The St. Louis Blues have decided to give Marc Savard his first shot in the NHL coaching ring, hiring him as an assistant for Craig Berube. Savard had been working as an analyst for Toronto Maple Leafs broadcasts and has a relationship with Berube going back to their playing days. The Blues’ bench boss released a short statement on the hire:
I was fortunate to play with Marc during my career and I’m very familiar with his passion and acumen for the game. He was a tremendous player and possesses an elite offensive mind. His addition to our staff will be a great benefit to our players and the organization.
There’s no doubting how effective Savard was during his playing career. Originally selected in the fourth round—likely because of his size, given he had just scored 139 points in 66 OHL games—he quickly forced his way into the NHL and never looked back. The 5’10” center was an incredible playmaker, creating space for himself before finding an open teammate. In 807 career regular season contests Savard recorded 706 points, including back-to-back years of 97 and 96 during his prime. His 69 assists in 2005-06 was the franchise record for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets until last season when Blake Wheeler recorded 71.
Unfortunately, Savard’s career was cut short by multiple concussions sustained in 2010 and 2011. When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, Savard’s name was included despite not having played in the postseason after the team petitioned the league to include it. He wouldn’t play again, though his contract would run through the 2016-17 season.
Savard joins Steve Ott and Mike Van Ryn as assistants for Berube as the Blues attempt to defend their Stanley Cup championship in 2019-20. He is expected to take on a role with skills development and contribute to the powerplay.