Saturday, November 20, 2010
Marc Savard OK with Colin Campbell
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard, who has been dealing with post-concussion syndrome, rejoined his teammates on the ice for Saturday's morning skate, and afterward did his best to defuse a recent situation with NHL vice president Colin Campbell.
Campbell, the vice president of hockey operations and father of current Bruins forward Gregory Campbell, was recently criticized over e-mails he sent to other NHL officials three years ago, calling Savard "a little fake artist."
Savard said Saturday that the incident didn't bother him, especially because the e-mails were written well before Campbell ruled last season on Matt Cooke's hit that left Savard with a Grade 2 concussion.
"I have nothing against Colie," Savard said. "I think that stuff was private stuff, and I think that stuff that he was saying got interpreted in a bad way. It had nothing to do with the Cooke incident."
Savard played for Campbell when the two were with the New York Rangers in the late 1990s, and Savard admitted his style of play was encouraged at the time.
"One of the ways when I first came in the league to stay in the lineup was draw penalties," he said. "I think he encouraged it at the time if you asked him. So I think that's what he was referring to, but it had nothing to do with the Cooke situation."
Of his time playing for Campbell in New York, Savard said:
"Me and Colie got along fine. He actually joked with me a lot. He made me feel comfortable and I owe a lot to him. He was the first coach that I broke in with, and he gave me an opportunity -- maybe a little too much of one, playing the point on the power play my first year with Leechy [Brian Leetch] and Patty [Pat LaFontaine] and Gretz [Wayne Gretzky] up front, so maybe that got me in a little trouble.
"[Campbell] was great for me, and I've got no hard feelings against him, and I think the media should maybe take it a little bit easy on him, too."
Savard said he was not bothered by the e-mails.
"When I read them, they didn't even faze me," he said. "I just knew he was talking about when I dove a couple of times when I played for him to draw penalties. I've obviously changed because I play every night, but back then I was in and out of the lineup, so that was one of my bonuses, drawing two or three penalties a game and getting on the power play.
"That's the way I would play, so I think that's just how he was referring to it."
When the e-mails went public, Savard made it a point to talk with Gregory Campbell.
"I've talked to Soupy, he's a great kid, and we have no hard feelings against each other. I can't wait to get back and play with him and get that opportunity," Savard said.
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.