Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Savard Out For The Year....And Maybe Longer

We all received the unfortunate news today that Bruins center Marc Savard will not play in the 2011-2012 NHL season. Even though Savard has not yet been examined by doctors, he is still suffering from post-concussion syndrome. He is also not expected to attend Bruins camp when it opens up on September 16th.

I recently published a blog post about the possible proposal that Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli offered to the veteran. Savard will be placed on long term injured reserve in order to collect the money on his contract. His contract ends after the 2016-2017 season. Now this offer will only take place if Savard does not retire. However, after the latest news that broke today it does not look like that he will ever play hockey again.

With that being said, the absence of Savard will end certain debates about who will play on what line. There would have been serious debate about where he would play if he came back: would he have resumed his role as the first-line center? Would he have played as a winger like he did in the 2009-2010 playoffs? Would he have been a center on a different line? All very debatable questions, but those questions generate answers to other questions: the first line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic will remain intact, Tyler Seguin will see playing time on the second line, and Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron will battle for the final roster spot.

If Savard's career is over, here is a look at what his final stats look like: 807 career games with 207 goals and 499 assists for a total of 706 points. At 34 years old, it must be difficult for him to come to the realization that he cannot play anymore when he know that he still can.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nathan Horton Is "Symptom-Free"

Boston Bruins winger Nathan Horton has not experienced any setbacks in regards to his concussion he suffered in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. The concussion was deemed to be severe, the same level of concussion that sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby for the second half of last season. Horton believes that he is symptom-free and he will be ready to partake in training camp when it opens in a couple of weeks.

Horton also has strong feelings about the hit itself and the individual who delivered it. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome, whoever the hell that is, unleashed the border-line hit to Horton's head as he was skating across the blue line. He was suspended for the remaining four games of the playoffs, a trade that Vancouver was willing to make since Horton was one of the Bruins top goal scorers and he would also be missing the remaining games due to the injury.

It was reported that Rome shot a text over to Horton apologizing for the hit. Horton was not buying it as he believes that a little bit more respect should be shown than a text message. Either way, Horton has already started his workouts but he has yet to take the ice. It was right around this time last year when Marc Savard started to feel the post-concussion syndrome. Hopefully the same will not occur with Horton.

Mark the date: Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at 1:00pm....the Canucks return to the TD Garden to take on the Bruins. Considering all of the crap that the Canucks pulled in that playoff series, they better watch out. The Bruins remained disciplined and took the Cup home. This will be the game for some payback. I am pretty sure this will be an interesting game, but that is just one guy's opinion.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Look To The Cage

The NHL will be testing out brand new nets as early as the preseason. The dimensions will not change (6ft x 4ft), but the deepness of the net will be altered. The new design will test out a goal that is 40 inches deep as opposed to 44 inches and it will also feature a clear plastic top and a verification line 3 inches behind the goal line. All of these changes, according to the NHL, will be better suited for video replay review. In fact, a high-definition camera will be inserted into the plastic top of the net. Several teams have already approved this new change.

The above was league news. The following will be related directly to the Bruins. Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo now regrets making those comments regarding Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas during the Stanley Cup Finals. Luongo made a comment about how Thomas' playing style of "living on the edge" would be costly and that he would have made a save on a shot that Thomas allowed a goal. Would Luongo be saying these comments if the Canucks won the Stanley Cup? Very doubtful. We should all take his comments with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Updates Regarding Chara, Savard, and Marchand

I know that it has been a while since my last entry. It has been frustrating for me just sitting and waiting for some updates to occur within the Bruins organization. I figured I would just touch upon some ongoing stories at this point in time.

The Montreal Police Department just recently completed their investigation of Zdeno Chara's hit on Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty in March. Now we await for the ruling. With all due respect to the Montreal Police Department, do they not have anything better to do? We all know that nothing will come of this, especially since the league issued no fine or suspension for the big man. Even though Pacioretty was disappointed that the league did not take any action, he went on record saying that he does not want any criminal charges pressed against Chara.

The issue regarding Marc Savard is an interesting one. Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli told the media that he hopes to keep Savard on the roster for the remainder of his contract. His contract will expire after the 2016-2017 season and he will be making an annual $4 million. Now here is where the story gets compelling: if he retires then he will forfeit his contract. Chiarelli is prepared to keep him on the roster and place him on long term injured reserve in order for him to get his money.

This puts less pressure on Savard to return this season. He could take his time in rehabbing in preparation to return to the Bruins at anytime in the next six years. Wow. I guess Savard is a very likeable guy for that offer to be in place...even though I read a couple of stories that reported exactly the opposite.

Finally, Brad Marchand is still a restricted free agent. However, both sides have begun to seriously pick up contract talks. We all know that Marchand wants to stay in Boston, so why not just pay him the money? With the preseason only a month away, it is a priority to sign the young agitator.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Marc Savard Still Suffering From Post-Concussion Syndrome

Bruins center and star player Marc Savard only played 25 games last season after suffering two severe concussions in the span of a year. He was put on long term injured reserve, thus clearing up some cap space. The entire Bruins organization did what they could to try and make him feel that he was still part of the team (petitioning for his name to appear on the Cup), but there was only so much they could do with him being injured.

During Savard's "Day with the Cup" in his hometown of Peterborough, Ontario yesterday, he stated in an interview with TSN that he still suffers the effects of the head injuries. Savard later went on to say that mornings are extremely tough but as the day goes on he will feel more alert and less foggy. Savard only racked up two goals and eight assists during his brief stint with the Bruins last season. Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli believes that Savard will begin the season on injured reserve and the very real possibility of him retiring still lingers.