To be or not to be?
With apologies to the Bard, that is the question facing the NHL regarding Marc Savard. Since June 15, the day the Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, fans have debated whether Savard’s name belongs on the Cup.
To automatically get one’s name on the Stanley Cup, a player must have played in 41 regular season games or made one appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. Other than that, the NHL can be petitioned by the team to include a player who does meet the criteria.
Savard played in just 25 games for the Bruins this season, and did not play all that well in those games. He managed just 2 goals and 8 assists while earning a plus-minus rating of minus-7 before a concussion ended his season (and likely his career) on January 22.
According to Matt Chmura, Boston’s director of communications, Peter Chiarelli has petitioned the NHL to have Savard’s name engraved on the Cup as part of the 2011 champion Bruins, but the NHL has yet to rule on the request.
Regardless of whether Savard’s name is etched on the Cup or not, he did get his day with the hallowed trophy, bringing it to Peterborough, Ontario on August 1.
Today, Causeway Crowd will examine five reasons why Savard deserves to have his name on the Stanley Cup. Tomorrow, we will provide five reasons why he does not deserve it, and provide our final belief on Friday.
Five reasons Marc Savard’s name belongs on the Stanley Cup
- 1. Savard is one of Boston’s best players when healthy: Savard has been one of Boston’s best and most dependable players since arriving on Causeway Street in 2006. He has led the team in scoring twice and has performed well in playoff situations.
- 2. He helped bring the Bruins back to respectability: The Bruins were a laughingstock when Savard arrived, along with Zdeno Chara and Peter Chiarelli, in 2006. After a couple seasons of building supporting pieces, the Bruins have been one of the better teams in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup this year. If it were not for the likes of Savard bringing some swagger back to the team, perhaps players would not have wanted to come to Boston.
- 3. Savard was the key to Boston’s power play: It is no secret that Boston’s power play bordered on anemic during the postseason. Savard’s injury was one of the major reasons the Bruins needed to find a quarterback for the pp (and traded for Tomas Kaberle). If Savard is healthy, he QBs the power play. When he has been healthy, Boston has a pretty potent attack with the extra man.
- 4. His dramatic return last year: As stated, Savard has been a pretty good player in the postseason. The highlight of that playoff career may be his OT game-winning goal in Game 1 of the fateful Eastern Conference semifinal against Philaldephia in 2010.
- 5. His injiry allowed the Bruins some flexibility: Like it or not, Savard’s injury allowed Chiarelli to make some moves he might not have otherwise been able to make. It’s unlikely that Boston could acquire Kaberle, Chris Kelly, and Rich Peverley (probably only one of those three). Every Bruins’ fan knows how invaluable the latter two were in the postseason, and even Kaberle was decent in the final two series – even if he did not help the power play one iota.
Tomorrow: Why Marc Savard’s name does not belong on the Stanley Cup