The Blues announced an exciting addition to their coaching staff today in the hiring of Marc Savard. Savard’s been working with the Peterborough Petes and played with Blues head coach Craig Berube during their time with the Calgary Flames.
As a player, Savard was an explosive talent for every team that he played for. Over 13 seasons and time spent with the Rangers, Flames, Thrashers, and Bruins, Savard netted 706 points (207 goals, 499 assists) in 807 career games. In his one year spent with the Thrashers, he tallied career totals in goals (28) and points (97) before being traded in the offseason to the Boston Bruins.
With the Bruins, Savard unfortunately suffered a grade two concussion in 2010 due to a high head hit from Matt Cooke.
Due to this hit, he missed the first 23 games of the 2010-2011 season. On January 23rd of 2011, Savard suffered his second concussion in less than a year due to a hit from Matt Hunwick, and did not return to the ice. The Bruins did, however, successfully petition for his name to be on the Stanley Cup.
Savard suffered from concussion related injuries for years after the second concussion, but did not formally retire from hockey until January of last season. Savard recounted his medical issues in a Players’ Tribune piece in 2017:
I spent months and months seeing so many different doctors and seeking so many different opinions, but I always got the same answer: It’s over. You just have to rest and wait for things to get better.
Things have gotten better for Savard. With the announcement of his addition to the Blues’ coaching staff, he joins a recent Stanley Cup champion with an occasional power play problem. Savard will be able to add his input in how to fix that. From the Post-Dispatch:
“I was a power play guy for sure in my playing days, me and Craig (Berube) had many many discussions,” Savard said. “I have some philosophies and I’ve been able to watch a lot of hockey, day in day out, and picked up a lot of stuff, what works, what doesn’t, I can bring a lot of adjustments, new looks, fresh looks. Different options, great pieces.”
He coughs up the Blues lack of postseason power play success to gripping the sticks, which is a fair description of how the power play went during the playoffs.
The most exciting part about Savard taking over the power play is the opportunity for the former center and playmaker to work with current center and playmaker Ryan O’Reilly. The second most exciting aspect of this signing is Vladmir Tarasenko being the beneficiary of Savard working with O’Reilly, who is already an A+ center.
It would be surprising to see the power play stumble down the stretch and postseason next season under the tutelage of Savard.