Saturday, June 25, 2016

Marc Savard Jersey Card

Marc Savard hasn't played a single NHL game since the 25 he suited up for in 2010-11, but that hasn't stopped his rights from moving from the Boston Bruins to the Florida Panthers last season, and from the Panthers to the New Jersey Devils a couple of weeks ago.

Savard had fine beginnings, spending a season and a half with the New York Rangers before being traded to the Calgary Flames, where he quickly yet subtly became part of team's core, finishing fourth in scoring in his first season (Valeri Bure was first) and second (behind Jarome Iginla), in his second season, posting 65 points. In 2001-02, he finished fifth in team scoring with 33 points despite dressing in just 56 games. That's when he first caught the injury bug, however.

Shortly into the 2002-03 season, the Flames sent him to the Atlanta Thrashers for KHLer Ruslan Zainullin; playing with Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley (and later Marian Hossa) both cemented his reputation as a tremendous play-maker, but also as perhaps someone who was merely producing because he was paired with superstars.

But coming out of the 2004-05, he posted a whopping 97 points with the Thrashers in 2005-06, good the ninth in league scoring, and repeated the following year with 96 points as a member of the Bruins, with whom he'd signed as a free agent.

Then the injuries really started to add up in 2009-10: a foot broken twice, an MCL tear in his right knee, and the first significant concussion - on an awful Matt Cooke hit that changed the NHL rule book. A (much lessser) hit by Matt Hunwick ten months later was the final contact he would receive in the NHL, and he is still reeling from post-concussion symptoms to this day, which is why his contract, expiring at the end of the 2016-17 season, is still being shopped around as a commodity, seeing as it counts for $4M on the salary cap but actually only costs $575K in salary. When it expires on July 1st, 2017, he will be able to properly retire - probably as a member of the Bruins, who have treated him well.

I was never a huge fan - and by that I mean I wouldn't buy a jersey of his, cheer for him specifically, or strongly voice my opinion for his inclusion on a national team - but his 706 points in 807 NHL games (plus another 22 in 25 playoff games, and an All-Star Game game-winning goal), half of them in the Dead Puck Era, deserve respect and recognition, at the very least.

I think he'll always be a Bruin to me - which might explain my position towards him - but here he is with the Flames' white (then-home) uniform, with a matching game-worn jersey swatch, on card #J-MS from Upper Deck's terrific 2001-02 Ice set (and Jersey Card sub-set):
It'll temporarily stand as #27 in my Flames Numbers Project (until an autographed card replaces it); it's one of those awesome see-through plastic cards that Ice specializes in.

No comments:

Post a Comment