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Can the Bruins survive without Marc Savard?

Jul 14, 2010, 9:35 AM EDT

Savard6.jpgWe’ve talked here plenty about the trade rumors that have swirled around Bruins center Marc Savard and how this could work for the Bruins. The Bruins are searching for cap space and people have grumbled about how Savard is a bit of a handful to deal with in the locker room. But what about his presence on the ice?  He’s a high-scoring centerman on a team that can’t throw the puck in the ocean at times and lopping that off of any roster, especially one that struggles scoring, can make life more than difficult.

Sure the Bruins can win games by keeping the other team off the board just fine and skirting by with one or two goals, but is that something you really want to bank on doing game in and game out in the “new” NHL? Rory Boylen of The Hockey News doesn’t think so.

There are six teams whose best point-producer made less than Savard last season and was no higher than the fifth-highest paid player on the team: Derek Roy’s $4 million in Buffalo; Stephen Weiss’ $3.1 million in Florida; Mikko Koivu’s $3.25 million in Minnesota; Patric Hornqvist’s entry level salary in Nashville; Zach Parise’s $3.125 million in New Jersey; and Steven Stamkos’ $3.725 million in Tampa Bay.

With Hornqvist an RFA this off-season, Parise and Stamkos RFAs next off-season and Koivu set to be a UFA next summer as well, all the best players on this list will soon be making more than Savard, who won’t see a new contract until 2017. And would you take Roy or Weiss over ‘Savvy’? Heck no.

An interesting point made there for sure, but every single one of those players is younger than Savard. Sure, they’re paid less and likely due raises but they’d be worth it given that they’re anywhere from 23-27 years-old while Savard is 32. Paying $4 million for a player at the start of the peak of his career makes a lot more sense than it does for a guy that is 32 and coming off a very serious concussion.

Where Boylen doesn’t miss the mark is on how the Bruins lines set up with and without Savard. Without him in the lineup, things get a bit hairy.

WITH SAVARD
Sturm – Savard – Horton
Lucic – Krejci – Recchi
Wheeler – Bergeron – Seguin

• Even without Wheeler, this top three looks tough.

WITHOUT SAVARD
Sturm – Krejci – Horton
Lucic – Bergeron – Recchi
Wheeler – Seguin – Ryder

Of course, Marco Sturm is out until at least November after suffering another severe knee injury in the playoffs. Blake Wheeler is an unsigned RFA and Mark Recchi is approximately the same age as Abraham Lincoln. The Bruins lineup without Savard (and without Sturm for two to three months) is startlingly iffy. The guy that could be the key here for an offensive punch is none other than 2010 first-round pick Tyler Seguin.

No pressure kid.

  1. Bryan - Jul 14, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I am praying they do not trade Savard. Trade Ryder or don’t bring back Wheeler. I think the Bruins have a shot at the cup this year, and keeping Savard is a big part of that. I am sure Seguin will be an impact player this year, but as of right now, he is a young, unproven NHL player and I dont want to see that much pressure put on him. If we can somehow move Ryder’s 4mil, that will free up enough room to get Seguin signed and probably Wheeler as well. It may even give the B’s enough room to go after a FA like Lee Stempniak or Ponikarosky…with Sturm out, our LW looks bleak with Lucic, Paille and Thornton.
    Would anyone take on Ryder’s contract? Perhaps a team like Atlanta that is rebuilding and would want an expiring contract. Maybe even FLA or TB.

  2. Black and Gold - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    If Marc Savard is traded, I will be outraged. He sets up plays like I have never seen. He is clutch. He is a smart player that makes smart decisions on the ice. This team needs him, the fans need him. Period. Don’t trade this guy.

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