Boston Bruins center Marc Savard says he loves Boston, and over the last three seasons fans in the Hub have come to love him. Of course, it helps that he has averaged 87 points per season and added enough defensive juice to his game to become a regular on the penalty kill.
Savard, who reported to Wilmington, Mass., this week for informal practices, is 100 percent healthy after limping into the sunset last spring in the aftermath of a knee injury suffered in a collision with Chad LaRose during the Eastern Conference semifinal series with Carolina.
The 2009-10 season could be Savard’s best in Boston, and not just because he tasted team success in recent years and wants more. Savard will be playing for his next contract because he’s in the last year of his deal, plus trying to prove that Hockey Canada erred in not inviting him to its Olympic orientation camp.
Offseason tidbit: Savard and newly acquired defenseman Derek Morris are good friends from their days in Calgary, so Savard had already give Morris the lowdown on life in Boston.
Position battle: With credentials like Savard’s there’s not much to fight for as far as playing time. The bigger question will be what wingers Savard will mesh best with, especially with Phil Kessel’s days seemingly number in black and gold. It might be time to again see if Savard and Michael Ryder can mesh on the right side. Milan Lucic has proven an effective left side. But we might see a revolving door for a couple months two guys settle in next to Savard.
Projection: With Savard, you know what you’re getting. So a near-90-point season should be expected. He’s going to make it tough for the Bruins to let him hit the open market.