The good news is piling up now for the Boston Bruins and Marc Savard. Today, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced that concussion-addled star center Marc Savard has passed his latest set of tests and is cleared for contact. The Bruins released this statement today on Savard’s status:
“Today Marc passed the tests administered by Dr. Micky Collins from the Sports Medicine department at UPMC, and is now cleared for contact. Marc will rejoin the team tomorrow for morning skate in Florida. There is no time-table at this time for Marc to start playing games.”
Obviously the Bruins aren’t going to rush Savard back to the ice. Savard helping to rush himself back last year during the playoffs turned out to be a mistake and helped to set him back going into this season. The Bruins are playing well and there’s no rush to get Savard going right now, but it’s clear that if the team is going to contend for a Stanley Cup they’re going to need him in the lineup and producing. Making sure he’s 100% ready to come back is their priority and it’s a good thing as the Bruins are going to have some serious salary cap-related moves to make soon. Marco Sturm (knee surgery) is also close to returning as well and with their combined salaries, the Bruins will have to clear a lot of space to play them.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.