rangers have had a fairly impressive offseason, finally landing Rick Nash in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets and re-signing many of their top players from last year’s squad that reached the Eastern Conference Finals. While they are hopeful that negotiations will go well with Michael Del Zotto over the next couple of weeks, the Rangers know that one of their blueliners will not be with the team when they first drop the puck, regardless of whether or not the upcoming season starts on time.
Michael Sauer, who has not played in a regular season game for New York since last December due to a concussion he sustained at the hands of Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames, may not get the green light to lace up the skates, even if the season starts a month or tow later than scheduled.
While New York would love to have the physical defenseman in their lineup, they do still have the luxury of being able to use Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Anton Stralman and Steve Eminger. Sauer would be nice to have when the Rangers open up next season, but it is looking more and more unlikely.
As for Del Zotto, he and the Rangers are hoping to come to a long term agreement before September 15, as no new deals can take place once the previous collective bargaining agreement expires, unless a new deal is reached before that date.