The Bruins are set to open up camp in a few weeks and begin the defense of their Stanley Cup Title; they will do so without star center Marc Savard.
Yesterday Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement that Savard would miss the entire 2011-12 season due to post-concussion syndrome that he is still suffering from. It’s very likely that Savard’s career sadly may be over.
“Marc Savard won’t play this year; nothing has changed in our monitoring. He’ll be examined and he’ll be declared unfit to play” said Chiarelli.
Savard has not been the same since suffering a severe concussion on March 7, 2010 after a vicious blindside hit from Penguins forward Matt Cooke. After the hit Savard sat out the rest of the regular season, and all six games of the opening playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres. Savard returned for the series against the Flyers and played in all seven games, it was later deemed that Savard came back too soon and was still suffering from the hit.
No. 91 sat out the first two months of the 2010-11 season and made his return to the ice on December 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 24 games later Savard suffered another concussion after an awkward, but clean hit from former Bruins defensemen Matt Hunwick. Savard missed the remainder of the season, and the entire playoff run that resulted in the Bruins first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972.
The Bruins signed Savard to a four-year $20 million deal in the summer of 2006. In the winter of 2009, the two sides came to terms on a seven-year $28 Million extension that has him signed through the 2016-17 season.
In five seasons with the Bruins Savard registered 74 goals, and added 231 assists. If this is the end of his playing career, Savard will finish one assist shy of 500 for his career.
Savard will spend the 2011-12 season on Long Term Injured Reserved, clearing the Bruins of the the $4 Million cap hit Savard would of taken up this season. If Savard does retire he no longer will be able to collect his remaining salary.
Despite playing in 25 regular season games, and missing the entire playoffs, Savard’s name will be engraved into the Stanley Cup.