Savard returns Thursday to host donated luxury suite

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Savard returns Thursday to host donated luxury suite

Its been eerily quiet on the Marc Savard front for too long this season as he continues to battle post-concussion syndrome symptoms, but Bruins Nation will finally hear from No. 91 Thursday night . . . and for all the right reasons.

Savard will be in Boston to attend the BruinsCanadiens game and hell begin hosting a luxury suite at the TD Garden for pediatric patients at Childrens Hospital Boston, with a focus on children suffering from the effects of head trauma from both a medical and psychological standpoint.

Savard purchased the suite for every Bruins home game for the remainder of the 2011-12 season and through the completion of the 2013-14 season. The suite will be complete with healthy food and goodie bags for each guest, as well as a visit from the Bruins mascot, Blades, and the Bruins Ice Girls.

Savard will entertain his young guests in the box on Thursday night at the Garden in his first appearance in Boston this season.
The head trauma issues obviously hits very close to home for Savard, who has played in a grand total of 32 NHL games regular season and playoffs since being blindsided by a Matt Cooke elbow on March 7, 2009 in Pittsburgh that ultimately brought about the NHLs newly adopted head shot rules.

The team agreed to shut down Savard this season, and both general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien have indicated that the playmaking centers career may very well be over.

"Marc Savard understands firsthand the challenges faced by children suffering from the effects of head trauma from both a medical and psychological standpoint," Beth Donegan Driscoll, Director of Child Life Services at Childrens Hospital Boston, said in a statement released by the Bruins. "The partnership with Marc Savard is an exceptional opportunity for Childrens Hospital Boston patients and their families to experience the thrill of a Bruins game at the generosity of this very special man."
The Childrens Hospital Boston Brain Injury Center specializes in the management and treatment of all types of traumatic brain injury. The Childrens Hospital Boston Brain Injury Center is helping to define the best practices in the way brain injuries are cared for, from early response through inpatient care and long-term follow-up.

Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

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Solder, Patriots training staff earn Ed Block Courage Awards

FOXBORO -- Patriots left tackle Nate Solder has been through a lot over the last few years. 

He battled and beat testicular cancer before the 2014 offseason and then went on to help the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl title. In 2015, he tore his biceps in Week 5 and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. Just weeks later after suffering that season-ending injury, Solder's son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor in his kidneys. 

A quiet leader in the Patriots locker room, Solder has used his platform with the team to spread awareness stemming from personal hardships in addition to serving as a prominent supporter of the Hockomock Area YMCA. For his devotion to helping those in need, and for the example he sets at his job and in the community, he has been named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner for 2016. 

Solder also participated in the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative wearing cleats to raise awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which gives financial aid to cancer patients and their families. He also supports The Fresh Truck, which describes itself as a mobile food market on a mission to radically improve community health.

Rob Gronkowski, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Wes Welker and Tedy Bruschi have also recently been named Ed Block Courage Awards-winners for the Patriots. 

The team's training staff, led by head trainer Jim Whalen and assistant trainer and director of rehabilitation Joe Van Allen, was also honored on Tuesday as it was named the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.

"The annual award, named for the longtime head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts who demonstrated an untiring dedication to helping others, recognizes an NFL staff for their distinguished service to their club, community and athletic training profession," the Patriots announced in a statement. 

In the release, trainer Daryl Nelson and physical therapist Michael Akinbola are also credited with helping keep the Patriots healthy. 

Others, including head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera and team nutritionist Ted Harper, have a hand in keeping players at their physical peak. Combined, given the overall health of the roster this season, they've all had a hand in keep the team humming as it heads into its sixth consecutive AFC title game.