|Report: Marc Savard skates, says issues are not limited to PCS||10.19.10 at 6:24 pm ET|
While the rest of his teammates were in the nation’s capital getting ready for Tuesday’s tilt with the Capitals, Bruins center Marc Savard took the ice at Ristuccia Area as he continued his rehab from post-concussion syndrome related symptoms and depression.
Savard, who suffered a Grade 2 concussion from a Matt Cooke hit last March 7, spoke with ESPN’s Joe McDonald following the 25-minute skate, saying that he has gone from 15 minute sessions to 20 minute sessions on the ice, to Tuesday’s 25.
“I’m obviously feeling better because I’m out skating,” Savard told McDonald. “That’s good news, but I’m still definitely not 100 percent. I still have some issues, but a lot of them aren’t from the injury. My head isn’t screwed up after I work out right now. Obviously, there are other ongoing issues.”
The other ongoing issues to which Savard refers presumably includes depression, which is among the non-physical symptoms of PCS. Savard told McDonald that he would rather not comment on whatever depression he may be experiencing, calling it “the toughest thing to talk about.”
“I’m obviously still having some issues with that, but being around the guys, and getting the doctor’s help that I’m getting, things are going up,” Savard said. “I still have my down days, that’s for sure, but I’m getting by.”
Savard also told McDonald that he appreciated the kind words from Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, who called him “one of the best playmakers” in the game and said that he couldn’t play because of Cooke’s “stupid, smartass hit.”
Given that Savard is on long-term injured reserve, he cannot play in the first 10 games of the season, and a timetable for his return remains unknown.
|Report: Savard passes exertion test||10.18.10 at 6:18 pm ET|
It appears that Marc Savard can start down the road of getting into playing shape for this season, as Peter Chiarelli recently told Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe that the center has passed the exertion test that he failed on the first day of training camp back on September 17.
Savard has been dealing with post-concussion syndrome symptoms since late in the summer, when the effects of the March 7 Matt Cooke hit prevented him from continuing his training.
Since he is on long-term injury reserve, Savard must miss the season’s first 10 games and 24 days, though Shinzawa writes that Savard has skated since passing the test. The test clears Savard for more physically demanding activity, including weight lifting more intense cardio work.
|Julien offers updates on Savard, Sturm, Ference, and Seidenberg||10.13.10 at 12:51 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the team’s first practice since returning to the United States that the club is better off not putting unnecessary pressure on Marc Savard has he recovers from post-concussion syndrome symptoms. Savard has been unable to take the ice since failing his impact test when the team opened training camp in September.
“I’ve taken the approach that as long as he’s not with us, I’ve got to keep working with our group here,” Julien said. “I haven’t had any real good chances to talk with the medical staff and stuff like that, but he’s been working out, that much I know. It’s getting better every day, so I’m looking forward to seeing him on the ice, and we’ll take it from there.
“He’s behind by at least a month, a month and a half already, where we’ve been on the ice, so we have to be patient and give him a chance to come back. Right now I don’t think there’s any reason why we should push this guy to get back more than we should be helping him to get back. That’s the thing we have to make sure we do here, is give him due time to make that comeback, and when he’s ready to make it, we’ll help him through it.”
Julien also added that Marco Sturm, another long-term injury player (knee) is expected to begin skating in the coming days as he continues his recovery.
Both Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference left the ice early on Wednesday. Julien said that while Seidenberg was dealing with either the flu or food poisoning, Ference was unable to shoot pucks due to a cortisone shot he received in his thumb. Julien noted that the veteran defenseman’s thumb ailment is “very, very minor” and that he won’t miss additional practice time due to it.
|Ryan Miller says Savard is out because of ‘smartass’ hit||10.12.10 at 4:55 pm ET|
Bruins fans have plenty of reason to not want to see any more ugly hits. Having watched the concussion-inducing blows that cost both Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard significant time, it would be understandable. At any rate, here’s the hit from Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarrson on Sabres forward Jason Pominville that had Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller all charged up when speaking to WGR Sports Radio.
“I don’t care if it’s unintentional. It’s what we have to get away from in hockey right now, is the culture of, ‘I was trying to make a play, therefore it’s not my fault,’” Miller said, adding that the hit ”absolutely needs to be punished.”
“I don’t even know if there’s enough made of it is because Jason is walking out with just stitches,” Miller added. “What if Jason has a fractured neck? We don’t even know if it’s going to have an impact with concussions.”
Miller spoke very passionately against dirty hits and called for players to take more accountability in wake of such plays.
“I just think more people should be a little more outraged,” Miller said. “When [Hjalmarsson] left the ice he was surprised he got kicked out. Are you serious? I would have probably started shading towards the locker room if I were him.”
The reigning Vezina trophy winner said that he hopes “the league wakes up and sets a precedent for the year,” so that players will no longer be at risk of losing time or their careers to concussions. One of the plays mentioned was Matt Cooke‘s March 7 hit on Savard.
“Savard’s still not playing,” Miller said. “One of the best playmakers we have in this game is still not playing because of a stupid, smartass hit.”
Savard, despite returning for the team’s second-round matchup with the Flyers, has been out since training camp with post-concussion syndrom symptoms.
|Jacobs: Circumvention, demoting big contracts both costly games||09.29.10 at 4:17 pm ET|
This summer, it came to light that the Bruins were among the teams accused by the league of circumventing the salary cap with the signing of Marc Savard to a seven-year, $28.5 million deal. Though the deal was structured so that the latter years of the deal carried lower salaries and thus brought the overall cap hit down, it does not go past his 40th birthday and seemed to be a far cry from the 17-year Ilya Kovalchuk deal that was rejected before being tinkered with and finally accepted in an agreement that dropped the Savard investigation.
“I think they threw out a wide net and tried to be as inclusive as possible of everyone that they thought had extended contracts,” Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said. “Whether they thought it was fair or not, I don’t know, but I didn’t feel there was any problem with it. If we have to stand scrutiny, that’s what we have to do.
“I think all the contracts have to be looked at that way, and at least from Boston’s standpoint, I think the commissioner made a valued judgement on this and I think clearly the arbitrator agreed on the Kovalchuk one, so he was right there, but fortunately he put an end to it. It was a very expensive situation, though.”
As for how the team will approach deals in the future, even with the NHLPA and the league reaching an agreement to prevent future circumvention, Jacobs noted that there’s still plenty of reason to be cautious with contracts and how they fit within the CBA.
“I think Boston is going to be a lot more sensitive to that,” Jacobs said. “Boston’s going to be very aware of the circumvention areas, and there’s a lot of things that can go into that terminology, circumvention. We’re sensitive to it.”
Jacobs had a few other interesting comments during his media scrum, with the Rangers’ demotion of Wade Redden bringing up the possibility of the Bruins sending a big-money player to the AHL when Marco Sturm and Marc Savard return from long-term injured reserve.
|Savard missing Belfast||at 1:00 am ET|
According published reports, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Tuesday with reporters that center Marc Savard will not accompany the team on its trip to Belfast on Wednesday night. Savard has missed all of training camp with post-concussion symptom syndromes. Peter Chiarelli has indicated that he could potentially fly to Prague to watch his teammates open the regular season against the Coyotes on Oct. 9 and 10.
UPDATE [Wednesday]: Chiarelli said that Savard is on a seven or eight-day program for his conditioning as he works his way back to potentially pass an impact test. Savard failed the test on September 17, the day the team opened training camp.
|Savard: ‘I might have come back a little too early last year’||09.25.10 at 12:39 pm ET|
In speaking with reporters Saturday and breaking a summer-long silence, Marc Savard elaborated on Peter Chiarelli’s statement that post-concussion syndrom symptoms were keeping the star center out of training camp. He said he failed an impact test od September 17 and listed dizzy spells, nausea, fatigue, headaches and depression as the symptoms that began to spring up as he trained over the summer.
“I went home after the season. I took a month off. From there, I started working out, and everything was going really well,” Savard said in giving a timeline of the events. “I had some issues during workouts, but I just kind of kept going. I started talking to my agent and telling him everything that was going on, and it just kind of went on from there.
“I still feel good,” he added. “When I was training, things were going really well. Obviously, there were issues. I just tried to work through them, but that wasn’t the right career move.”
Savard suffered a concussion on a hit from Matt Cooke on March 7 that kept him out for the rest of last season. He returned to play in the second round of the playoffs against the Flyers, a move that may not have been for the best in the long run, as he said he dealt with “huge fatigue problems.”
“I had a few problems during that series. … Someone related it to me — a doctor did — he said you can have knee problems, and you come back a little early, but you just play through it,” Savard said. “With your brain and head, that’s probably not the best thing to do.”
Rumors swirled earlier in the week when a report suggested Savard could miss the entire season. Though Savard shouldn’t be expected back too soon, he said he hasn’t considered missing the year, the first of a seven-year, $28.5 million deal.
“I’m obviously still a little ways away,” Savard said. “I’m just taking my time this year. It might be a little bit of my own fault; I might have come back a little too early last year. That’s my own fault. I’m just a hockey player, and I want to play hockey in the playoffs. Right now, I’m just going to take it slow here and go from there.”
Savard will focus on getting back to a point at which he can pass the impact test that he failed, and from there will start training again. He noted the depression as being the most difficult to deal with of the symptoms.
Ben Rohrbach contributed to this report.
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