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Video: Marc Savard excited to practice with Bruins 11.20.10 at 1:10 pm ET
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Bruins center Marc Savard spoke about a number of things Saturday, including the rough time he had while dealing with post-concussion syndrome symptoms, one of which was depression.

“I need to understand that is just the way I was feeling, because you think that maybe it’s because I didn’t want to play, but this is the game I grew up playing, I loved and love. Again, I think that love went away for a bit because I wasn’t sure about anything,” Savard said. “Obviously now I’ve had time to heal and I can’t wait to get back out there with the guys and play some games.”

Here’s some video of Savard talking about how glad he was to return to practice with his teammates. He was cleared on Friday to practice in non-contact situations and will undergo further tests next week.

Here is the complete transcript of Savard’s briefing with the media on Saturday, thanks to the fantastic folks at the Bruins:

On how good it felt to be out with the rest of the boys skating:

It felt unbelievable. You know it’s been a long time. You know it’s pretty special to be… To make it to this step, and hopefully gradually get better and go from there;

On how he’s been feeling over the last couple of weeks:

Fantastic. I would say for about two or three weeks now that I really haven’t felt any ill effects and things are heading in the right direction, that’s for sure.

On if there was a turning point where he just started feeling better:

Yeah, I mean I think it’s been a combination of stuff and working hard and working with the doctors carefully. The whole staff has been excellent you know Dr. Asnis and Dr. McInnis , Dr. Durant, Donny [Don DelNegro], Whitey [John Whitesides] obviously for keeping me in shape and you know the whole training staff back to Keto [Keith Robinson], Matty [Matt Falconer], I’d like to mention everybody. I think a big thing too you know the fans, they’ve been great. I’ve gotten a lot of really nice letters. It really helped me through this time and I appreciate that stuff.

On if he has thought about where he fits in on a team that is playing so well:

I think there’s a couple areas I can still help a bit, but no it’s great seeing the guys playing well. I think that’s been the easiest thing for me, is to have time to get better and then work on my stuff that I need to work on and clearing my head so I am ready to go. The way they’ve been playing is fantastic and hopefully I can just fit in quietly and go about what I do best and help the team win in some area.

On if he has talked to any of the players who have gone through the same thing:

I mean every incident is different and you know obviously Patrice [Bergeron] has helped me a bit and stuff. A couple players who don’t play anymore have been helping me too and obviously I think the biggest thing has been the doctors. Just listening to what the doctors have to say and you know it’s been a whole group effort here. Everyone in my family has been incredible and everybody behind me, it has really help the process. Obviously Peter [Chiarelli]’s been one of the best supports for me in helping me out and obviously [Matt Chmura] too. It’s just been a long road, but everybody’s been patient and that’s made me feel a lot better. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Colin Campbell, Marc Savard,
Marc Savard: Colin Campbell e-mails ‘didn’t faze me’ at 12:18 pm ET
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After skating with the rest of his teammates for the first time this season, Bruins center Marc Savard addressed his state of mind, his recovery from post-concussion syndrome, and the unflattering light in which his name has grabbed headlines of late. NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who coached Savard while the two were with the Rangers in 1997-98, had e-mails leaked in which he called Savard a “little fake artist” and the “biggest faker going.”

On Saturday, Savard reminisced on their days in New York and the positive relationship the two had, and noted that it would be unfair to suggest the e-mails conveyed a bias that went into the decision to not suspend Matt Cooke, who gave Savard his concussion last March.

Marc Savard isn't holding a grudge after Colin Campbell called him a "faker."

“I have nothing against [Colin Campbell]. I think that stuff was private stuff, and I think that stuff that he was saying got interpreted in a bad way,” Savard, who noted the e-mails “didn’t faze” him. “It had nothing to do with the Cooke incident.

“Me and Colie got along fine,” he added. “He actually joked with me a lot. He made me feel comfortable, and I owe a lot to him. He was my first coach that I broke in with, and he gave me an opportunity. … He was great for me, and I’ve got no hard feelings against him. I think that the media should maybe take it a little bit easier on him.”

As for the idea that he is a “faker,” Savard said that he felt the comments were probably less serious than one would think, given that Campbell himself encouraged that style of play.

“I played for Colie, and I think one of the ways when I first came in the league to stay in the lineup was to draw penalties, and I think he encouraged that at the time if you asked him,” Savard said. “I think that’s what he was referring to, but it had nothing to do with the Cooke situation. ”

The situation was made dicier by the fact that one of the e-mails was about a high-sticking call that Savard drew on Campbell’s son Gregory, now playing for the Bruins, back in 2007.

“I talked to [Gregory Campbell, a.k.a 'Soupy'] here, and Soupy’s a great kid. We had no hard feelings against each other. I can’t wait to get back and play with him.”

Savard has been cleared to practice with the team, but still cannot take physical contact. He is expected to undergo further testing next week.

Read More: Colin Campbell, Marc Savard,
Report: Peter Chiarelli has spoken with Colin Campbell since leak of Marc Savard emails 11.19.10 at 1:32 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins did not skate on Friday — well, Adam McQuaid, David Krejci, Marc Savard, Johnny Boycuk, and Tim Thomas did — so much of the focus was on Savard. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said at Ristuccia Arena that Savard is set to join his teammates in practice, though he still can’t take or receive contact. Afterwards, he touched on the other news surrounding Savard in talking with Matt Kalman of TheBruinsBlog.

Emails from Colin Campbell that were leaked last week suggested that the league’s disciplinarian holds a bias against Savard, whom he called the “biggest faker going.” Chiarelli told Kalman that he’s had contact with Campbell since the development.

“I’ve spoken to him,” Chiarelli said. “My conversations with him are private, but I’ve spoken to him.”

Campbell, meanwhile denied holding any bias against Savard, saying that his feelings about the player had no impact on his decision regarding the Matt Cooke hit last March that gave Savard the concussion from which he is still recovering.

“For someone to compare me saying that Marc Savard is an embellisher — a diver — on penalties, and then say that I might think he was faking in the Cooke hit is totally absurd,” Campbell said on the NHL Network on Thursday.

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Update: Colin Campbell won’t apologize to Marc Savard at 1:15 pm ET
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NHL senior VP and director of game operations Colin Campbell does indeed plan to speak with Bruins center Marc Savard about his recent email comments calling Savard the “biggest faker going” and “a little fake artist.”

But apparently an apology will not be part of the conversation. When the NHL Network asked Campbell if he owed Savard an apology, Campbell said no.

“At some point in time, I’ll sit down with Marc Savard,” began Campbell. “When Marc first came into the league I had him as a coach first out of Oshawa. We were together with the New York Rangers. When I was fired, Marc was sent down. I think Marc liked the fact I was coaching.

“I don’t think it’s an apology. I think it’s an explanation that we have to talk about.”

Savard has been out with post-concussion syndrome, though he has been cleared to practice with the Bruins in non-contact scenarios.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Colin Campbell, Marc Savard, Rumor Mill
Update: Colin Campbell confirms e-mails that call Marc Savard ‘faker’ to TSN 11.15.10 at 12:16 pm ET
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Colin Campbell called Marc Savard "the biggest faker going."(AP)

[UPDATE: 4:27] NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell confirmed and responded to the leaking of e-mails that have put him in an unflattering light.

Tyler Dellow, an Oilers blogger, on Sunday posted what he says were some of Campbell’s e-mails. (The link appeared to be dead by midday Monday). After doing a little detective work, Dellow determined a bias for Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, and a bias against others, namely Marc Savard.

Here’s an e-mail to former director of officiating Stephen Walkom sent in February of 2007 regarding then-referee Dean Warren:

To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm

A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse [manure]. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going. And Warren fell for it when he grabbed his face on a face off. Your supposed to see the act, not call the embellishing act. Dean Warren has to go with [referee] There must be a way to get rid of this guy. Is there a way we can tract sic and total minors called by referees this year. We could then get the minors they call per game. … or with 2 [referees on the ice] it is impossible? Warren and [referee] out of [team's] games. Give them to [referees].

Thanks to Dellow’s investigative work, the only Warren-reffed game in February of 2007 in which a player had three high-sticking penalties was on the 24th, a game between the Panthers and the Bruins. Gregory Campbell was called for the high-sticking, and Savard drew the call that Colin Campbell seemed to particularly take umbrage with. The “biggest faker going” remark seems to apply to Savard, given that by saying “I had him in [city],” he appears to be referring to New York, where Savard played while Campbell was an assistant coach.

Campbell spoke to TSN on Monday regarding the matter, but commented only on emails sent to Walkom regarding a tripping call on Gregory in a different game.

“For me, it’s much ado about nothing,” Campbell told TSN. “Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I’m a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn’t go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn’t on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That’s all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren’t they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I’ve got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that’s in a lot of games. I’m not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that’s Terry Gregson’s responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls.”

Campbell famously chose against throwing the book at Matt Cooke when he delivered a blindside hit to the head of Savard last season. If one wanted to draw a connection between what the e-mails allege and the lack of punishment on Cooke, they would appear to have a case, depending on the authenticity of the e-mails.

The Bruins politely informed media on Monday that Gregory Campbell, who of course now plays for Boston, would not be taking questions about his father. The league, however, did offer a comment to TSN later in the day.

“Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100 percent integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest, the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays. Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren’t justly and fairly arrived at.”

Read More: Colin Campbell, Gregory Campbell, Marc Savard,
Milbury on D&H: ‘Mired in this Neanderthal B.S.’ 03.18.10 at 12:50 pm ET
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NESN hockey analyst Mike Milbury checked in with Dale & Holley show (audio here) to talk about Thursday night’s Bruins-Penguins game and the potential for nastiness involving Penguins villain Matt Cooke. Milbury said he’s heard that NHL vice president Colin Campbell will address the teams prior to the game. Said Milbury: “That’s what I’m hearing. I don’t know what he’s going to say, but I’m sure there will be references to past incidents, [Todd] Bertuzzi-[Steve] Moore, for example, and he doesn’t what any nonsense and what-not, which is good. We had such a great buzz after the Winter Classic. We had such an incredible buzz after the Olympics, and now we get stuck and mired in this Neanderthal B.S., which is really unfortunate for the sport.”

Milbury said he expects the Bruins will seek retribution early. “I hope it isn’t silly. I hope it’s mano-a-mano and confrontational and sends a message to Matt Cooke that this isn’t going to happen. And I actually think if it happens twice, I wouldn’t be too disappointed. But I don’t want it to deteriorate. … The actual game had such a positive buzz. I don’t want to lose that in the circus sideshow here. I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think there’s a need to go after Sidney Crosby in any untoward way.”

Added Milbury: “The Bruins, their macho is challenged, their ego is challenged, their self-esteem is on the line. I think they’re going to feel compelled to get even, whatever that means. I’m not so sure they have to. I wish all this stuff happened spontaneously rather than a planned event, but it happens.”

Milbury said it’s important not to let things get out of hand, for the sake of all involved. “We want a hockey game,” he said. “A hard-played and well-fought — no pun intended — hockey game, where if there’s a way to get some measure of justice when you feel like justice had not be been served on a cheap-shot hit to your teams’ most valuable player, so be it. So be it. Man, oh, man, this is not a real war, this is a professional hockey game to be played hard and within the boundaries of the rules, for the most part. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that people get hurt out here.”

As for Campbell, Milbury said: “I think he’s done … what he thinks is right, by the book. You may have issues with that, but I know Colin Campbell well enough to know he takes the job seriously. … He struggled with it. He struggled with this decision big-time.”

Milbury said the Penguins should let Cooke know his dirty play will not be tolerated any more. “It’s disgraceful if they haven’t addressed it already,” Milbury said.

As for the Bruins’ chances to make the playoffs, Milbury said: “I think it’s going to be Boston or New York, and I give the edge to Boston now.”

Read More: Bruins, Colin Campbell, Matt Cooke, Mike Milbury
Brickley on D&C: Bruins will respond to Cooke at 8:31 am ET
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Andy Brickley, NESN analyst for Bruins games, checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show to talk about Thursday’s night’s game between the B’s and the Penguins. (For the audio, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.)

Penguins forward Matt Cooke has become Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston. (AP)

Penguins forward Matt Cooke has become Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston. (AP)

Brickley said he has no doubt the Bruins will seek revenge on Penguin Matt Cooke for his hit on B’s center Marc Savard. “No question [the Bruins] need the points, given the situation that they’re in in the Eastern Conference, but that will be secondary tonight,” Brickley said. “This is an opportunity for the Bruins to respond, something they didn’t do at the time when Savard was hit by Matt Cooke, and they will take every opportunity to make sure their character is no longer in question.”

Brickley said he expects both teams will be eager for the confrontation to take place as soon as possible. “If I was Danny Bylsma, the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I would make sure Matt Cooke starts tonight. Don’t give it a chance to continue to percolate. Wait for his first shift and allow the crowd and everybody else to get behind this. And I would expect Boston to line up guys like [Zdeno] Chara and [Milan] Lucic and [Mark] Stuart, and make sure it’s a very long night for Matt Cooke.

“You almost feel like don’t suspend this guy, make him have to play the full game, he can’t take any shifts off, he has to play the full 60 minutes. That might be the best retribution.”

Brickley said the Bruins need to go right up to Cooke and put him on the spot. “You call him out,” Brickley said. “It’s very plain and simple. You want to make it the longest night you can possibly make it for him.”

Asked about the possibility of Cooke refusing to engage a Bruins challenger, Brickley said: “That would not be the best course of action for Matt Cooke, and I don’t expect that to happen. I don’t think that will be allowed to happen. This is a guy that plays on the edge, he’s a repeat offender. If you took a look at the list of players that he’s fought in his career, it’s not a who’s who of the tough guys in the NHL, so I guess there’s that possibility, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Brickley said he still is unable to understand the reasoning behing the league’s decision not to suspend Cooke. “They got it wrong,” Brickley said. “Plain and simple. Colin Campbell got this wrong. This was a blindside hit to a defenseless player in a position where he had no idea the hit was coming. It was predatory in nature, he targeted the head, and he’s a repeat offender. How can you not suspend this guy? I don’t understand the logic behind it. They had an opportunity to make the right call, the make a difference. … They dropped the ball.”

Added Brickley: “There’s no logic and there’s no reasoning sufficient for me to be able understand the rules that come down from the office in New York. Colin Campbell is going to be in attendance tonight. The two teams will be addressed. Warnings will be put out. They created this culture — they created it, and now they want to manage it.”

As for the Bruins’ lack of a reaction in the game when the hit took place, Brickley said: “Nobody really got a real good look at it outside of Michael Ryder, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. … Sometimes you just don’t see it when you’re out on the ice.”

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