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Marc Savard speaks out about dealing with post-concussion syndrome

Sep 25, 2010, 11:59 AM EDT

marcsavard5.jpgBoston Bruins star Marc Savard took time out this morning to speak with media about the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome that he’s dealing with.  Savard being sidelined comes as a surprise to most fans because he returned to the Bruins lineup during the playoffs, yet now he’s not even skating with the team and there’s no timetable set for when he will return.

An anonymous report on Tuesday said that it was possible Savard could miss the season because of post-concussion syndrome, but the Bruins denied that and wanted to clear the air today. Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe gets the word on how bad off Marc Savard is.

”I think everything you just summed up there,” said Savard, when a Globe reporter asked if he were dealing with nausea, headache, dizziness, seeing spots, depression, among the more common issues related to concussions and often PCS. “I’ve had issues with everything so far, so….like I said, I have to see the doctors, get the help that I need and go from there.”

On follow-up, when asked which of the symptoms he finds hardest to deal with, Savard noted depression.

”Oh, probably the depression part,” he said, his tone noticeably somber, his emotions clearly stirred. ”That’s probably the toughest, so….that’s it.”

With that kind of laundry list of symptoms he’s still dealing with, the question then comes into play (at least it should) about whether or not he was dealing with these effects when he suited up against the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs last season. As it turns out, he most certainly was.

”I had huge fatigue problems during [the Flyer} series,'' he said. ''Especially when [David Krejci] got hurt…I think it was Game 4 that I played 27 minutes. I pretty much should have been sitting [in the press box] after that….I didn’t have anything left.”

In conversations with a doctor, said Savard, he was made aware again that head injuries differ dramatically from, say, a knee injury.

”I guess with your brain and your head,” said Savard, again noting what maybe was a premature return to the lineup in May, ”that probably wasn’t the best thing to do.”

Analyzing and diagnosing problems and other effects of post-concussion syndrome is a slowly evolving science and one that many physicians still aren’t totally sure about. That said, given how violent Savard’s injury was at the hands of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke and given the severity of the injury itself (initially diagnosed as a Grade 2 concussion) more care should have been taken to ensure Savard’s well-being on the ice.

After all, it was just over a month of action that Savard missed and while in our minds that seems like a fair amount of time to be out, the pressure of wanting to help your team in the playoffs coupled with the desire to get back on the ice anyhow can cloud everyone’s better judgment.

The latest updates from Savard on how he’s doing should be a warning flag for physicians that they need to better evaluate their means of making sure a player is cleared to play again because this only makes us look back on the decision on clearing him to play look extremely reckless.

  1. MATTHEWS 4 - Sep 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Matt Cooke should be suspended until Savard returns. If he wasn’t on Cindy Crybaby’s team things would be different. Why cant the new rule grandfather him in like they did with all of the front loaded contracts. He is everything that is wrong with hockey. If there was not sissy instigator rule players wouldn’t take such liberties on star players. If this happened to crybaby or Alex the great, the guilty party would be expelled from the NHL. On behalf of Savard thanks Gary for the rule that allows dirty players to take liberties, with no retribution from the players.

  2. StakeX - Sep 26, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    This incident really should have hailed the removal of Gettman and Colin Camble from the NHL. It was a slap in the face to Savard, the Bruins, and the league as a whole when they balked on suspending Cooke, when many players have been suspended for FARRRRR less. What about Sean Avery being suspended SIX games for an off ice comment he made that had nothing to do with hockey? Or the very recent one game suspension for a non-obseen hand gesture? How about the two Ovechkin suspensions that were very very qestionable?
    Yet Bettman simply looked the other way on this one and hid behind the rule book, claiming there was nothing he could do. That was total BS. If you can suspend a player for an off hand remark he made about his ex-girlfriend, I’m pretty damn sure the “intent to injur” rule could have been applied in this case… or even make a special ruleing due to the serious injury inflicted. The NHL has never had a problem making up rules on the fly before as we saw with “The Avery Rule”. He came up with something that was perhaps under handed, yet legal… and the NEXT DAY the league made a new rule and what he did was illegal THE NEXT NIGHT (In case you can’t tell, Bettman has no trouble un-justly throwing the book at a guy he absolutely hates… like Avery). Yet the league refuses to suspend a player who deliberatly hit another play in the head, on a cheap ass blind side hit, and possibly ended the guys career… and people wonder when I say the NHL has very little integrity.
    Perhaps its becasue Gary Bettman goes home every night and hopes and prays that Pittsburgh wins the cup. He has made it clear they are his poster child, and it would have looked terrible to suspend one of their players for the rest of the season (or longer). That might be a stretch, but given the circumstances you find a better reason why Cooke was not suspended indefinatly… and becasue “It wasn’t a rule!” is not even close to a good enough explination.

  3. Mark199 - Sep 26, 2010 at 6:28 AM

    Bottom line is Savard can not take a hit, blind side or not. Savard should start look into coaching or something with less contact-maybe golf. At least that way we can move past this overly hyped injury. I mean how long can they/he drag this out?? Savard seemed to be playing just fine in the playoffs. Or maybe the NHL should just take checking out of the game altogether-riiiiigggghhhhht!!

  4. Adrian - Sep 26, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Savard is actually hurt here, He shouldnt of played in the playoffs but he knew how much he meant to the team and making a cup run. It took Patrice Bergeron over a year to come back from his concussion and same With Andy Mcdonald (mighty ducks/blues) these injuries need a lot of time to heal, and thats why hits to the head need to be banned and your comment mark is really insulting cause if you saw the hit on Savard you might actually be “WOW that was a vicious hit.” Matt Cookes Elbow took out Savard, he was strapped into a strecher and couldnt move when it happened, Cooke should still be suspended for that hit.
    THERE IS NO PLACE IN SPORTS FOR INTENTIONAL INJURIES AND DELIBERATELY DIRTY HITS AIMED TO THE HEAD, MARK199 YOU ARE A CHUMP, I hope if you ever play hockey that someone 75 lbs and 6 inches taller than you sprint full speed and hit you as hard as they can in the back of your head with there elbow and then talk about how much a wimp Savard is.

  5. john ericson - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    you have no idea what its like you scrub. easy for you to say hiding behind your computer. this postconcussion stuff is serious business that not many people know about unless you’ve been through it. your no NHLer, get a life.

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