We’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.