Monday, January 31, 2011
Updated: February 2, 12:36 AM ET
GM: Bruins may shut down Marc Savard
By Joe McDonald
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli admitted Monday night that there has already been an internal discussion of whether or not to shut down center Marc Savard for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season due to his fourth career concussion.
Before a final decision is made, however, Savard will be re-evaluated on Wednesday in Boston.
"There is a strong possibility [of shutting him down], but you have to take it step by step," Chiarelli said in a phone conversation with ESPNBoston.com.
Savard remains at home in Peterborough, Ontario and he's still experiencing symptoms from a moderate concussion he suffered on Jan. 22.
Chiarelli, who is in Raleigh, N.C., with the Bruins as they prepare for their game against the Hurricanes on Tuesday, said he has not spoken with Savard. The team will likely wait to make a decision until after the player's examination on Wednesday.
"We still may not know the answer at that point," Chiarelli said.
Savard has suffered a total of four concussions during his career, including his last two in a 10-month period.
Chiarelli clearly explained the team's concern in regards to Savard's health, saying the process will dictate the next step.
"With the time between concussions, and with the severity of the concussion [last March], and the time between when he basically stopped having concussion symptoms, [shutting him down] is certainly something you would have to consider," Chiarelli said.
Savard suffered his most recent concussion on Jan. 22 against the Avalanche in Colorado when his head hit the bottom of the glass after a clean hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick. In fact, it was the second such hit he suffered in a week's time after he was hit by Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland early in the third period on Jan. 15 at TD Garden.
Prior to last weekend's All-Star break, the team decided to send him home to rest before bringing him back to Boston this week.
"There is a possibility [of shutting Savard down], but nothing has been done and you have to see how Marc is," Chiarelli said. "Anytime you suffer a concussion, after having a severe concussion and the symptoms that he had, it is a possibility."
If the Bruins decide it would be in Savard's best interest to end his season, he would be placed on the long-term injured reserve and that would clear cap room in order for Chiarelli to acquire another impact player via trade if the GM believes the team needs it.
After the team's practice Monday afternoon at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins coach Claude Julien also gave a brief update on Savard's condition.
"He still has some symptoms. It hasn't totally disappeared," explained Julien. "We'll let the medical people deal with him when he gets back. Hopefully for his sake, not the team's sake, but more for his sake that he gets better.
"It's important for the individual here that he takes care of himself. The organization, medical staff, upper management and everybody has always done the right thing as far as that's concerned, and that won't change."
Savard missed the start of the season due to post-concussion syndrome, the direct result of a Grade 2 concussion he suffered last March when he was on the receiving end of a blindside by the Penguins' Matt Cooke on March 7.
After missing nearly two months, Savard was deemed 100 percent healthy and given medical clearance to return to game action in time for the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers last spring.
Savard played all seven games before the Bruins lost the series and Boston's offseason began. During the summer, while he prepared for training camp, Savard started to experience post-concussion syndrome. As a result, he missed camp and the first 23 games of the season.
Once again, he was deemed 100 percent healthy by the team's medical staff, and also by an independent expert, and returned to the lineup on Dec. 2.
He played a total of 25 games and registered 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points, while posting a minus-7 rating.
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.