Will Marc Savard’s return to hockey affect Bruins injury status?

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Marc Savard is getting back into hockey.

Unfortunately because of Matt Cooke, it won’t be on the ice, where the guy was a puck wizard for the Boston Bruins until that blindside hit ended his NHL career (and helped spawn a new era of player safety). But Chris Stevenson reports that Savard is going to be a scout for the Ottawa 67s junior team in the OHL, even though he has Oshawa Generals blood coursing through his veins.

That’s great news for Savard, who last played on Jan. 22, 2011, and has been through a hellish recovery from his concussions.

But if Marc Savard is getting back into hockey, what does that mean for his status with the Boston Bruins?

Savard is on long-term injured reserve with the Bruins, and his contract runs through 2017. His money doesn’t affect the cap, due to the CBA’s long-term injury exception. But he continues to have that contract honored by the Bruins until he decides to retire from the NHL, as they can’t buy out an injured player. Savard will make $1.5 million this season before his salary drops to $575,000 in the following two seasons, via Cap Geek.

Taking a scouting job would seem symptomatic of retirement. Chris Pronger, for example, is also in quasi-retirement with the Philadelphia Flyers but remains on the team’s payroll through 2017. According to Dave Isaac, Pronger can’t officially take a front office role with the team while still being an active player.

But according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the League doesn’t anticipate Savard’s hiring as a scout “having any effect on his [long-term] injury or eligibility” with the Boston Bruins.

Perhaps since he’s working in juniors, it’s a different story than with Pronger and an NHL team.

Obviously, had this been a return to the ice, it might be a different scenario. But that doesn’t seem like a possibility for Marc Savard. Which is something Matt Cooke hopefully considers from time to time.