Hey hey, it’s the Mon-
No. It’s Monday people, the opposite of Friday.
There is no joy on Monday like there is no joy in today’s subject.
Today I present a think piece for you, one that might make you equal parts reflective and pensive. Pete Blackburn, Boston sports guy who has written for many outlets, was invited by Greg Wyshynski to write a piece of revisionist history on what would have happened had Marc Savard stayed healthy, being able to complete his contract. Admittedly, this is a more challenging subject than he could have picked and one that I think many here would have opinions upon, both similar and different.
He starts with Marc Savard by the numbers.
In this revised history, Savard doesn’t suffer a concussion in the Pittsburgh game and plays out the remaining 18 games at a point-per-game clip. That puts him at 51 points on the season and 714 for his career.
Savard goes on to play out the remainder of that seven-year contract with the Bruins, retiring after the 2017 season (hey, that’s right now!) at age 39. During that run, he had a couple more 80+ point seasons and All-Star selections and – after being slowed down by a few injuries and good ol’ Father Time – averaged around 60 points per year.
He wraps up his career with 1,124 career points, walking away with a legitimate chance at being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. At the very least, he’s considered one of the greatest playmakers in Bruins history and is beloved by the city for his contributions and passion both on and off the ice.
(That last part still rings true in reality. Boston loved Savard during his time here, and he seemed to love the city and organization as well. If you go to his Twitter page today, his avatar and cover photo are from his time with the Bruins, and the Bruins are the only team he claims in his bio.)
Had Savard played and succeeded, he could have become yet another beloved Bruins player and a Hall of Famer.
Then Blackburn has to figure out the tricky situation of the 2011 Stanley Cup win and the aftermath:
Okay, I’m going to gather up the chutzpah to say that they still win it all in 2011. Hell, I’ll even say they go on to successfully win another in the next few years.
Not only does Savard get his name on the Cup, he plays a central role in making it happen. He continues to be a clutch postseason performer and is a key offensive contributor on those Cup-winning teams, claiming a piece of hockey immortality in the process.
The guy most affected by Savard’s extended career in this alternate timeline is David Krejci. The Czech center still posts commendable numbers and contributes significantly but he doesn’t play as large of a role in the 2011 postseason. Then, with Savard and Bergeron ahead of him on the depth chart, Krejci grows hungrier for a bigger role and leaves Boston after his contract expires in 2012.
Uh, wow. That’s a lot of confidence there. In between are all sorts of roster shifting that I’ll leave for you to parse and talk about below because you all know it well.
So, what do you think?