Concerned Savard 'really far away' from ever playing again

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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.

Haggerty: Legacies on the line at edge of another Bruins collapse

Haggerty: Legacies on the line at edge of another Bruins collapse

BRIGHTON, Mass – Let’s start with the straight fact that it’s asinine, apologist drivel to let the Bruins off the hook, and perpetuate an off-the-mark myth there isn’t enough talent on the B's roster to be a playoff hockey team.

They are middle-of-the-road in the talent department to be sure, and the roster depth clearly isn’t what it was in their elite years, as the Bruins balance an aging core group with an influx of youthful talent from the next generation. But this is also a proud, talented group with one of the best all-around centers in the NHL in Patrice Bergeron, a former Norris Trophy winner and future Hall of Fame defenseman in Zdeno Chara, a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate and in-his-prime All-Star left winger in Brad Marchand, an emerging 20-year-old offensive superstar in David Pastrnak and a former Vezina Trophy winning goaltender still in his prime in Tuukka Rask.

That doesn’t even mention high-end players David Krejci, David Backes and Torey Krug that are game-changing talents in their own right.

Combine that with the other players on the Bruins roster and this is a team interspersed with proud Stanley Cup winning players and enough talent to still take care of business in the final eight games and punch their playoff ticket. Winning a Cup in 2011 can never be taken away from Chara, Krejci, Bergeron, Marchand, Rask and Adam McQuaid, and neither can the seven straight seasons in the playoffs under Claude Julien.

But there’s a danger now of some late-in-the-game tarnish on Black and Gold legacies for some of those distinguished, proud players if they once again collapse down the stretch this season and miss the playoffs for the third year in a row with a late-season nosedive. Four consecutive regulation losses have cast doubt into everything for the Bruins and roused all the same old uncomfortable questions from the past three years.

Bergeron and Marchand need to find their best games and dominate the way elite players do in big-game situations like Saturday night vs. the Isles. Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo and Frank Vatrano need to show they're ready for the playoffs.Rask needs to finally show he's ready to shine as a No. 1 goalie and lead his team to victory in a big game rather than buckle under weighty pressure. 

“This is their legacy, those guys. They are Stanley Cup champions and they missed last year. Each year we talk about writing our own story, and I believe that because guys come and go,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “But generally there is a core group of guys and it’s their legacy. I’m sure they want to reach the playoffs and get back to being a Stanley Cup contender every year.

“That’s what they want and to a man I’m sure they would tell you that. I do believe that they believe it’s different [this season]. Until you change the course of your results, those questions are going to come. We have to change the results to make then go away. One week of not getting results that we want doesn’t mean we’re panicking, but we do understand what’s at stake. We want to be playing in April and May.”

If the Bruins can’t pull out a win on Saturday night against the Islanders, who just pushed even with them at 82 points on the season, then their playoff lives will no longer be under their own control anymore. It will become another late-season choke job by a team that will have its character and courage questioned. The highs of six years ago will be matched by the bitter lows of the past three seasons.

People won’t talk about a scrappy, little underdog Bruins team that just couldn’t get over the hump once again. Instead, they’ll lament a formerly proud, tough-minded group of hockey players that somehow turned into NHL tomato cans all too willing to play the victim once the going got tough late in the regular season.

That’s no way to go out if you’ve ever had your name etched on Lord Stanley’s Cup, and the Bruins that know better should be taking that to heart right now.