There’s plenty of ribbing, plenty of swearing and plenty of camaraderie, but it’s not exactly the type of place a player wants to share his deepest and sincerest emotions.
That’s part of what makes Marc Savard‘s story so incredible.
The other part is obvious. After getting knocked out on a violent, dirty hit in March, Savard worked his tail off to get back on the ice to try to help his team win a Stanley Cup. With a comfortable contract extension already signed, Savard didn’t have to come back. But he wanted to.
Despite the inspiring comeback — which could not have been more dramatic with his game-winner in overtime in front of a home crowd in Game 1 against the Flyers — the weeks and months that followed were hell for Savard.
The B’s center recently opened up about his experiences with ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside, saying he lost interest in just about everything over the summer. That included golfing, normally Savard’s favorite activity off the ice.
“I just laid around. I was really not enjoying myself,” Savard told Burnside. “I was very irritable. I didn’t really want to be around people. It was pretty dark days.”
Savard said he even questioned whether he wanted to return to hockey.
“In my mind, I kind of lost the love for what I enjoyed,” he said. “I was asking myself, ‘Do I want to put myself through this again?'”
Had he not been forthcoming with his issues, he may still be off the ice. Instead, he confided in a close friend, and before long, he was being evaluated by sports psychologists and physical therapists. In doing so, he learned that he wasn’t the only person to feel such deep depression after suffering a concussion, and simply talking about his issues helped him rediscover that drive that made him an NHL superstar.
Savard made his return to the Bruins last week, drawing a standing ovation from the Boston crowd. It was a monumental moment for Savard and the Bruins, but not because of his impact on the ice. In a sports world where concussion awareness is being brought to the forefront of everyone’s attention, Savard’s story will unquestionably help countless other hockey players — from the pro ranks to high school — open up about their own struggles in dealing with head trauma.
On Thursday night, Savard picked up an assist during a first-period power play, which is the area in which he is most likely to help the Bruins. Yet, regardless of what he accomplishes on the ice, whether it be this season or over the rest of his career, it’ll never be more impressive than the way he conquered his battle over the past eight months.
Read the entire Scott Burnside story by clicking here.
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