Most hockey players hit the golf course in the spring once they're out of contention for the Stanley Cup. Marc Savard did a little better than that, bringing the Cup with him to the links.
It was a rare day of celebration in what has been a very difficult year for Savard, who enjoyed his day with the Cup on Monday by taking hockey's most cherished prize to a golf course in his home town of Peterborough, Ontario.
Savard played just 25 games this past season, missing the first two months of the season while suffering lingering effects of a severe concussion caused by Matt Cooke's cheap shot the previous March. Savard then suffered a second concussion in January on a hit by former Bruin Matt Hunwick in Colorado. That ended Savard's season and his playing future in doubt.
Canadian sports network TSN caught up with Savard during his day with the Cup and the talented playmaker discussed his ongoing health issues.
"Mornings have been tough. When I get up in the morning I'm a little foggy sometimes," Savard told TSN.ca. "But as the day wears on I'm pretty good. Hot sun is tough. I try to stay in the shade and stuff like that and pop the odd Advil and it seems to be OK."
Those symptoms are consistent with what Savard described in June when he was in Boston for the club's Stanley Cup parade. The fact that he is continuing to suffer the effects of his latest concussion more than six months after the hit doesn't bode well for him resuming his career, and Savard admitted that his focus right now remains just on getting healthy over any thoughts about returning to the ice.
"It's obviously been a long road for me," Savard said. "I'm still suffering with a lot of daily issues, right now it's been a tough go. I'm just trying to get through and not worry about hockey right now, just worry about my health because I have three young kids and they're important to me."
Savard missed the entire postseason with his injury, though he did make several appearances at the Garden to show his support and has remained in touch with his teammates. In turn, the Bruins have tried to make sure Savard knows he is still a part of the team, with his day with the Cup the latest gesture.
"Unfortunately I didn't get to play much, obviously, in the playoffs, but it's been a great ride," Savard told TSN. "GM Peter Chiarelli has done a great job in bringing in a lot of great people and players and it's added up to [the Stanley Cup]. The boys battled hard, and it's tough to watch at times, that's for sure, but I'm excited and I'm glad because the guys still made me feel part of it."
The Bruins have also put in a request to get Savard's name engraved on the Cup even though he did not meet the requirements of playing at least 41 games in the regular season or one game in the Cup Final. The Bruins are still awaiting word on a decision from the league, but Savard is appreciative of the effort.
"At the end of the year it was a pretty emotional time," Savard said. "Peter told me that they are doing a petition to put me on the Cup. That's special. That's how good of a man he's been and that's why he's gotten to where he is and deserves everything he's had. Hopefully I get on it."