On Friday, Marc Savard(notes) of the Boston Bruins was cleared to take part in non-contact drills after passing a conditioning test in the morning. Savard has not played since the playoffs last season after suffering from post-concussion symptoms over the summer. This morning at TD Garden, he took part in the Bruins' morning skate ahead of their game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
Savard beginning his comeback is a bright spot after the news of the week saw his name in the middle of the Colin Campbell email mess after the NHL VP and Director of Hockey Operations called the Bruins forward a "little fake artist" in a message to then league Director of Officials Stephen Walkom.
After the morning skate, Savard addressed the situation.
"I have nothing against Coli. I think that stuff was private stuff and I think that the stuff that he was saying was interpreted in a bad way. It had nothing to do with the Cooke incident. I played for Coli and I think that was one of the ways when I first came into the league to stay in the lineup was draw penalties and he encouraged that at the time, if you asked him. I think that’s what he was referring to. But it had nothing to do with the Cooke situation.
“When I read them [the emails], it didn’t faze me,” Savard continued. “I just knew that he was talking about how when I dove a couple times when I played for him to draw penalties. I’ve obviously changed because I can play every night. But back then I was in and out of the lineup, so that was one of my bonuses drawing two and three penalties a game and getting on the power play. That’s the way I played.”
Since returning to the ice recently, Savard has decided to wear a face shield on his helmet to better protect himself, not necessarily from a concussion, but just in general. While not in game shape yet, Bruins head coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe that the next step in Savard's comeback will be to begin working in the corners for pucks.
There's no timetable for a Savard return and he said this morning that he still needs to see another doctor in a couple of weeks before he can be cleared for contact drills. Once he gets past that hurdle, Savard and the Bruins can begin targeting a return date.