On March 7, 2010 Marc Savard's career as a hockey player would change drastically. Every Boston fan knows and despises Penguin Matt Cooke for the blindside elbow he launched into the head of Savard. While Cooke was never suspended or fined for his cheap shot by then Director of Operations Colin Campbell, the league has change the way they proceed with handling head shots at the expense of Savard's career. Savard returned to the ice for two different stints, however the lingering affects of post-concussion syndrome have increase the odds to an almost certain level of an early retirement for the once talented center.
Now I don't want to go as far as saying Marc Savard had a Hall of Fame career, however he wasn't that far off and now he won't have the chance to make that bid. Before the Cooke hit, he was one of the most consistent offensive players in the league for a number of years. There weren't many other players who could pass as good as him and he could be deadly on the power-play. Savard put up 295 points in 279 games for the Bruins before he got his concussion. Savard did recover in time to play during the 2010 playoffs making a dramatic game winning goal against the Flyers during game one in overtime. However it was clear that Savard wasn't exactly 100% and didn't contribute much after that game. When Savard made his return during the 2010-11 season and got hit by old teammate Matt Hunwick, it was clear that Savard's health was more severe than initially though.
During the off season on August 31, 2011 General Manager Peter Chiarelli was quoted as saying "Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I'm told, it's very unlikely Marc will play again" It was the news everyone expected to hear, but no one especially Marc Savard wanted to believe that.
Savard was one of the key components that turned around a struggling Bruins franchise. When the Bruins signed Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara during the 2006-07 it was clear that it was time for the Bruins to become contenders again. It was only right to include Savard's name on the Stanley Cup because without a doubt a healthy Savard would have been around the top in scoring during the historic run.
Marc Savard OT goal 5/1/10 (via NHLVideo)