Via Twitter on Monday, Marc Savard acknowledged the reality that everybody in the Bruins organization has accepted: The center’s NHL career is most likely over.
“For the fans that keep asking me, there is no comeback in the foreseeable future,” Savard posted. “I miss the game. It has given me everything I have today.”
The playmaking center has appeared in 807 career games with Boston, Atlanta, Calgary, and the Rangers. Savard has 207 goals and 499 assists. When healthy with the Bruins, Savard was considered the No. 1 center and power-play quarterback, primarily stationed at the right-side half-boards.
Savard hasn’t played since Jan. 22, 2011. That day at Colorado’s Pepsi Center, Savard suffered a concussion when he was hit by ex-Bruin Matt Hunwick.
Savard had suffered previous concussions, none more wicked than the one Matt Cooke delivered on March 7, 2010. Savard returned from the Cooke head shot in the second round of the playoffs that year, appearing in all seven games of the semifinal series against Philadelphia.
The following summer, Savard suffered a recurrence of post-concussion syndrome. His symptoms included headaches, depression, memory loss, and fatigue. Savard didn’t play until Dec. 2, 2010.
That the 35-year-old Savard continues to be bothered by post-concussion syndrome indicates the severity of his head trauma. It’s possible Savard’s symptoms — he complained recently of headaches — could wane, allowing him to work out and skate. However, it is unlikely that any doctor would clear Savard for NHL game play given his concussion history.
Savard lives in Peterborough, Ontario. Last year, he helped coach his son Zachary’s pee wee team. In January, Savard launched a program at TD Garden to benefit Children’s Hospital pediatric patients with head trauma. Through 2013-14, patients are eligible to attend every Bruins home game in a Garden suite that Savard purchased.
As an injured player, Savard is eligible to collect his full salary during the lockout. He earns $4,007,143 annually through 2016-17. If Savard officially retires, he is not eligible to collect the rest of his salary.