With Kovalchuk signed, has Marc Savard's future in Boston changed?

Savard3.jpgWe’ve speculated since before Ilya Kovalchuk signed that perhaps once he did get his name on the dotted line that action in both the free agent and trade markets would pick up and things would get interesting once again. One of the names that floated around in trade speculation before the start of free agency was Boston’s Marc Savard. With Ilya back in New Jersey, James Murphy of ESPN Boston looked into things to see if perhaps interest in the Bruins center was reinvigorated.

The Internet then buzzed with talk of other deals, including a possible Savard trade, that could follow soon. It was all pure speculation, but according to numerous sources around the NHL, more teams could inquire about the center that the Bruins reportedly have explored trading to gain some salary cap space (currently $587,229).

Savard, who is signed for six more seasons with an average annual cap hit of $4 million, reportedly has a no-movement clause that will allow him to be dealt only to the Ottawa Senators or Toronto Maple Leafs. But that doesn’t mean other teams can’t inquire about the pivot who led the Bruins in scoring in three of his first four seasons with the team.

“There’s teams that will want to explore what it would take to get him,” one NHL source said late Monday. “Yes, he has to waive the no-movement, but I’m sure from what I’ve been told he will at least look at other options.”

There is growing sentiment around the Bruins organization that Savard will be sporting the spoked B when the team opens its season, and another league source said Monday that he expected that to be the case unless the Bruins could deal Savard to a Western Conference team.

In an odd twist of fate, and one that isn’t entirely unsurprising given Savard’s no-trade clause and apparent limited wish list of places he’d like to go, all Ilya Kovalchuk’s signing did for Marc Savard was to ensure that Savard would almost certainly remain a Boston Bruin. Certainly keeping Savard and his offensive output are crucial to the immediate future of the Bruins success in the Eastern Conference. With how the Penguins, Flyers and Devils have all loaded up in a Cold War-esque brand of arms race, those teams as well as the Washington Capitals show that getting through the Eastern Conference will not be simple.

That said, Simon Gagne’s story yesterday told us that sometimes no-trade clauses are meant to be broken so a team can function in a fiscally feasible manner. While players do have some control over where they want to go, sometimes all it takes is a phone call from an interested general manager to convince a player that they might be a better fit for their team.

Scroll Down For:

    Holtby ‘wasn’t as sharp as he can be,’ says Trotz

    4 Comments

    Presidents’ Trophy winners once again in the regular season, the Capitals once again face an uphill climb if they are to advance beyond the rival Penguins and the second round of the playoffs.

    What began with a strong first period for the Capitals in Game 2, albeit without a reward on the score board, faded into a frustrating 6-2 rout, as the Penguins took a commanding 2-0 series lead as it shifts back to Pittsburgh for a pivotal Game 3 on Monday.

    Braden Holtby was pulled after the second period. He gave up three goals on 14 shots, while his opponent at the other end, Marc-Andre Fleury was brilliant with 34 saves.

    “He’ll tell you that he can be better. He’s a straight up guy and he will be. I was just trying to change the mojo,” said Capitals coach Barry Trotz of his decision to sit Holtby.

    “I thought some of the goals, he wasn’t as sharp as he can be for us. He’s a game-changer for us. So when he didn’t change the game, I just looked to change the mojo a little bit there. That’s all. Braden’s our backbone. He has been all year. We’ve got to find some goals for him, too. We can’t just put it on Braden Holtby.”

    Now in a deep but not insurmountable hole against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Capitals reportedly held a players’ only meeting following this latest defeat.

    After failing to open the scoring in an otherwise dominant first period, Washington surrendered three goals in the second, as the Penguins broke it wide open with their transition game, led by two great plays from Sidney Crosby.

    “We can’t get frustrated. I think that would be our biggest mistake is to get frustrated right now,” said T.J. Oshie, before expanding on the meeting between the players.

    “It was things that people need to say and things that some people need to hear. We were very together with what we said. I don’t need to go into details. Sometimes in our game … you need to hear from your teammates more than your coach. And tonight was one of those nights.

    “It was the players in here and what was said is what needed to be said.”

    We’ll find out Monday if what was said actually has any impact on the ice.

    Penguins rout Capitals to take commanding series lead

    19 Comments

    The Washington Capitals are in trouble. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Again.

    Despite a dominant first period, at least in terms of shots on Marc-Andre Fleury and puck possession, the Capitals saw this game go sideways in a hurry during the second period, on the way to a 6-2 loss to the Penguins in Game 2.

    Washington is now in quite a hole, trailing its nemesis 2-0 in this second-round series.

    Last year, Matt Murray stymied the Capitals. Though it’s only been two games this year, Fleury has stepped up in the absence of the injured Murray and given the Penguins solid goaltending and frustrated a dangerous Capitals lineup.

    After withstanding the storm of pressure from the Capitals in the first period, the Penguins broke this game open with a trio of second-period goals. It started with a shorthanded goal from Matt Cullen, and later continued with a beautiful goal from Phil Kessel and then Jake Guentzel‘s sixth goal of these playoffs.

    That led Barry Trotz to take Braden Holtby out of the game, after he gave up three goals on 14 shots, putting in Phillip Grubauer to begin the third period. The Penguins continued the onslaught.

    For the Penguins, there are some injury concerns to keep an eye on.

    Patric Hornqvist left the game in the first period after blocking a shot around his foot or ankle. He didn’t return. Ron Hainsey had to go to the locker room late in the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin shot up around the head.

    Game 3 goes Monday in Pittsburgh.

    ‘I wasn’t good enough,’ says Lundqvist after double OT loss to Senators

    3 Comments

    The task wasn’t impossible, but certainly daunting.

    The Ottawa Senators needed five goals on Henrik Lundqvist just to send Game 2 into overtime.

    The Rangers goalie had been spectacular for most of this post-season entering Saturday’s contest, but the Senators, led by a sensational four-goal performance from Jean-Gabriel Pageau, found a way to break through for a 6-5 double overtime win to take a 2-0 series lead against New York.

    They did so on just 34 shots through almost 83 minutes against Lundqvist.

    “I wasn’t good enough,” said Lundqvist, per the New York Daily News. “Coming up with the extra save there in the end, that’s my job. Even though it’s tough plays on deflections, I’ve got to find a way.”

    On three occasions, the Rangers held a two-goal lead. That includes with under five minutes remaining in regulation. They even had a pair of shorthanded goals. But they couldn’t hang on, as Pageau scored twice in the final 3:19 of regulation to record his hat trick.

    That set the stage for the eventual winner, as he beat Lundqvist over the left shoulder with a shot from his off-wing on a two-on-one rush.

    With the Senators in control, the series returns to New York for Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Thursday.

    “We played well enough to win this game, there’s no question about it,” said Lundqvist. “It’s really tough to lose this one. Clearly they’ve gotten the bounces here in the first two games.”

    Capitals’ Holtby begins third period on the bench, Grubauer takes over in net

    Getty
    5 Comments

    Braden Holtby began the third period of Saturday’s Game 2 on the bench, giving way to Philipp Grubauer.

    The Washington Capitals fell behind the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 after two periods, with Holtby allowing three goals on just 14 shots. It will be interesting to hear the reason for this decision from coach Barry Trotz following the game.

    The Capitals had dominated on the shot clock, but gave up a pair of quick goals to fall further behind Pittsburgh in this game, while trailing in the series 1-0.

    Phil Kessel — on a great play from Sidney Crosby — and Jake Guentzel scored 3:10 apart to give Pittsburgh a two-goal lead.