Concussions ended the on-ice career of former NHL All-Star Marc Savard far earlier than he — or the Boston Bruins — would have liked. But the head injuries haven’t kept Savard away from the game he loves, as the native Canadian is back home coaching a youth team in Peterborough, Ontario.
As reported in this terrific profile by the Boston Globe, Savard has returned to Ontario to connect with kids and the game he loves. He sneaks into his local rink on game nights to avoid lengthy reminiscing conversations with their parents.
All he’s interested in is giving back to the game that made him who he is, and to young athletes who can grow from it just as he did. His role with the AAA Minor Bantam Peterborough Petes has rejuvenated Savard and helped dull the pain he feels from the premature ending of his career, which he feels should still be in full flow in his age 39 season.
Instead, Savard feels lucky that he was treated as responsibly as he was following a string of scary concussions in Boston, and he’s committed to improving his day-to-day life as much as he can, all while maintaining a bond with the game that had defined his life.
The entire Globe profile is well worth a deep read, but this quote accurately puts forth Savard’s new outlook on hockey and his life:
“Just doing this [coaching] has been a breath of fresh air for me,’’ he said. “Whether it’s around the coaching staff or these kids, it’s great to get out and joke and have some fun and compete. …
“Yelling is not going to do anything there,” said Savard. “It’s just like the NHL: You take a night off, and you’re going to get beat.”