Concerned Savard 'really far away' from ever playing again

592688.jpg

Concerned Savard 'really far away' from ever playing again

At times Marc Savard has almost become a forgotten man with the Boston Bruins.

Its expected the concussed center will never suit up again in the NHL after absorbing too many head injuries suffered during his hockey career.

The vicious head shot suffered at the hands of Matt Cooke two years ago effectively ended his career takes on even more tragic tones when Savard discusses the symptoms he still battles stemming from the predatory blow.

He managed to play in the postseason against the Flyers two years ago while later admitting the concussion symptoms crept back in during the seven-game series, and managed to play in 25 games last year before a Matt Hunwick hit in Colorado finally knocked him out of commission.

The one constant has been post-concussion symptoms that have been with him for over a year now, and many of them are downright frightening.

Ive had a lot of issues obviously. They were a lot of different things. This year I was at home a lot and I tried to help out my son coaching and getting on the ice a little bit. Even doing just getting on the ice coaching I wouldnt feel well afterward: lightheadedness, a little bit of an upset stomach all the time, said Savard during an interview with Powerplay on NHL Home Ice on SiriusXM Radio. But the biggest issue Ive had, of course, is the memory issues. Its very frustrating. Its something I hope I dont have to deal with for the rest of my life.

With CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) on the tip of the sports worlds tongues after the tragic suicide of Junior Seau two days ago and the deaths of three NHL enforcers last summer, the 34-year-old Savard ticked off considerable difficulties hes encountered while hoping things dont get worse.

Ive gone through a lot of stuff, and when stories like Seau come out you worry about the future for everyone, said Savard. I wish there was a black and white rule for head shotsit would be better for the game.
Savard is plagued by dizziness, depression and memory loss over the last two years, and most of those post-concussion symptoms havent abated since No. 91 last played on Jan. 22, 2011. The center hasnt attempted serious exercise in over a year and instead hopes there will come a day when the fog finally lifts from his brain.

Savard admitted during the interview he is really far away from playing professional hockey ever again, and that unfortunately might be the best thing for a player thats just trying to recapture his quality of life after one too many savage head injuries.

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.