DULUTH — With Edward Pasquale set to spend the rest of the season in Gwinnett, the Gladiators had one goalie too many.
Billy Sauer, the only one of the three not under contract to NHL affiliate Atlanta, was the odd-man out. Head coach Jeff Pyle reluctantly traded the second-year pro to Las Vegas upon his return from the AHL on Wednesday.
“I’d take Billy in a minute,” Pyle said. “If you play in front of him and he gets his confidence back, he can carry a team.”
Sauer was called up to Worcester on Friday, but didn’t appear in any games for the Sharks.
In 18 games with Gwinnett, Sauer had a 6-8-1 record, but a 2.96 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
It’s the second straight season Sauer has been the victim of a numbers game. As a rookie out of the University of Michigan, he played for five teams last season. He was under contract with AHL Lake Erie and had a .901 save percentage in 15 games. But because Lake Erie didn’t have an ECHL affiliate, Sauer was bounced around to four different teams, sometimes for no more than a weekend.
Pyle didn’t want to let him go either, but couldn’t carry three goalies for the rest of the season.
He’s also still looking to add a forward to the lineup.
“We need a little more scoring and some depth,” Pyle said.
The team left Wednesday night for a pair of games in Florida. They’ll be without defenseman Brennan Turner for the trip after he was recalled to AHL Binghamton the same day Sauer headed to Worcester. Turner, who is under contract to Binghamton, sat out two of the Senators’ three games as a healthy scratch last weekend.