Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
and assistant captains Mark Recchi ad Patrice Bergeron
were on hand to lend support to injured teammate Marc Savard
as the center, flanked by B's GM Peter Chiarelli and Dr. Peter Asnis, addressed the press about the decision to end his season after just 25 games.
|Bergeron, Chara and Recchi at the Savard Press Conference |
Savard, concussed for the second time in 10-months during a game with the Colorado Avalanche on Jan. 22, said, "It was tough, still really tough to swallow, especially...because we have such a great team and great people and obviously Zee, Rex and Bergy are here today and that’s special to me."
Chara wouldn't have it any other way.
"It is very sad, but we all understand and we all came here to support him," said Chara. "It’s something that has to be really tough for him too, but he seemed to handle it really well.
"He understands the whole process of being off the ice now and most importantly get better health wise.
"I’m sure we’re going to see him play again. It’s one of those things where it’s going to take time but I know how much he loves hockey. I know how much everybody likes him in the locker room and you know...we all believe he will be back," he said.
Bergeron, who knows how hard it is to recover from a concussion, talked about Savard and how hard it was to watch Marc go through the things he had to endure when he was sidelined.
"It’s really hard," he said. "Especially when it’s your friend, your teammate.
"I know what it’s like and I’ve been through it. It’s not easy, it’s hard. Sometimes people who have never been through it don’t realize how hard it is, what you’re going through.
"When he was talking about being scared...after the second concussion, I could see myself the same way when it happened. I know what he’s going through. I know he will get better but it’s a matter of time and he will take that time," he said.
Recchi said that the players in the B's dressing room were ready to welcome "Savvy" back whenever and however that happens.
"That’s the great thing about he guys in our dressing room, we want him around," said Recchi. "When he starts feeling better, it’s nice to have him around.
"He’s a smart hockey guy, so I’m sure he can help in some ways. Whether it’s PP or you know he can have some help with the input with the players. It’s been a big part of him life and we want to keep him and he’s a big part of our team so we want to keep it that way."
But Recchi spoke for everyone when asked about Savard's thought process on his return to play.
"Concussions are tough. Like Dr. [Peter] Asnis said, you just don’t know," said Recchi. "You don’t know how long it takes. A little hit like that could keep him out longer than a real big hit.
"The brain, it’s a tough thing to deal with," continued Recchi. "He has three young children, and you want to play with them, you want to have fun with them and watch them grow up and be a good dad.
"Part of that is you want to be healthy for them and I think he has a lot to think about.
"I think the most important thing is right now he focuses on just getting better and getting healthy and then he can be a little more clear on his decisions on whether he wants to continue or not."
However, one thing is clear -- the B's will miss having Marc Savard
on the ice.
"I think Peter [Chiarelli] was dead on," said Chara. "We will not replace Marc.
"It’s so hard to replace a quality player and such a playmaker.
"We all know we have to step up," he said.