Hauer signs with L.A. Kings -- from Lakeside to Los Angeles
It's not a path well-traveled, but it's the one Brett Hauer is taking in hopes of returning to the NHL. The former Bulldog has spent the past four years playing for the Manitoba Moose of the IHL and holds several of the team's all-time records. T...
It's not a path well-traveled, but it's the one Brett Hauer is taking in hopes of returning to the NHL.
The former Bulldog has spent the past four years playing for the Manitoba Moose of the IHL and holds several of the team's all-time records. This year alone he had 59 points, including a team record 17 goals for a defenseman.
The former Olympian signed the NHL contract Tuesday night in the KBJR newsroom.
"I've done everything I can do now at the minor league level," said Hauer. "The L.A. Kings really stepped up and made me feel welcome there, and I think that will be a really good situation for me."
Hauer played with UMD from 1989 to 1993.
Hauer was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with their third choice (71st overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry draft. He has since played 34 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers once he was traded to them in the 1995-96 season. He has 4 goals and 4 assists during those 34 games.
Hauer said, "I'm ready for it. I'm an experienced guy, and I know my game has improved by leaps and bounds since my last time in the NHL." He added, "I feel if I get a chance to get a real shot at playing again, I think I can get myself a spot on a team."
He spent five games with the Oilers during the 1999-2000 season and 29 during the 1995-96 campaign.
His time with the Manitoba Moose was put to good use. He is a three-time IHL First Team all-star, and was named the IHL's top defenseman in each of the past two seasons.
The Richfield native, who now lives in Duluth during the off-season, played in 140 games with the Bulldogs and had 21 goals and 73 assists during his college career. In his final year at UMD, he was named to the WCHA First all-star team and was a member of the NCAA West All-American team.
"Brett is a top minor league defenseman who will bring great offensive skill and experience to our corps of depth defensemen," said Kevin Gilmore, Kings Assistant general manager, through a press release. "We expect him to come to our NHL camp in September and challenge for an NHL spot."
"Brett Hauer represented the Manitoba Moose for four years and contributed to our hockey club both on and off the ice, " said Moose President Randy Carlyle through a press release. "This opportunity is well deserved, and we wish Brett and his family all the best with the Los Angeles Kings."
Hauer feels fortunate to get a two-year deal. "The guys like myself or younger are signing one-year deals because there are a lot less teams out there now." The AHL and the IHL merged a few weeks ago. Hauer said, "A lot of players are losing jobs. It's tough to find jobs now for a lot of my friends that I have talked to."
Hauer leaves the Moose as the all-time points leader. He also leaves Lakeside with great anticipation.
Tom Hanson is the sports anchor for KBJR News 6.