Thanks to strong work down the middle from the likes of David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley, the Boston Bruins were able to win the 2011 Stanley Cup without star center Marc Savard. While it’s unclear if the concussion-wracked forward will get his name on the Cup, he will enjoy a day with the silver chalice on Monday.
The bigger question is: when will he enjoy a few days without concussion symptoms? The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa provides an update on Savard’s condition from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli that really isn’t much of an update at all: not much has changed. He’s still dealing with headaches related to post-concussion syndrome. Shinzawa reports that the gifted playmaker won’t participate in Bruins training camp in September unless there is “an immediate turnaround in his condition.”
Once again, you have to wonder if Savard’s career will sadly be cut short. He suffered two concussions in a dangerously close span to get to this point. The first was probably the biggest, as Matt Cooke devastated him with a highly controversial check in March 2010 while former Bruin Matt Hunwick’s hit gave him another concussion in January 2011. Savard hasn’t played since and there’s reason to believe that he won’t play again.
Things just haven’t been right the last two seasons, with Savard scoring just 10 points in 25 games in 2010-11 and 33 in 41 during the 09-10 campaign. The four prior seasons showed what the sublime passer can be capable of with strong linemates and good health, though. Savard scored 97 points in his last season with Atlanta then continued to light up the league with the Bruins, scoring 96 in 06-07, 78 in 07-08 and 88 in 08-09.
As sad as it would be to see a talented player hang up his skates too soon, it might end up being the best thing for Savard as a person. It seemed like he paid the price for a hasty return with that Hunwick concussion, although maybe it was another case of bad luck.
Hopefully Savard enjoys his day with the Cup and eventually a clean bill of health, whether that means the end of his playing days or not.