On November 30th, 2005 then Bruins GM Mike O’Connell traded their franchise player, Joe Thornton. They received 3 players in return for Jumbo Joe, not draft picks, just three players, which Marco Sturm was the only player that lasted. That season O’Connell turned the Bruins into basically an expansion team. O’Connell was eventually fired, but not until after he signed Tim Thomas to a contact extension, which worked out fine for the Bruins, but just for the Thornton trade he should have been fired.
That summer Peter Chiarelli was hired and he signed Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard. Savard was coming off a 97 point season for the Atlanta Thrashers. Those two signings turned the Bruins around. Although, his first season in Boston the team was terrible, with Dave Lewis coaching the team, but Savard put up 96 points. That season he had 74 assists and was still third in the league in assists behind Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby. To put that into perspective, Nick Backstrom led the NHL this season in assists with 60. Backstrom plays on a line with Alex Ovechkin, who had 53 goals this season. Savard never had a goal scorer like that on his line in Boston, unless you consider Glen Murray a dynamic scorer.
Savard played 304 games for the Bruins and had 305 points ( 74 goals and 231 assists). If it was not for one of the dirtiest hits in the modern NHL history Savard could have potentially made it to the Hall of Fame. He has 706 career points in the NHL. He has not played a game since 2011. It has been 4 seasons since he has played and he has 2 more years on his contract. You would have to think that he would have reached the 1000 point mark that is almost mandatory to get into the Hall.
My favorite memory of Savard is when he scored the game winner in Game 1 against the Flyers (second round) in overtime. That was after the Matt Cooke hit and I believe it was his first game back. Savard did not play enough games in the 2010-2011 season to get his name on the Cup, but the Bruins petitioned the NHL to have his name on the Cup. That is how much he meant to the Bruins franchise.
I hope in two years when his contract is up the Bruins will do the ceremonial 1 day contract and let him retire as a Bruin.