Sunday, June 2, 2019

Signature Sundays - Marc Savard

Figured this week was a good one to feature a Bruins card for my Signature Sundays post, after the team's dramatic Game 3 win last night in the Stanley Cup Finals.  For this week's autographed card we've got fan favorite, Marc Savard!

Marc was an elite playmaker who came out of the OHL (and in fact dominated that league, pacing it in points scored more than once!).  He was drafted by the Rangers, and spent the first partial and full seasons of his NHL career in New York before being dealt to Calgary.

With the Flames he really blossomed, and developed into a solid player who showed flashes of his OHL brilliance.  Calgary later dealt him to the Atlanta Thrashers (RIP) where, over the course of 3+ seasons sandwiched around the NHL lockout, Marc finally realized his full potential and became one of the elite players in the league.  He put up 196 points in 184 games in his time with Atlanta, including a career-best 97 points in his final season down south.

When Savard became a free agent following the 2005-06 season, the Bruins signed him to a four-year contract, and he immediately became one of their top offensive threats.  He wound up scoring at better than point-per-game pace in over 300 games in Boston.  I saw this guy play in person many, many times over those few years with the Bruins, and I can attest to the fact that he was one of the premier set-up men in the game for a while there.

Of course, it's well known among fans that Savard's career came to a premature end due to repeated concussions.  I'm not going to get on my soapbox here and rail on Matt Cooke (even though he did seem to be a class A d-bag at times), who is most associated with ending Marc's career.  I'll just say, having played it myself for a long time and at nowhere near the level and speed of the NHL, that the game is a fast one and sometimes these hits are blatant, but sometimes it comes down to inches.  I'll leave the judging to those in the NHL disciplinary department.

What I will say is that I'm glad to see the NHL, and really all professional sports leagues, taking head injuries and concussions so much more seriously these days.  I think they'll always be an unfortunate reality in full-contact sports, but any effort put towards minimizing their frequency or impact, preventing what happened to players like Marc Savard, is effort well spent.

Marc, now officially retired, never skated in an NHL game again after his age 33 season.  Had things broken differently he might have had a borderline HOF career.  As it stand, you can grab his autographed cards for around an Abraham Lincoln.  I'll always remember Marc as a thrilling player to watch, and I'm happy to have him represented in my autograph collection.

5 comments:

Bulldog said...

Great player and great card. Thanks for sharing. Go Bruins!

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Hey Shane, you can cross #134 off of your Buyback Frankenset, I have it here for you. A beautiful 1970 Topps. Just waiting to put some other cards with it to send.

Fuji said...

Savard had a solid career. Kinda makes me wonder if I ever picked up one of his signatures. Anyways... it was awesome to see the highlights of last night's game.

Mark Hoylr said...

Sweet card

Marc said...

Savard's career was unfortunately ended too soon. Nice card. He's very active on Twitter especially during the Playoffs.

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