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Marc Savard joins Blues as assistant coach

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Craig Berube will have a new face next to him on the St. Louis Blues’ bench this coming season. Longtime NHLer Marc Savard has been hired as an assistant coach to work mainly on the power play.

“I was fortunate to play with Marc during my career and I’m very familiar with his passion and acumen for the game,” said Berube, who played two seasons in Calgary with Savard. “He was a tremendous player and possesses an elite offensive mind. His addition to our staff will be a great benefit to our players and the organization.”

Savard, 42, last played in the NHL in 2010 as concussions ended his playing career. He officially retired in Jan. 2018 and made it known that in his post-playing days he wanted to get into the coaching world. He had been involved in coaching his sons in Triple A hockey, but landing a gig in junior or pro hockey was his goal. After spending the 2018-19 season working for Sportsnet on television and radio, he’ll be behind the bench with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

[Savard ready to take coaching experience to the next level]

Speaking to NBC Sports after his retirement announcement last year, Savard pointed to former Atlanta Thrashers head coach Bob Hartley as a big influence on his coaching spirit.

“He really gave me the opportunity to be the best I could be,” Savard said. “The first day he came in we had a meeting and he told me flat out that he was going to give me a great opportunity. Everything worked out excellent from there and I owe a lot to him.”

When he wasn’t working on TV or radio, Savard took up a side project showing fans the tape jobs of various NHL players on his YouTube channel, which has nearly 15,000 subscribers. No word yet if that will continue, but if it does he certainly won’t be short on acquiring sticks to use to show viewers.

Savard played 807 NHL games with the Flames, Thrashers, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins. He finished with 207 goals, 706 points and one Stanley Cup ring.

MORE: Marc Savard and the art of taping your hockey stick

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Dvorak retires after 18 NHL seasons

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After 18 seasons and 1,260 NHL games Radek Dvorak announced his retirement Tuesday.

Originally the Florida Panthers’ first-round selection (10th overall) in 1995, Dvorak scored 227 goals and 590 points during his career.

The 37-year-old also spent time with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It was an honor for me to play in the best league in the world for 18 seasons,” said Dvorak in a statement. “I would like to thank to all the organizations, coaches and teammates I played for or with.

“Also, thank you to my parents, wife and kids who have always supported me and helped me throughout my whole career. At last I would like to thank to my fans who believed in and followed me all these years.”

A native of Tabor, Czech Republic, Dvorak last played in the NHL during the 2013-14 season appearing in 60 games with the Carolina Hurricanes scoring four goals and nine points.

Related: Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM

Report: Sopel to attend AHL camp in Chicago

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According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel is back in Chicago attending camp with the American Hockey League’s Wolves.

Sopel, who won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, spent the past three seasons in the KHL with Metallurg and Salavat Yulaev.

Originally a sixth-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 1995, Sopel has 218 points in 659 career NHL games.

In addition to the Canucks and Blackhawks, Sopel spent time with the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens.

The Wolves’ camp begins Monday.

Report: Bruins’ Marc Savard to join Ottawa 67’s

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It appears Marc Savard has found his next job.

The Boston Bruins forward, who remains on long-term injured reserved with the NHL club, is set to join the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s as a scout.

The report comes from XM Radio’s Chris Stevenson:

Savard has not played since suffering a concussion on a hit from Matt Hunwick of the Colorado Avalanche in January 2011.

It was his second concussion after he received a blindsided head shot from, then Penguins forward, Matt Cooke in March 2010.

The 37-year-old has missed the past three seasons with post-concussion syndrome.

According to CapGeek, Savard is scheduled to make $2.65 million in final three seasons of his seven-year, $28 million contract, which kicked in during the 2010-11 season.

The former fourth-round pick of the New York Rangers has 207 goals and 706 points in 807 games with the Rangers, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Bruins.

Related: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli says Marc Savard won’t play this year and might not ever play again

Jets can’t shake their Thrasher ways, apparently

We wrote last week about how the Winnipeg Jets weren’t ready to blow up their roster…yet.

Now one writer is suggesting something entirely different: De-Atlantize it.

Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press suggested this in today’s column, “Death to the Thrashers and their low standards“. In it, he writes that Winnipeg management and players “have seen enough of the Thrashers’ way of doing things and are now intent on eliminating any remaining DNA.”

This would probably explain Noel’s cryptic comments from last week. “This is not what we’re going to be about,” “It’s not going to get shaped this way,” “This is not what I want” — soundbites that raised plenty of eyebrows across the league. They were the words of a man not just looking to ship out bodies. They were the words of a man that wanted a culture change, and probably wanted it 17 games ago.

To that end, the Jets called up Jason Jaffray from the St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday. A career minor-leaguer that’s logged time in the hockey hotbeds of Roanoke, Norfolk, Wheeling, Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton and Cleveland, Jaffray’s had very few cups of NHL coffee.

The idea behind the move is clear.

“There’s a reason old-timers will tell you every player should spend some time on the farm and it’s because it teaches them to never take their spot in the NHL for granted,” Lawless writes. “Jaffray has had to claw for the 36 games he’s spent in the NHL over a 10-year career that saw him start in the ECHL. Jaffray won’t take a shift, a practice or workout off. He can’t if he wants to stick around and put NHL dollars in the bank.”

The message: “See how hard this guy’s working to be here? That’s how hard you should be working.”

Who it’s directed at? Probably everyone, though some Jets more than others: Dustin Byfuglien (team-worst minus-7), Blake Wheeler (zero goals), Bryan Little (five points in 17 games) and Johnny Oduya (the human turnover machine) are safe guesses.