There's some very troubling news out of Boston today, as Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Globe that centre Marc Savard won't play at all this coming season and could very well never play again.
Savard's been suffering from postconcussion issues ever since taking a devastating blindside hit from Matt Cooke on March 7, 2010. He's played only 32 games in the year and a half since that point and wasn't even able to take part in the Bruins' Stanley Cup celebration when they won it in Vancouver in June.
"Marc Savard won't play this year," Chiarelli said. "Nothing has changed in our monitoring. He'll be examined and he'll be declared unfit to play."
Savard is entering only the second year of a seven-year, $28-million contract that pays him between $5-million and $7-million the next three seasons, but Chiarelli said it's likely he'll remain on long-term injury reserve for some time.
"Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I'm told, it's very unlikely Marc will play again," Chiarelli said. "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."
If Savard does have his career cut short, at 34, he'll join a growing group of players who've had to bow out of the game early due to the effects of concussions.
In fact, looking at just the past 10 to 15 years, here's an incomplete list of players who have all left the game early due to head injuries: Pat LaFontaine, Jim Johnson, Eric Lindros, Scott Stevens, Paul Kariya, Mike Richter, Keith Primeau, Geoff Courtnall, Adam Deadmarsh, Jeff Beukeboom, Petr Svoboda, Nick Kypreos, Brett Lindros, Jason Botterill, Brian Bradley, Trevor Halverson, Steven Rice, Jay More, Dean Chynoweth, Dennis Vaske, Cam Stewart, Steve Rucchin, Steve Moore, Jesse Wallin, Steve Dubinsky, Richard Scott, Stu Grimson, Gino Odjick, Steve Heinze, Rob DiMaio, David Tanabe, Kim Johnsson, Matthew Barnaby, Kurt Sauer and Dave Scatchard.
Savard, and potentially Ian Laperriere, David Perron and Sidney Crosby, could be joining them at some point down the line.