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Marc Savard hopes to return by Saturday 11.30.10 at 1:48 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins center Marc Savard reiterated on Tuesday that he will not be playing when the B’s take on the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday. He noted that though he’s not ready to get back into games just yet, he isn’t feeling particularly behind in any areas.

“I feel like I’m skating good, and battling with a 6-foot-5 guy [Adam McQuaid] every day, that’s helped out. I’m feeling good in all the areas. Still, the game’s going to be a different thing. I’m not going to have miracles in the first game, which I hope maybe I do. It’s going to be a little bit of time, but hopefully I can contribute every night.”

Asked about Saturday night’s game, Savard said, “That would be a lot of fun. Hopefully I can get in by then.”

Savard has been out all season with post-concussion symptoms.

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Peter Chiarelli says Bruins have salary cap room to activate Marc Savard when he’s ready 11.29.10 at 7:20 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday night that in moving the contract of Matt Hunwick, which they did in trading the blueliner to the Avalanche, will allow the Bruins to eventually activate center Marc Savard without going over the leagues $59.4 million salary cap.

“This was one of the steps that we had to take as an organization to take care of the cap situation,” Chiarelli said of the trade, which landed them former Boston University defenseman Colby Cohen.

“This will be enough to activate Savard when he’s ready to play,” Chiarelli added.

Savard said that he would not be playing on Wednesday and was unsure of whether he’d be able to play on Thursday.

As for how much more money the team will need to clear or how many moves it will take to put the team in position to eventually take on Marco Sturm (less than $3.5 million given how far into the season it is) when he returns, Chiarelli didn’t tip his hand. Instead, he trusted the “capologists” of the media to come up with their own theories.

“We have another move to make, and we’ll leave it at that,” he said.

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Marco Sturm still waiting to be cleared for contact at 1:59 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Marco Sturm is certainly itching to get back into games, but unlike the case of Marc Savard, it seems he’s not nearing a return to the lineup as quickly.

AP

Sturm has yet to be cleared for contact as he recovers from a torn ACL and MCL, which he suffered during the playoffs against the Flyers. He admittedly had a setback that came as a result of his traveling with the team to Belfast and the Czech Republic to begin the season.

“Just all the traveling set me back for a few weeks here,” Sturm said Monday, “So I’m just trying to catch up.”

Sturm never actually had to stop working out while overseas, but he said that the flying, as well as all of the walking in Europe led to swelling in his knee.

“It’s tough to say [whether I regret going on the trip],” Sturm said. “I think it was good because it got me closer to the guys, but it was tough because everyone went, all the doctors went too, so they always wanted me around there. We kind of knew it, too. We were hoping to battle it through, but it didn’t work out that well.”

The 32-year-old free-agent-to-be said that he does not have any doctors appointments planned as he looks to get cleared for contact, but he’s welcomed the opportunity to get more practice time in this week with the team. After getting back on the ice following a recent encounter with the flu, Sturm sees the physical aspect as the next hill he must conquer.

“It’s more the battle now, but I’m still not doing it, so that’s why I still have to wait a little bit,” Sturm said. “But that’s my last step to go, is to battle and get more practices with the guys, too. ”

Sturm hasn’t set a timetable on his return, and is instead focused on stringing together a positive week that could hopefully lead to contact drills.

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Marc Savard says return is ‘just around the corner,’ won’t play Wednesday at 1:18 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins center Marc Savard doesn’t know when he will make his long-awaited season debut after battling post-concussion symptoms, but said on Monday that it won’t be long before he is back. Following his third practice of the full-contact variety, Savard felt confident that he could soon be in the Bruins’ lineup.

“[It was] another good day, and a little bit of work after, and continuing to progress,” Savard, who worked on battle drills with teammate Adam McQuaid, said. “Hopefully I’m going to get in soon, just around the corner.”

Savard seemed quite sure that he would not be in the lineup when the Bruins take on the Flyers on Wednesday. Asked about his prospects of playing in Philadelphia, Savard replied, “I don’t think so. No, I’m not going to be playing Wednesday. I don’t think so.”

The center’s chances of playing on Thursday at home vs. the Lightning are also up in the air.

“I don’t know,” Savard said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

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Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘It’s a wide-open league right now’ 11.24.10 at 1:07 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a loss to the Lightning on Monday in which they got off to a slow start and fell 3-1. “It’s a tough league, and if you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat,” he said. “And the Bruins clearly weren’t ready to play against Tampa. They looked as bad as they’ve looked all year.”

Added Milbury: “Maybe they’re looking ahead. It’s Florida, that’s one thing. Maybe they went golfing, maybe it was a nice day, maybe too many good-looking chicks on the street in Tampa. I don’t know. But it’s a constant challenge. It’s the art form of coaching, for me, to make sure that your team is read to go. And I think Claude Julien does by and large a real good job of that. But this time, for whatever combinations of reasons, it slipped.”

Milbury was asked if the Bruins are capable of winning the Stanley Cup this season. “It’s a wide-open league right now,” he said. “I think Chicago’s dismantling was an invitation to everybody that was close to pick it up a little, because it’s there. … I think it’s a pretty wide-open horse race. I think they do have the pieces.

“I’d like to see them add a defenseman,” Milbury continued. “I’d like to see them add a defenseman who can generate offense from the point, because they don’t have that right now, or the guys that they have aren’t giving that right now. And I’d also like to see them with a full roster for a little while before I make that assessment. But I think everybody would agree that when [Marco] Sturm comes back and [Marc] Savard comes back, they’re a better team for it. It’s going to cause some shuffling of lines and some disruption and that may take a little while to settle down. But when it’s all said and done, they’re two pretty good players. And any time you can put good players in the lineup, you’re going to get better. The goaltending has been outstanding.

“Yeah, I have to agree with Dale that they have the stuff to get there. I’m not calling them the odds-on favorite, but if it all comes together at the right time, they have a a chance. No question.”

Milbury reminisced about one-time Bruins coach Pat Burns, who died last week at the age of 58 after a lengthy battle with cancer, and said Burns should have been elected to the Hall of Fame this year.

“It was a shame that there wasn’t common sense going around in plenty at the meeting of the Hall of Fame selection committee,” he said. “Everybody knew Pat was not well and time was running short. … Wouldn’t somebody just stand up and say, ‘Come on, guys. He’s going in the Hall of Fame. He’s dying. Let’s get him in before he goes. Let’s have him has his day in the sun so he can really relish it.’ They missed the boat on that. And I don’t get it. I just don’t get why somebody who is that qualified to be in the Hall of Fame — and I think he is, and almost everybody I talk to feels the same way — and I just don’t get why they wouldn’t have honored him under these circumstances.”

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Peter Chiarelli says Marc Savard is cleared for contact 11.23.10 at 4:26 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli issued the following statement regarding center Marc Savard on Tuesday:

“Today Marc passed the tests administered by Dr. Micky Collins from the Sports Medicine department at UPMC, and is now cleared for contact. Marc will rejoin the team tomorrow for morning skate in Florida. There is no time-table at this time for Marc to start playing games.”

Savard had travelled to Pittsburgh to undergo the testing. He had been cleared for practice and got on the ice with the rest of his teammates on Saturday, though he could not recieve physical contact at the time.

Savard has not played a game this season due to post-concussion syndrome. He suffered a concussion last March against the Penguins, missing the rest of the season before returning in the second round of the playoffs against the Flyers. He suffered a setback while training in the offseason.

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Marc Savard has final test on Tuesday 11.22.10 at 2:04 pm ET
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Bruins center Marc Savard told reporters Monday that he will see Dr. Mark Lovell, whom he called “the guru of concussions” and undergo the final test required to be cleared for full-contact on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Savard joined his teammates in practice for the first time during Saturday’s morning skate, but is still unable to give and receive contact.

“I guess it’s quite a test,” Savard said. “It’s like six hours long. He’s going to put me through some workouts and some strenuous stuff. When I’m at my weakest, he can see how my brain is and stuff like that. I’m interested. I’m really excited about going.”

Savard said he is “still going to be a bit away” from playing even if he passes the test. He has not played this season as he recovers from post-concussion syndrome.

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