This first edition of the DOY Round Table discusses whether or not Marc Savard, after receiving his fourth concussion and second in 10 months, should hang up his skates and retire. Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Robb: I should probably preface this by saying that I like Savard, he's a great player and has been a crucial player for our team over the years, and a big part of its successes. I'd like nothing more than to see him lace up the skates after recovering from his second concussion in less than a year and return to form…but that being said, yes, he probably should retire. Comparisons to Bergeron have been flying around, and sure the situations are similar, but something to bear in mind is that Savvy is about 10 years older than Bergeron was at the time, I’m no doctor but that has to have some impact. Bergeron seemed to have an easier time bouncing back as well, whether that has to do more with strength of will or strength of head is anyone’s guess. Savard could be heading for disaster if he attempts another come back (see what I did there). For his safety, I think he should consider hanging it up.
Greg: I think it's time for Marc Savard to consider hanging up the skates. He's over 30, he's had multiple concussions in his career and he's had two over the past ten months. When Patrice Bergeron had his concussions, he was 23/24 and still young enough where his body can heal. Once you get in to the older years of your career and your body is getting older, things like this take more of a toll. Look at Eric Lindros or former Patriot Teddy Johnson. They're dealing with post-concussion symptoms after their career. Is it worth dealing with this to play a game?
Justin: He'll probable think about. how can he not? But it probably won't be a decision he'll make anytime soon. Not until he's feeling better and -- for lack of better phrasing -- can think straight. At this point he might want to just pack it in and call it a season, though. It'll give him the rest of the season and all summer to heal, condition and see how he feels and if he wants to risk a fifth concussion.
I'd love to see him back but I'd love for him to not end his days as a vegetable.
Jon: It is hard to say really considering we don’t quite know what is really going on with Savard. Only he knows.
I think this is one of those situations where you can’t look at it as a fan. As a fan, you want to see him on the ice, you want to see him back to being the player he used to be and helping the Bruins.
But Savard has a family. Another concussion has the potential to really debilitate him. I’m sure Savard doesn’t want his kids growing up with a dad who can’t really do anything with them.
His previous concussion obviously took a heavy physical and emotional toll on the guy, and that can’t be overlooked. He seemed to know right away what happened against Colorado. You could see the look on his face. If he does come back there’s the chance he’s going to constantly worry about when the next hit is going to come and mentally that is no way to go about your profession.
There’s arguments on both sides.
You have guys like Eric Lindros who kept getting nailed in the head, kept playing, kept declining and were eventually forced to retire.
Then you have guys like Patrice Bergeron who took a full season to recover, came back, got hit and concussed again, but then came back just fine. Bergeron is just now getting his stride back. And maybe that is the difference… Bergeron is young. Savard is 33.
Does Savard want to keep going through this? What if he gets hit again? I think Savard has to at least consider the option. But that is the hardest part for an athlete. Us regular folks leave our jobs, we go get another in the industry or something.
For athletes, they train their whole lives to get to where they are. Suddenly not being able to do that anymore, or just leaving the game, has to eat at them. In the end that could be what makes Savard stick around.
But who knows. Maybe we’re all just blabbing for nothing and Savard ends up fine.
Purrgeron: Shut him down for the season. Does that suck for the Bruins? Yes, but this ain’t about the Bruins bitches.
Savard wasn’t the same player. That much was obvious despite his recent “turnaround.” He was hesitant, perhaps in his own head too much. That is only going to get worse now. He’s going to be looking over his shoulder, maybe putting himself in more vulnerable positions in reaction to avoiding hits. Shut him down, let him really get 100% and weigh his options.
You can’t ask a player if they are healthy. They always want to go. Savard’s health isn’t worth a few extra points in the standings. The popular opinion seems to be “wait and see” how Savard feels and go from there but Savard felt “good” enough to play against Philly last year, and how’d that turn out for him?
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