The trade rumors for Bruins center Marc Savard continued today, specifically pertaining to the Bruins shipping their star center off to the desert with the Phoenix Coyotes. Savard, who easily could never be back to his prime form, has been the Bruins leading scorer each full season since he was acquired after the 2005-2006 season. He has been a leader for the B's and in some cases has been the lone bright spot on an offensively riddled squad.
After losing Savard last year due to the questionable shot to the kisser he received from Penguins forward Matt Cooke, the Bruins without Savard and "with" him in the playoffs were 17-14. Not exactly startling numbers, but this team was above .500 without Marc last year. This year they have started the season red hot while riding a demi-god in Tim Thomas to a 6-2 start.
The first line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton has been phenomenal. With 26 points combined through the first 8 games, I see no reason to breakup this line. Savard, seemingly, would be slated to center the big time scorer in Horton and be back together with his old linemate in Lucic. It would be eerily similar to the Savard, Lucic, Kessel line we saw in the 08-09 season where the Bruins were the best team in the Eastern Conference and racking up the goals like we haven't seen in 10 years here in Boston.
A recreation of the Kessel line, with what most people would say is an improvement in Nathan Horton (at least in terms of a Bruin type player), is certainly a tantalizing thought. However, what is to say that Marc is going to be a better fit than David Krejci is right now? These three have seemingly gel'd as is. To break them up with a Savard return would be shocking.
So where do you put him? There is no way that you bump Bergeron off of his line with Recchi for Savard. Bergeron and Recchi mesh too well. They both play the grinder type game with the finesse to put the puck in the net and playmaker. That's out the window. Now all you have left is the 3rd line. No team in their right mind would pay their 3rd line center 4 Million dollars. Not to mention this would bump Tyler Seguin down to the 4th line and at that point it seems to me that you might as well send him down to the minors. What good would a flashy speedy goal scoring rookie forward be to the Bruins on their checking line? None.
So, if Savard is not needed on the Bruins top 4 lines, and you need to clear cap space to get a winger back in Marco Sturm why keep him? The one thing that remains Savard's specialty is his ability to work the power play. It is no secret that the B's powerplay has taken a significant hit since his departure to the IR. However, are the Bruins willing to pay the 4 million dollars for Savvy in return for a powerplay specialist? Maybe I'm being a bit harsh giving him that tag, but that's what he seems to be to me right now.
In the long run, I don't believe the Bruins will shop Savard. However, getting rid of the $4 million cap hit from an over 30 center that is coming off a serious head injury when you clearly have 3 very capable centers that have meshed well with their wingers seems extremely crazy to me.