The Boston Bruins have a vacancy on Bruce Cassidy’s coaching staff with former assistant coach Jay Pandolfo heading to Boston University to become an associate head coach. And there just so happens to be a former Bruin that is currently jobless that might be a solid replacement.
That player is Marc Savard, the former Bruins’ center who dealt with concussions and ultimately had to retire. After a 13-year NHL career, Savard joined the St. Louis Blues’ coaching staff in July of 2019 as an assistant coach for Craig Berube.
However, it was announced in September of 2020 that Savard would be stepping away from the Blues and would spend time in Ontario with his family. With Savard stepping away, the Blues hired Jim Montgomery, the former Dallas Stars’ head coach, to replace him.
Marc Savard would serve the same role as Jay Pandolfo for the Bruins.
During his time with the Blues, Savard focused on the forwards and the powerplay. The Blues’ powerplay saw some increase in production under Savard and had the third-highest powerplay percentage in the league during the 2019-20 season.
Which makes the Bruins’ spot a perfect fit. Cassidy discussed Pandolfo’s role earlier this year when there was speculation of Pandolfo possibility having a fit as an NHL head coach. With Boston, Pandolfo was mostly in charge of the forwards, their offensive-zone possessions, and some of the powerplay, which he split with Cassidy.
Savard has the ties to Boston and does have a year under his belt at the NHL coaching level. What he would bring to the table is what Pandolfo is leaving with. It doesn’t feel like the Blues would be interested in re-hiring Savard once he’s ready to coach again. They have a much more experienced coach in Montgomery anyway.
It makes a ton of sense to bring Savard in. But not only is it Cassidy’s decision to make – who has no real ties to Savard – there has to be the desire from Savard to return to an NHL bench.