Ever since Bruins center Marc Savard went down with his most recent concussion on Jan. 22, the focus has been on ensuring he's healthy in the future. Now, rather unsurprisingly, it appears likely that Savard's future will no longer include a return to hockey.
Savard will miss all of the 2011-12 season and his career is in doubt, according to The Boston Globe.
"Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I'm told, it's very unlikely Marc will play again," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Globe. "Now, knowing the uncertainty of this injury, there's always a chance [he could play]. But based on what I'm told, it's very unlikely he'll play. As an employer, I support him and hope he gets back to living a healthy life."
Of course, there's always the possibility that Savard's symptoms could eventually subside, at which point a return could be possible. However, the 34-year-old is reportedly still experiencing lingering symptoms despite minimal physical activity.
"Marc is still suffering some serious symptoms from his concussions, even after just playing golf," Savard's agent Larry Kelly told the Boston Herald. "There is no way that any doctor would tell Marc he could go out and play and risk another concussion without Marc suffering some terrible repercussions."
Prior to the concussion he sustained on Jan. 22 against the Colorado Avalanche on a check from former Bruin Matt Hunwick, Savard missed a substantial amount of playing time because of a concussion he suffered on a blindside hit from Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke on March 7, 2010.
Kelly said that Savard may have suffered six or seven concussions throughout his career, though, including a more serious one while playing junior hockey, according to the Boston Herald.
A two-time All-Star, Savard joined the Bruins as a free agent in 2006 after time with the Thrashers, Flames and Rangers. He then signed a seven-year contract extension in December 2009, which runs through the 2016-17 season.
ESPN.com's James Murphy reports that if Savard doesn't retire, arrives at Bruins camp later in September, fails his physical and is placed on long-term injury reserve, he will get the $4 million owed to him and that cap hit will then be freed up from the Bruins' total salary against the $64.3 million NHL salary cap. The B's currently have $7.7 million in cap space.
The financial implications of Savard's injury are simply a footnote, though, as the real concern is still what it has been all along — that No. 91 is able to rid himself of all concussion symptoms in order to enjoy life to the fullest moving forward, hockey or no hockey.