Marc Savard to Undergo Further Testing Before Making Long-Term Decisions


February 7, 2011

Marc Savard to Undergo Further Testing Before Making Long-Term Decisions

Savard and Chiarelli have left the podium, and the news conference is over.

Here are the quick takeaways from the brief meeting with the media:

  • Savard is done for the year. He won’t make a return like last year, no matter the team’s playoff chances. Savard said this was particularly tough because the Bruins are “such a great hockey team.”
  • Savard has not gotten to the point where he’s ready to contemplate his long-term future one way or the other. He says he will undergo more tests in the next month, and after the results are known, he’ll be able to make a more informed decision. He did not use the word “retirement” at all.
  • Savard explained that it wasn’t so much the Hunwick hit in itself as much as it was a recurring feeling he felt after being hit over the course of a couple of weeks.
  • Dr. Asnis couldn’t say definitively that last March’s concussion directly caused or affected this year’s concussion. He did, however, say that the hit from Hunwick would have given Savard a concussion, regardless of any past history.
  • Chiarelli said there’s no way to replace Savard, but the Bruins will “be busy” leading up to the trade deadline to try to help fill the void.

2:35 p.m.: Bergeron explained to Naoko what allowed him to know he could return after that second concussion.

“The way that I was symptom-free first and foremost, but really just my spirit,” Bergeron said. “I felt a lot more positive, a lot more outgoing. I wanted to get back out there.”

Bergeron explained that he felt the same frustration Savard is feeling now and that he was able to overcome it.

2:32 p.m.: Patrice Bergeron, who suffered two serious concussions in recent years, tells Naoko he can relate to Savard.

“I remembered when he was talking about being scared when he got that second concussion,” Bergeron said. “That’s exactly how I felt. Having that kinda ‘here we go again’ feeling. I know exactly what he’s going through.”

2:30 p.m.: Here’s more from Chara:

“Hockey at this point is secondary. As a friend, as a teammate, you’re going to try to make it as comfortable as possible and support him. I know there’s probably not much we can do besides being in contact with him and seeing how he is, but we’re all going to try to do our best.”

2:24 p.m.: Zdeno Chara just caught up with Naoko Funayama.

“It’s sad,” Chara told Naoko. “We all came here to support it, and we know it’s something we’re going to try our best to support him all the time and all the way. Hopefully, he can feel better.

“A lot of times you think hockey is the most important thing,” Chara added. “But health is one of those things that you can’t buy or replace.”

2:22 p.m.: Peter Chiarelli was asked about the Bruins’ plans going forward. He said the Bruins won’t be able to replace Savard.

“We’re gonna have some flexibility now with replacement players,” Chiarelli said. “In the next few weeks prior to the trade deadline, we’ll be busy.”

2:21 p.m.: Savard was asked about what his days are like. Here’s his answer.

“Everything feels slower. … You have situations that you just don’t feel right. Headaches and seeing some dots … it’s just an uncomfortable state. People see you on the outside, and you kind of look normal, you don’t have a cast on or something, but inside, you feel it. It’s just tough. For myself, I sleep a lot — more than usual. It’s definitely tough.”

2:19 p.m.: Savard: “I’m not gonna make any decisions about my future until I get some more medical stuff done. I just gotta be patient.”

2:18 p.m.: Is there a risk factor for future concussions?

“There is some literature regarding the recurrence of concussions,” Dr. Asnis said. “Each concussion is different, each patient is different, and we really have to treat them on an individual basis.”

Dr. Asnis added that there is not enough proof to state it as fact.

2:16 p.m.: Chiarelli was asked if the league is doing enough to limit head injuries, and he said the pads need to get softer.

2:15 p.m.: Were the symptoms the same as last March?

“I definitely think it wasn’t as bad, that’s for sure,” Savard said. “I went and got some tests done immediately in Colorado … everything looked pretty good. But I just didn’t feel good again, and I know when I got hit .. I felt a little bit like I lost energy. And it kept happening, it might have been a week before when I got hit here against Pittsburgh.”

2:13 p.m.: Savard was asked about criticism of Andrew Ference regarding the B’s defenseman’s comments on Dan Paille’s hit. Savard avoided the question.

“I don’t know, I’m kind of in the dark on that one,” he said. “If it’s a bad hit, it’s a bad hit, [but] I didn’t really follow it too much.”

2:12 p.m.: Dr. Asnis says that Savard would have suffered a concussion on the Hunwick hit, even if he hadn’t been hit by Matt Cooke last year.

2:11 p.m.: Savard: “I think it’s just a mix, I have a lot of feelings going on. I think I’m frustrated mostly. It’s tough to understand why this happened, and obviously the most frustrating thing is not knowing exactly what’s going on and how to cure it.”

“I think it’s just time and patience, and those are things I don’t think I have much of.”

2:09 p.m.: How much did Savard contemplate a 2011 return?

“It was tough, still really tough to swallow, especially because we have such a great team and great people,” he said. Savard also noted that he was touched that Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron were on hand for this announcement.

2:08 p.m.: Dr. Asnis was asked about the improvements in the equipment in sports. He noted that as the equipment improves safety, players tend to get faster and take more risks.

“It also gives players somewhat of a sense of security that might not be realistic,” he said. “There’s no equipment that can completely eradicate concussions.”

2:07 p.m.: Dr. Asnis says the key to recovery is removing exertion, both physical and mental.

2:06 p.m.: Savard was asked if he wonders “why me?”

“It’s tough,” he said. “I guess things happen in hockey, it’s a fast game, and it’s something that I’ll just have to get over.”

2:05 p.m.: Savard said he remembers the Hunwick hit and that he doesn’t find Hunwick’s hit to be bad at all.

2:05 p.m.: Savard said he’s not ready to retire.

“I’ve obviously tried to stay away from that right now, as tough as it is not to be able to finish the season,” he said. “I’m gonna get some more medical stuff done, some tests, and then I’ll be able to make a clearer decision on what my future is. Right now, I’m hoping to be able to continue it at some point.

2:04 p.m.: Chiarelli: “As a manager, as a friend, there was a concern.”

2:03 p.m.: Savard, much like he did in his news conference last March, looks devastated. He does look much more like himself, but he can’t hide his disappointment.

2:03 p.m.: Here’s Savard:

“I think I’m on the concussion part first. I’m still having some headaches off and on. The thing that scares me the most already is little memory things … and the odd dizzy stuff. So that stuff is also something that worries me.”

“Obviously it’s tough right now because we have such a great hockey team and it’s gonna be tough to watch, but I think they’re gonna do a great job.

2:02 p.m.: Dr. Peter Asnis said that Savard has shown some improvement.

2:02 p.m.: Chiarelli says Savard has been suffering some post-concussive symptoms.

2:01 p.m.: “We’ve decided that Marc won’t be playing for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs,” Chiarelli said.

2 p.m.: Savard is stepping to the podium.

1:50 p.m.: Soccer’s not considered much of a contact sport, but many Bostonians learned of its dangers through Taylor Twellman’s openness in discussing concussions of his own.

The former Revolution star chimed in on Twitter.

“Here’s to Marc Savard today having the courage to say ‘I’m sick and hurt….need help,'” Twellman wrote. “[The Bruins] will miss him but it’s the right move.”

1:34 p.m.: The conference is a little less than a half-hour away, so let’s just run through a quick history of Savard.

March 7, 2010: Matt Cooke hits Savard, giving him a Grade 2 concussion.

March 27, 2010: Savard makes his first public appearance in a news conference at the TD Garden. Though he’s 20 days removed from the hit, he looks gaunt and displays no energy.

April 26, 2010: After missing nearly two full months of game action, Savard is medically cleared to return to the ice.

April 28, 2010: Savard returns to his first full practice with the Bruins.

May 1, 2010: Savard returns to the Bruins for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, and he scores the game-winning goal in overtime. Savard plays in all seven games before the Bruins are eliminated.

September 2010: Savard sits out of Bruins training camp with lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome. He doesn’t travel with the team to Europe to start the year.

Dec. 2, 2010: Savard makes his season debut at home against the Lightning.

Jan. 22, 2011: Savard gets hit by Matt Hunwick in Colorado and sustains another concussion.

1 p.m.: We’re all expecting bad news Monday afternoon, we just don’t know how bad.

Bruins center Marc Savard will meet with the media at the TD Garden, alongside general manager Peter Chiarelli and team physician Dr. Peter Asnis. It is likely a meeting to confirm the weekend report that Savard’s season is over, though the team hasn’t announced anything official.

We won’t speculate beyond this season, though, so follow along at 2 p.m., when Savard meets the media, as we’ll have it all covered here in the live blog.

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