Savard returns to Ontario home for rest

191545.jpg

Savard returns to Ontario home for rest

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Marc Savard has returned to his home in Peterborough, Ontario, to rest and recuperate from his latest concussion, suffered last weekend against the Colorado Avalanche.The Bruins said Savard is suffering from all-too-familiar concussion symptoms after Saturday's collision with ex-teammate Matt Hunwick in Colorado. The concussion is the fourth of his career and his second in 10 months.
Coach Claude Julien said there wont be much in the way of daily reports on Savard's progress in the coming days. No timetable has been set on a potential return.Hes gone hometo rest and thats all you can do when youve got a concussion, said Julien. Well just take it from there.Peter Chiarelli went on the radio with 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher and Rich on Wednesday morning, and indicated the fog hasnt yet cleated for Savard following Saturdays moderate concussion. The Bruins GM feels Savard was operating at about 75 percent capacity in the 25 games hed played with the Bs since returning, though he had looked very close to himself in the handful of games leading up to the concussion.Chiarelli also told the radio station the Bruins would only make a significant move to replace Savard on the roster if they were certain he'd be out for the balance of the season, and said that decision can't be made at this stage of Savard's recovery.His teammates hope it doesn't come to that.
Its tough. Hes a guy that Ive built a friendship and relationship with in the four years that Ive been here, said Milan Lucic. Its tough to see him go through this especially with what hes been through over the last year. Its tough to say with concussions because things can drag on even with a minor one. It can go a lot longer than you expect. We hope that we see him back again this year, but hes got to think about his health No. 1, and that he makes a full recovery. Hes got to avoid making a mistake in coming back too early where he puts his life in jeopardy.If Savard is placed on long-term injured reserve at some point, Chiarelli said former first-round pick Zach Hamill is more ready to jump into the Boston lineup than Joe Colborne when looking over their centers ready for a promotion at the AHL level. If Savard doesn't make progress, it would seem to be only a matter of time before he'd be placed on long-term injured reserve. If that happens, his 4 million cap hit would come off the B's books for this season. Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice, and it appears that hell get the start against the Florida Panthers in the final regular season game prior to the NHL All-Star break. Julien said hell have a game-time decision on potentially scratching a defenseman tonight after making Mark Stuart a healthy scratch each of the last two games on the road. The Bs blueliners have been playing well as a six-man unit, but it could be Adam McQuaid that gets the healthy scratch after playing in the last couple of games for the Black and Gold.Weve got to hopefully keep Stuart going as well, so were going to try and balance that out, said Julien. Steve Kampfer said he wont need surgery on his broken nose as theres been some progress in clearing up his nasal passage for easier breathing out of his nose over the last couple of days. Kampfer will instead head back home to Michigan to take in some college hockey with a few of his NHL buddies.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Haggerty: No move may be the best move for Bruins at deadline

Haggerty: No move may be the best move for Bruins at deadline

The NHL trade deadline is now less than a week away, with plenty of movement expected despite the perpetual lack of sellers, and an expansion draft perhaps preventing some teams from taking on players they will then need to protect. 

The Bruins shouldn’t be much of a seller as long as they can continue their current good stretch for three more games before the March 1 deadline. The expansion draft shouldn’t be much of a scare either based on the players {Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Malcolm Subban) they might be in danger of losing to the Vegas Golden Knights this summer.

With the Bruins currently outside of a playoff spot by virtue of the one game in hand held by the Florida Panthers (both teams have 66 points vying for the final wild-card spot), it would be no surprise if GM Don Sweeney wanted to be a buyer at the deadline for a Boston roster that could use a big top-six winger with finishing ability, a top-four defenseman that can move the puck and a backup goaltender should Anton Khudobin have any more struggles this season.

The Bruins and Avalanche had been talking steadily in recent weeks about a possible deal for 24-year-old left wing Gabriel Landeskog, but those discussions have hit a standstill with Sweeney refusing to part with either Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy in the trade package. That's the 100 percent right move for a Bruins team that shouldn't start trading away blue chip D-man prospects. 

Landeskog has made sense for the Black and Gold because he’s signed long term with a reasonable $5.7 million cap hit, and because he’d theoretically be a good, power forward fit alongside David Krejci.

It’s that type of trade Sweeney and the Bruins are looking to make for a young player with term that will be part of the long-term solution in Boston. They aren’t looking for a repeat of last season where they shipped off good future assets in exchange for pedestrian rental players Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles and missed the playoffs anyway after dipping into the trade market.

In other words, Sweeney doesn’t sound all that keen in dipping heavily into the rental market, for a Patrick Eaves or a Dmitry Kulikov for instance, as he did a year ago.  

“Do I think we have an opportunity to make the playoffs? Absolutely, there’s no question this group has a chance to get in. Whether or not I can find a player between now and the deadline that sort of fills all those gaps, that does remain to be seen,” said Sweeney at the time of the Claude Julien firing, prior to the current four-game winning streak. 

“But I think it dovetails with the fact that I’m not going to be short-sighted. I’m going to stick to the longer term view as to what I have put in place with the intention of being able to bridge and bringing in players like David Backes and surround our guys that we get a chance to win now and be competitive now.

“I’d prefer to err on the side of a player that will integrate into us on the longer-term. Last year, we gave up draft picks. I wasn’t prepared to move players that I felt in the same regard that teams had asked for in order to get a higher-level rental or a different kind of rental. I’m not going to deviate from what I said. Are there players and we have a surplus? That’s what I want to try and evaluate and find out whether or not we can deal from a position of strength.”

Some of that may change after a current four-game winning streak with a Bruins team that looks much more playoff-worthy than the aimless group that struggled through the first 55 games. But it would have to be the perfect rental at the right price for it to make sense for the Bruins this time around and chances are that might not materialize for a team just looking to hang in there until McAvoy, Anders Bjork, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Zach Senyshyn are ready to contribute a couple of years down the road.

So, would people be okay if Sweeney and the Bruins stand pat at the trade deadline if they can’t swing a big hockey deal for a young player like Landeskog who would be part of the long-term plan? Is it acceptable to just let it ride with the current group that has suddenly shown a different gear under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, and bet on the core group rising to the occasion like they didn’t the last couple of years under Julien?

The answer from this humble hockey writer is that Sweeney should pass on anything less than a home run deal for the Black and Gold. The worst thing the Bruins GM could do is get in the way of the momentum that’s naturally starting to roll with his team, or make another severe misstep with his NHL talent evaluation. Right now, draft and development seem to be his strengths, and he should lean into those and away from being a wheeler dealer with wiser, more experienced managers around the NHL looking to once again rob the Black and Gold blind.

So, there’s a chance the Bruins do very little at the deadline and, after thinking about it, the fickle fans should be perfectly okay with that as they watch a newly transformed hockey club. 

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Talking Bruins with Ray Ferraro

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Talking Bruins with Ray Ferraro

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready for the February heat wave headed our way.

*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s a podcast I did on Tuesday talking Bruins with former Hartford Whalers great and current outstanding TSN hockey analyst Ray Ferraro, who is also a great FOH (Friend of Haggs).

*Good piece on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster that has already gained plenty of internet plaudits for his great, and now legendary, Nick Bonino goal call in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

*It’s never too early to look at this summer’s crop of NHL draft-eligible players. Right, Kevin Allen?

*Apparently Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has his own rap song, so he’s got that going for him…which is nice.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) and PHT writer Jason Brough has James Wisniewski trying to revive his NHL career after a short stint in the KHL.

*There’s a call for Nashville backup Juuse Saros to get more playing time between the pipes for the Predators.

*Larry Brooks brings his always interesting take to the Bruins situation in allowing Claude Julien to take the head gig in Montreal, and said it all came down to money. Big surprise there. I think there was also a concern from the B’s about having another PR nightmare on their hands if it was perceived that they stepped in and didn’t allow Julien to gain employment someplace else, regardless of what waited for him in the offseason. It also tells me that the Bruins aren’t afraid of Julien coaching their arch-rivals, which makes perfect sense since they just fired him.

*For something completely different: the image of Woody Harrelson in the Falcon cockpit is both jarring and super awesome.