While Marc Savard hasn’t played a game in the NHL in more than three years, the playmaking center still hasn’t been forgotten in Boston.
It doesn’t sound like the silky smooth pivot hasn’t moved on much beyond his memories in a Black and Gold uniform either while still using the pronoun “we” when talking about the Bruins/Canadiens playoff series.
Savard granted an interview to TSN 1050 in Toronto last week, and broached a number of subjects including his thoughts on the Rule 48 head shot adopted after Matt Cooke’s dirty head shot, the continued NHL career of the villainous Cooke and his own recovery from the post-concussion syndrome that effectively ended his hockey career.
“I guess at the end of the day I’ll be known for that [head shot rule], so somebody will remember me,” said a laughing Savard. “It’s for the best of the game. I’m glad that something good happened out of it anyway.
“It was a tough time all in all. I’m just happy with my life right now.”
Savard said he still sees “dots” in hot weather and when kneeling down, and still has issues with migraines associated with the multiple concussions he suffered during his NHL career. Those are the sad realities for NHL players once the crowds and media attention die down.
But the B’s big-ticket free agent, who jumped to Boston in the same summer as Zdeno Chara back in 2006, is feeling good enough these days to get on the golf course and help coach his children’s hockey teams. Those are excellent quality of life steps for a player that wasn’t pushed in that direction.
“I’m doing good. Things are getting better for me,” said Savard. “I still have some issues, but I can’t complain; life’s pretty good. I’ve got a newborn, a son that’s playing hockey and a daughter that’s dancing, so things are pretty busy for me.
“[Boston] was probably one of my favorite cities to play in, for sure. I’ll never forget the crowd and obviously, the general manager, Peter Chiarelli. He was just great for me and my whole career and really helped me. It was such a classy move by them to do [petition for his name on the Cup]. I didn’t expect it.”
One subject where Savard didn’t utter the word “classy” was when asked about Cooke, the man who effectively ended his career with an elbow to the chin in Pittsburgh back in 2010. Cooke was again suspended during this spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs when he took out Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit, and once again Savard shook his head in disbelief.
“At the end of the day, it’s a game and it’s a physical one and obviously, he’s made some bad decisions, I think,” said Savard while clearly taking the high road. “I sit back and watch . . . what’s it going to take for them to finally put the books to this guy?
“It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know if they’re waiting for someone to get paralyzed or something bad . . . really bad. I just don’t understand it really, to be quite honest.”
The 36-year-old hasn’t played since the 2010-11 season, when -- in an ill-fated comeback attempt in which he appeared to be a weak player waiting to get pounced upon -- he scored 2 goals and 10 points in 24 games before a hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick ended his playing days. The Bruins have moved on, winning a Stanley Cup that year with Savard watching from the sidelines. And while he still has three years left on the books at $4,027,143 per season, but that money will be covered by Boston’s long-term injured reserve protection.