Mar 03, 2012; Vancouver, BC, CA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani (5) reaches across Buffalo Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer (52) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

The Ex-Panther Factor: Alexander Sulzer


Alexander Sulzer.  We hardy knew ya.  Sulzer was originally selected as the 92 pick in the third round by the Nashville Predators back in 2003.  In that same draft the Predataors also drafted Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Kevin Klein.  Huzzah!  What a draft. Born in Kauefburen, Germany the 6′-1″ 204 lbs. defenceman finds himself on his fourth NHL team with the Buffalo Sabres.  After being drafted by Nashville Sulzer spent four years playing in Duseldorf, Germany before finally coming over to the U.S. to play for the Milwaukee Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Predators.

Sulzer had some Olympic and World Junior experience split between appearances with the Predators.  He played in 53 games for Nashville with one goal and five assists.  Known as a responsible and stay at home type, Sulzer is certainly not flashy.  Most likely a number six defenceman on most NHL teams, he’s best described as serviceable.  Not going to hurt you, yet certainly not going to wow you either.

He was acquired by the Florida Panthers in February of 2011 for a conditional seventh round pick in 2012, Sulzer was acquired to fill a spot on defence so that the Panthers could finish the season with a health defenceman.  After trading Bryan McCabe and Bryan Allen at the deadline, an experienced blue liner was needed, and he certainly came cheap.

Sulzer appeared in nine games with the Panthers, and missed 12 games including the last five of the season with multiple injuries.  In those nine games Sulzer had one assist and was a minus 3 with nine hits.  He had no penalty minutes and didn’t do anything to remember him by.  After his minimal appearances he was allowed to become an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Vancouver Canucks this past summer.

Sulzer played in 12 games for the Canucks with one assist, was a plus one, and had six hits.  Not much to say about him due to is limited playing time in the NHL, but the Buffalo Sabres thought enough of him to have him included as part of the Cody Hodgson trade at this years trade deadline.  Sulzer has appeared in six games with Buffalo so far with one goal and one assist.  There’s not much else to say since there hasn’t been much to see.

Here’s his first NHL goal when he was a member of the Nashville Predators, as he joined the rush to score, beating Edmonton Oiler netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Reliable, consistent and steady.  Will he find a home in Buffalo?  It remains to be seen.  Everyone needs a 6th defenceman, and for the money he’s probably as decent a player as you can get.  The Sabres come to town Saturday.  Look for Sulzer.  He might be hard to find since there’s nothing special to his game.  He wears number 52.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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