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Report: Marc Savard’s season might be over

Feb 1, 2011, 5:13 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

I must admit that after hearing that Marc Savard experienced another concussion after a clean hit by Matt Hunwick, my first thought wasn’t if Savard’s season might be over. My gut reaction was that maybe it might be time to take Savard’s life into consideration and ask him to contemplate retirement.

That Hunwick hit gave him the fourth concussion of his NHL career and his second in 10 months, a troubling number as more data about head injuries filters through.

Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston reports that Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli admitted that the team already had some discussions about ending Savard’s 2010-11 season.

It’s not a done deal yet as Chiarelli said that Savard will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, but moving him to the long-term injured reserve seems like a very realistic option.

“With the time between concussions, and with the severity of the concussion [last March], and the time between when he basically stopped having concussion symptoms, [shutting him down] is certainly something you would have to consider,” Chiarelli said.

Savard suffered his most recent concussion on Jan. 22 against the Avalanche in Colorado when his head hit the bottom of the glass after a clean hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick. In fact, it was the second such hit he suffered in a week’s time after he was hit by Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland early in the third period on Jan. 15 at TD Garden.

Prior to last weekend’s All-Star break, the team decided to send him home to rest before bringing him back to Boston this week.

“There is a possibility [of shutting Savard down], but nothing has been done and you have to see how Marc is,” Chiarelli said. “Anytime you suffer a concussion, after having a severe concussion and the symptoms that he had, it is a possibility.”

Savard sat out the first 23 games of the season dealing with symptoms related to the concussion he suffered due to that Matt Cooke hit. Even when he came back, he didn’t seem like himself. He only registered 10 points in the 25 games he played this season, with a paltry -7 rating.

There is a silver lining for the team as a whole, though. If the team puts Savard on the LTIR, they can use that cap space (Savard boasts an annual cap hit of a bit more than $4 million) to bolster their lineup. The chances of the Bruins getting a rental player who is better than a healthy Savard are slim, but they might at least be able to improve their odds if the team shuts him down for the season.

  1. govtminion - Feb 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    *sigh* And I say this as a diehard B’s fan.

    Good.

    Savard is a fantastic player, he’s been a huge part of the success of the Bruins the past few years, and it’s unlikely, as the article says, that they’d bring in someone as talented as he is. That having been said, even after returning this winter he’s been pretty out of sorts, obviously not up to his usual standards we saw so much of last year prior to the Cooke hit.

    So perhaps the better way to look at it is that the Bruins won’t find someone as talented as Savard’s usual self, but replacing two goals and a -7 rating in 23 games shouldn’t be difficult. In the meantime, I hope Savard is able to come back next year fully refreshed, healthy, and ready to go again- but for whatever reason, it’s pretty clear he’s not ready to be back in the NHL at this point. Bench him, give some extra time to Seguin to compensate, and let’s get the guy healthy.

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