Idaho Steelheads won't bring back coach Hardy Sauter

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

The Idaho Steelheads are looking for a new coach. The team announced Wednesday that it would not renew the contract of coach Hardy Sauter.

Idaho finished seventh in the Western Conference and advanced to the second round of the ECHL playoffs before being ousted by Las Vegas in April. Sauter just completed his second season as the Steelheads coach. Sauter was 63-59-22 in the regular season as Idaho's coach.

“We appreciate the time and energy that Hardy put in to represent us over the past two seasons,” Idaho Steelheads President Eric Trapp said in a release sent by the team. “He’s a good man with a good family and we wish him the best going forward.”

Sauter is the third coach Idaho has had since joining the ECHL after John Olver and Derek Laxdal. He was booed by fans during games this season, particularly as the Steelheads endured a 10-game losing streak in February and March.

The team did play better late in the season and won its first-round playoff series with Ontario.

Sauter did not immediately return a cell phone message Wednesday morning.

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Can't rack up that record

An expect to stay coach.

Tough gig

With all the players getting called up and sent down, seems like it'd be hard for a coach to put together a steady, consistent roster.

true

Every team in the ECHL has the same concerns, yet Vegas and Alaska are at the top of the conference year in and year out. It can be overcome with good coaching and a good organization. The organization is there....

Not just call ups

It isn't just the call ups that kept the Steelheads from having a consistent roster. Over the two years how many times did Sauter trade players for Future Considerations? Sauter even flat out released fan favorite Huxley who is a big time enforcer and legitimate goal scorer in this league. We had 53 different players suit up for the Steelheads this season. With the revolving door of players the team seemed like to have a hard time playing together. He played Kuhn just about every night when he was healthy and we were consistently giving up 40 to 50+ shots a game or more all while getting 25 to 30 on net. For the majority of the season we were dead last in shots on goal and dead last in shots against. Sauter compiled a 91-53 record in two season in Spokane, made the playoffs both seasons and was ousted in round 2 in '09 and round 1 in '10. That should have been a warning sign right there. With a record like that Spokane still wanted nothing to do with Sauter. In Idaho his record was an abominable 63-81. Yes the Steelheads made the playoffs both years but in the ECHL West only 1 team misses the playoffs so it isn't exactly the same as most leagues. Glad it's done...it's about time!

Not so tough

Mr. John Olver didn't have to much trouble and he's local. Perhaps Mr. Olver would be interested if the Steelheads approached him.

Right Move By The Organization

A good move by the organization. It is time to rebuild the respectability and the powerhouse team of the ECHL that the Steelheads organization is!

a good move

It seemed like every night Kuhn was facing 40-45 shots on goal, which showed Sauter didn't know how to coach defense. In addition, the extremely mediocre results were evident of his coaching career. He had mediocre to poor teams in Spokane too. In both places, he took over a team at the top of the league and couldn't keep thme there.

Agree ... sort of

I agree that his teams on top didn't stay on top. Fair point. But it's hard to coach defense when half of your defensemen are sitting in the stands with injuries.

House Cleaning needed!

Let the house cleaning begin! And don't forget to dust out the front office while you're at it! Ownership needs to re-access the performance of the last few years. It's become the same old, same old....pretty boring! There is a proven coach already living in Boise but without the right conditions, why should he come back? I'm of course referring to Coach John Olver.

You can't have Hardy without any helpers for the hamburger

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

As they say in Idaho "Later Tater"

Tough business to do well in. Steelies did not have the defenseman to get the puck to the wingers to get it out of the zone. They also played a stay at home defense or a zone defense. Look at the Rangers vs Washington series. Washington plays the same type of D that Idaho did and N.Y. schooled them last night. If former ECHL goaltender Holtby did not stand on his head for Washington, that game would have been 6-1. Aggressive teams make it more fun for the fans and for a better team. I feel bad for Jery Kuhn, Idaho would have won 10 games this year if Jerry was not in net! He belongs at the next level!