When asked why he was making such a generous gesture, Savard told a large media gathering from Boston, as well as New York, "Well, I mean, I know what I've gone through and what I've been through lately. At this present time, I'd like to do something for Boston because, you know, they've been so great to me. I just felt that I know what these kids are going through in some department... ( I saw) Children's Hospital, the head trauma department and I just saw that this was something minor that I could do to put a smile on their face and their parents' and stop in a couple times a year to say hi."
Savvy, as he is known around TD Garden, went on to speak about the effects of his own head trauma and how the concussions he suffered on the ice have changed his life off it.
"I think a couple of my big ones are memory issues, still -short-term. I wasn't a guy that forgot too much and it seems like I'm forgetting my phone at home," Savard continued. "My son played a game the other day and I left the keys in the ignition in the car. I turned it off, at least, but I went in and watched the game, and I was like, 'Geez, where are my keys?' I went out to the car and they were in the ignition. So just little things like that that I would never do and that seems to keep happening.
"Mornings are really tough on me - just getting going, getting the eyes open and going on. And the weather changes we've had in Canada this winter - I think you guys have had the same, but cold, hot, rain, snow, it's kind of giving me a lot headaches. But that's kind of, the headaches have been more normal that what they used to be, so that's OK."
He went on to share his outlook on his professional future.
"Right now, the way I'm still feeling and the daily issues I'm having, it's tough to see a bright future right now to be honest with you. It's tough. I still have my tough days that I want to get back and play, but at the end of the day, I know if I possibly got hit again, what could happen. It's a day by day thing, still. I'm still hoping that something happens and I feel a lot better but if I feel like this, I still couldn't play."
Thankfully, the 34-year-old native of Ottawa, is not forced to battle depression which can be as debilitating as the concussion itself.
"I'm happy right now. I'm really happy. I've got no issues on the depression side. I'm around my kids every day, taking them to school, helping coach, and just, I'm really enjoying life... I don't have any hard feelings about anything. I'm just happy."
Savard, however, does miss playing the game he loves but if he never returns, he can accept it and move on.
"I just want to kind of take this whole year to see how everything goes throughout the year and really gauge myself," He explained. "I tried to work out a couple times this week, just little bike rides here, and it didn't feel that bad. We'll see how that goes and just keep building off it."
Savard also informed the gathering that, at times, he was frustrated with not being able to assist his teammates in the playoffs.
"I mean, obviously it was a tough last year not to be a true part of being there, because, you know, I thought I could have helped at times, too. But I was excited, and when I sit back and look at it right now, if I don't ever play again, I am happy. I guess I went out a winner, too. I'm on the Stanley Cup. I got a ring and a lot of credit to Peter Chiarelli and the organization for doing that for me. That was unexpected but very nice. So, at the end of the day, I had a decent career if I don't play again, and I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now."
The man who has played in 807 NHL games and accumulated 706 points on 207 goals and 499 assists believes the NHL has committed itself to taking the unnecessary hits to the head out of the game when he sees the suspensions and fines administered by the league's Office for Player Safety and the man in charge of that office, Brendan Shanahan, but still feels it could do more.
"I think the league's done a good job... but, maybe it (length of a suspension) just needs to be 10 games or more. Like, if you do it, you just know you're getting 10 games; it's in black and white. I just think, then, obviously the pressure comes off Brendan Shanahan too."
Whether Marc Savard returns to playing hockey remains to be seen. The Boston Bruins franchise and it's fans would love nothing more than to see No. 91 speeding over the opponent's blueline, puck on his stick, then stopping and curling along the half boards giving himself time and space to set up and hit a streaking teammate with one of his patented tape to tape passes allowing that teammate to shoot and score one for the black and gold.
Until that day comes, if that day comes, the organization and it's fans will be very happy to see his face on the jumbotron above center ice enjoying a game with some very happy and thrilled kids who are sharing some of Savard's experiences as head trauma victims; And in doing so, Savard may never score a bigger assist.
Shawn Hutcheon is the Boston Correspondent for TheFourthPeriod.com.
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