Winger Alex Tanguay and defenseman Kurt Sauer have signed their qualifying offers, the Colorado Avalanche announced today. The qualifying offers lock up Tanguay and Sauer for 2005-06, with both remaining restricted free agents at the end of the season.
"Alex has played very well for us since his first day in the NHL and we expect him to continue to be one of the top young players in the game," said Colorado Avalanche President and General Manager Pierre Lacroix. "He has been an integral part of our organization since he was drafted in 1998, and he's the perfect example of the type of player who will flourish and excel under the new rules that will debut in our League this fall."
Tanguay, 24, was selected 12th overall in the 1998 Entry Draft, one of four picks the Avalanche had in the first round that year. In 2002-03, he tallied 26 goals and 41 assists with 36 penalty minutes and a +34 rating in 82 games played, finishing the season third on the Avalanche in scoring. Recording three goals and seven assists through the first 31 games of 2002-03, he went on to notch 23 goals and 34 assists in his final 51 games, including points in 27 of the last 31 contests to close out the season. He played in Switzerland for part of the 2004-05 season.
Between February 11 and March 7 of 2003, the six-foot, one-inch, 190-pound native of Ste-Justine, Quebec recorded a 16-game point streak (10g/16a over that span), the NHL's longest of the 2002-03 season and the longest point streak in the history of Avalanche hockey.
"At 24, Kurt is a young player already possessing two-year's worth of NHL regular season and playoff experience, and we expect him to be a part of our defensive corps," added Lacroix.
In 69 games played with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Colorado Avalanche in 2003-04, Sauer notched one goal and five assists with 51 penalty minutes while logging an average of nearly 17:00 in ice time per game. During his rookie campaign in 2002-03, Sauer collected a goal and two assists in 80 contests, including a goal and an assist in 21 playoff games.