Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on Sunday morning that the team is looking internally to replace star center Marc Savard , who is currently battling depression and other post-concussion syndrome symptoms. Savard admitted Saturday that returning to the team in the second round of the playoffs may not have been the best idea. As a result of everything, Chiarelli indicated that Savard could begin the season on long-term injured reserve.
“That could happen,” Chiarelli said. “It is a little too early to tell, but based on what he’s going through, the post-concussion symptoms ‘¦ the time he hasn’t been doing anything, it’s tracking that way right now.”
LTIR requires a player miss 10 games and 24 days prior to returning. With Savard out, the team would temporarily save his cap hit and theoretically might actually begin the season more than $4 million under the cap. This would be possible by combining Savard’s $4.007 million cap hit with Marco Sturm ‘s $3.5 million.
“That spot’s open. We’re going to have a look at [Blake Wheeler ] in that spot, we’re going to have a look at Zach [Hamill] in that spot, and there are some other different combinations. You may see Tyler [Seguin ] go back to that spot. There’s a hole there right now, and even [Ryan] Spooner, he’s making a case, too. He’s young and it’s his first pro camp, but each day, each game, he’s getting better and he’s such a smart player. He might be able to fill in, but we’re talking about a lot of different combinations.”
Chiarelli said that given the team’s upgrading of their wingers, he would like the other center to simply “distribute the puck and make plays.” As such, he is confident that making a trade wouldn’t be necessary for a team with great organizational depth at center.
“I’m looking internally right now because we have real promising and a good supply of players,” Chiarelli said, adding that in talking to other executives around the league can gauge that there’s “not a lot going on right now” regarding trade chatter. “Whether it’s NHL  players to current pros or even soon-to-be rookies. … I’m not looking externally right now and I don’t anticipate that, but that may change.”