The NHL's radical realignment means four conferences that will need names, so how about the Michael Sauer Memorial Conference after the late Rangers defenseman, taken in the prime of his life by this clean hit from last night. Just kidding! He's not dead. He's being evaluated by doctors with an "upper body injury," which is hockey speak for anything from a hangnail to a coma.
Seriously, Sauer might be dead. Dion Phaneuf hit him so hard, his stick broke and his helmet popped off and three generations of Sauers will be unable to grow teeth. And no one was more excited for the hit (again, absolutely clean) than Phaneuf's father. The Leafs brought all their dads on this Northeast road trip, and proud papas have watched them split a pair against the East's top teams. It's special being a hockey dad, and now it's an even more exclusive club, since Michael Sauer's father no longer has a son.
Neither does Michael Del Zotto's: