After an ESPN report citing a team source claimed that Savard, who has been sidelined for the start of training camp with post-concussion syndrome symptoms, could miss the entire season, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli went on the offensive. He first issued a press release refuting the report, then answered queries about Savard during the town hall meeting.
"Marc will be back very soon," Chiarelli assured a young fan who asked about the star center's condition. "He was here, he was tested. He'll be back this week. He should be ready to go in short order. We're going to take our time with him. He's a valuable player. He's a player that we need."
After the State of the Bruins, Chiarelli spoke at more length about both Savard's condition and his decision to publicly refute the ESPN report.
"It's not my practice to respond to these things," said Chiarelli. "But I felt it was necessary in this case because the report was completely contradictory from what we said. There has been no change [in Savard's condition]. Things are as they were when we opened camp.
"The notion that Marc won't be playing for the full year has never even been considered and in fact we expect him to be back in rather short order," added Chiarelli. "He's in good spirits. He's been seen by our doctors and will continue to be seen by our doctors."
Chiarelli added that Savard is currently back at his home in Peterborough, Ontario, after meeting with doctors in Boston, but is expected to return to Boston soon.
Savard initially suffered a Grade 2 concussion when he was hit with a blindside predatory shot to the head by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke on March 7. He returned to play all seven games of the second-round series against Philadelphia in the playoffs nearly two months later, but suffered a reoccurrence of symptoms late this summer.
"Symptoms reoccur," said Chiarelli. "Sometimes they go away and sometimes they don't. There are a lot of issues that are associated with an injury of this sort. Marc's going through it right now, but he's in good spirits. He's been here and I expect him to be back … pretty soon."