After playing in just 25 games last season, Boston Bruins center Marc Savard will miss the entire 2011-12 season due to lingering symptoms from several concussions sustained over the last two seasons.
“Marc Savard won’t play this year,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Globe. “Nothing has changed in our monitoring. He’ll be examined and he’ll be declared unfit to play.”
Savard emerged as one of the premier passers in the NHL during his time with the Bruins. In five years with Boston, Savard tallied 60 or more assists three times and had a career high in 2006-07 with 74 assists. In his last two seasons, Savard played in only 66 games because of injuries.
Savard suffered his first concussion in 2010 on a questionable open-ice hit delivered by Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cooke was not penalized or suspended for the hit. Savard remained sidelined for the remainder of the season but was cleared to return in the postseason.
However, symptoms recurred during the summer and Savard was again sidelined until healthy. He returned late last season only to sustain another concussion in February. With two concussions within a 10 month span, Savard was sidelined indefinitely. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup, however, Savard was not able to travel to Vancouver to see the game or partake in the celebration.
The Bruins announced that they were petitioning the NHL to have Savard’s name engraved on the Stanley Cup despite not meeting the minimum requirements.
Uncertainty now clouds the future of Savard, who still has five years remaining on his contract with Boston.
“Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I’m told, it’s very unlikely Marc will play again,” Chiarelli said. “Now, knowing the uncertainty of this injury, there’s always a chance [he could play]. But based on what I’m told, it’s very unlikely he’ll play. As an employer, I support him and hope he gets back to living a healthy life.”