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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Savard will be staying put in Boston

Wednesday, 12.02.2009 / 4:41 PM / NHL Insider

By James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

In pro sports today, it is rare that you hear a potential free agent say he is willing to give his team a "home town" discount and then back it up. But that is just what Marc Savard did Tuesday when he re-upped for seven years with the Bruins, bypassing a potential jackpot on the open market when he could've become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"I stated in a couple articles earlier that I wanted to stay in Boston for the rest of my career," Savard said Wednesday. "Looks like I'm going to have that chance, so I'm happy about that. Over the last few years, I've watched this town grow back into a hockey town. Hopefully our goal as a team and a staff comes true that we can bring a Cup here to Boston."

Savard isn't going to be crying poor soon by any means with this new deal paying him $28 million, but he definitely took a potential cut by accepting a cap-friendly deal that will count for an average of $4.2 million on the Bruins' salary cap over the next seven seasons.

"It gives you the ability to build the team better, and that's a credit to Marc," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. "He takes a lower cap hit and helps keep the team together and helps build the team."

For Savard, the Bruins' leading point-producer over the last three seasons and a playmaker numerous teams would've coveted come July, the thought of playing anywhere else never seemed the least bit appealing. Lots of hockey insiders figured he would wait and see what would happen in free agency, but the lure of Boston was too strong.

"It's something I've been interested in getting done as soon as possible because you know, what Peter has done here in bringing in the young guys and core that we have and I want to be part of that," Savard said. "I want to try and win and I think we have the intangibles here to do that so I was excited and happy we came to an agreement. I'm happy with what I got and I'm proud to be a Boston Bruin."

That was of course music to Chiarelli's ears and just another example that Boston is becoming a desired place to play for potential free agents.

"It is refreshing and everything 'Savvy' does is with enthusiasm and same goes for his request to meet with me and it speaks to where we are as an organization and a city with fans of the Bruins," Chiarelli said.

Chiarelli credited Savard's work ethic for his willingness to commit seven years to the 32-year-old Savard. He also alluded to his willingness to adapt to coach Claude Julien's system and his and Julien's requests that Savard become a better two-way player.

"I think over the course of time since Marc has been here he has obviously shown his tremendous offensive ability," Chiarelli said. "But I think we've seen a huge amount of growth on the other side of the puck -- and he'll be the first to tell you that we bug him about it -- but he has responded very well and his stats speak for themselves but it's his intangibles that really impressed me.

"His competitive nature has always been there, but I just see it maturing, I see it growing and it's really consistent and compatible with the identity of the team. The faceoffs, the penalty killing, the shooting the puck more, I feel his game is rounding into a really solid, tremendous skill package with these other intangible things.  And you've seen it year to year and it's been impressive."


It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday