Marc Savard

Marc Savard wasn’t ‘fazed’ by Colin Campbell e-mails, felt amazing after morning skate

For once, Marc Savard met with reporters and one could guess that the first thing on their minds wasn’t how he was dealing with concussion symptoms.

That’s not to say that the gifted passer avoided that discussion after the Boston Bruins’ morning skate, but even if the discussion began regarding Savard’s health – and the apparent elation he felt – deep down, it’s probably safe to say they were more interested in discussing Colin (and Gregory) Campbell.

After reading Savard’s comments on the matter, it’s probably safe to break down his statements in two different ways.

A: He wasn’t bothered by the e-mails at all, really.

B: This time around, Colin Campbell might be relieved that Savard is “the biggest faker around.”

That’s because Savard downplayed the content of those e-mails, as he discussed with the press this morning.

“I have nothing against [Colin Campbell]. I think that stuff was private stuff, and I think that stuff that he was saying got interpreted in a bad way,” Savard, who noted the emails “didn’t faze” him. “It had nothing to do with the Cooke incident.

“Me and Colie got along fine,” he added. “He actually joked with me a lot. He made me feel comfortable, and I owe a lot to him. He was my first coach that I broke in with, and he gave me an opportunity. … He was great for me, and I’ve got no hard feelings against him. I think that the media should maybe take it a little bit easier on him.”

As for the idea that he is a “faker,” Savard said that he felt the comments were probably less serious than one would think, given that Campbell himself encouraged that style of play.

“I played for Colie, and I think one of the ways when I first came in the league to stay in the lineup was to draw penalties, and I think he encouraged that at the time if you asked him,” Savard said. “I think that’s what he was referring to, but it had nothing to do with the Cooke situation.”

Savard went on to say that he had “no hard feelings” toward Colin’s son and his current teammate Gregory Campbell, saying “Soupy’s a great kid” and that he cannot wait to play alongside him.

Speaking of playing, Savard spoke with media members about the fact that he feels like he “turned a corner” in his recovery from concussion problems.

Marc Savard, cleared yesterday to participate in non-contact practice, wheeled around the TD Garden ice during the morning skate with his teammates. After the session, even following some conditioning work, Savard was all smiles about the skate he had just powered through.

“It felt unbelievable,” Savard said. “It’s been a long time. It’s pretty special to make it to this step. Hopefully I’ll gradually feel better and go from there.”

Savard said he turned a corner approximately two or three weeks ago. Savard has been symptom-free in that time period. Savard credited his teammates, the Bruins’ staff, and fans for helping him overcome his postconcussion syndrome.

All that being said, Savard isn’t all the way there yet. He hasn’t been cleared for contact and – as Fluto Shinzawa noted – said that he isn’t even in “training camp form” yet. So it will be a while before Savard suits up for the Bruins again, but it looks like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

And, at least from Savard’s end, the NHL won’t have to worry about a PR nightmare once he reaches that point.

Matthews to sit out preseason tilt versus Sabres, as Maple Leafs give him ‘a little break’

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
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The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.

“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.

“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”

(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)

On a night when the No. 2 overall selection Patrik Laine is slated to make his preseason debut for the Winnipeg Jets, fans wishing to see Matthews don a Maple Leafs jersey in his anticipated debut will have to wait.

Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.

The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.

McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious

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It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.

The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.

He left the game and didn’t return.

Good news, however, from the Oilers: Head coach Todd McLellan told reporters on Friday that the injury — lower body — is not serious, as per the team’s Twitter account.

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the 28-year-old Maroon is expected to be ready for Edmonton’s season opener against the rival Calgary Flames on Oct. 12.

The Oilers acquired Maroon at last season’s trade deadline, a move that certainly added size and an element of grit to their group of forwards.

In 16 games with Edmonton, he scored eight goals and 14 points. In 56 games with Anaheim that same season, he registered only 13 points before the trade.

Patrik Laine to make highly anticipated preseason debut for Jets

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Patrik Laine gives an interview after being selected second by the Winnepeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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Anticipation has been building since the Winnipeg Jets officially took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

On Friday, Laine, the highly coveted Finnish forward, will make his preseason debut for the Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, as the home fans get the chance to take in the occasion.

The Jets have done a nice job of amassing good young forwards in their organization. Laine, who has the gifts to be a prolific scorer in the NHL, is at the top of that prospect list.

Winnipeg’s roster tonight also includes forward prospects Kyle Connor, Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev, not to mention more NHL experienced forwards like Alex Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

Laine enters this season with high expectations placed on him from fans and media, after coming to the NHL following a standout career in Finland as a teenager. He’s aware of the expectations, but toned down the hype with the usual statements of just playing his game.

“Just be brave on the ice and show everybody I will earn my spot on the team,” he told reporters.

Laine has already seen game action this month. Not with the Jets, but with Finland’s entry at the World Cup of Hockey.

Following offseason knee surgery, Laine wasn’t happy with his performance in Finland’s first pre-tournament game. In three tournament games, Laine failed to register a point, despite a team-best 10 shots on goal, as Finland was quickly eliminated in the round robin.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Patrik Laine

Murray: Ristolainen’s good-faith gesture unlikely to sway talks with Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tells The Associated Press he doesn’t believe defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen‘s decision to join the team for practice without a contract will have any effect on thawing negotiations.

With a big laugh, Murray on Friday said the only way Ristolainen could speed up contract talks is if “he got all lovey-dovey” and elected to take the Sabres’ latest offer.

Ristolainen is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. After representing Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, Ristolainen reported to the Sabres on Thursday in what was regarded as a sign of good faith.

Though he’s not allowed to play because he’s not under contract, Ristolainen is practicing with the team and also taking part in meetings. Ristolainen is not making himself available to reporters.

Murray says he didn’t see anything wrong with allowing Ristolainen to practice, saying he’d rather the player be in Buffalo than working out elsewhere.

Murray says the two sides are still negotiating.

In three seasons, Buffalo’s 2013 first-round draft pick has established himself as the Sabres’ top defenseman. Last year, Ristolainen led the team in averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, and led Buffalo defensemen with 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists).