After a career ended too early due to a dirty hit and lasting concussion symptoms, Marc Savard has turned the page as he embarks on what should be a long and successful coaching career. The former Bruins player has gotten off to a great start to his coaching career as he first started as an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues during the 2019-2020 season before stepping away ahead of the 2020-2021 season to be with family. Savard now finds himself in a great position as a head coach in the Ontario Hockey league (OHL) for the Windsor Spitfires.
Savard’s Playing Career
Over the course of his playing career, Savard was an offensive-minded center who played in 14 seasons and 807 games. Throughout his career, he scored 207 goals and dished out 499 assists for 706 points while playing for four teams. He suited up for the New York Rangers, who originally drafted him 91st overall in the fourth round of the 1995 draft before playing for the Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers, and Boston Bruins. Savard was fantastic on the power-play as 80 of his 207 career goals came the way of the man advantage, as well as 292 of his 706 points.
Savard Gets the Nod
Ahead of this current 2021-2022 season, Savard was hired as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, beginning the next step of the player-turned coach’s career.
“It feels amazing, I have been waiting for this opportunity. The process has been first class all the way with Bill and Ownership.” Stated Marc. “I want to be a head coach and earn my craft. I want to be here for a while and learn a lot. I can’t wait to get started.”
In his first season leading the Spitfires, Savard led his team to major success. Windsor finished atop the Western Conference with 44 wins, 17 losses, four overtime losses, and three shootout losses, good for 95 points. The 44 wins and 95 points were second best in the OHL, trailing the Hamilton Bulldogs, who finished with 51 wins and 107 points.
Windsor Playoff Run
Savard has steered his team through the playoffs and to a Western Conference Championship as they are now playing for the OHL Championship. Throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs the Spitfires have dominated as they beat the Sarnia Sting 4-2 in six before defeating the Kitchener Rangers 4-1 in five games. The third round of the playoffs proved to be slightly more difficult as the Flint Firebirds fought tooth and nail pushing Windsor to game seven. The Spitfires were able to overcome the challenge and advance to the Championship game thanks to a 4-0 shutout.
Windsor finds themselves in a great spot as they lead the Hamilton Bulldogs 2-1, with game four scheduled for Friday, June 10th. The Bulldogs are 12-0 through their first three rounds of the playoffs and have finally met their match against the well-coached and talented Spitfires. Savard and his team are playing for more than just the OHL Championship, as the winner will have the opportunity to play for the 2022 Memorial Cup.
What’s Next For Savard?
While Savard is wrapping up a playoff run, it’s the news surrounding his former team that has Bruins fans wondering. The Bruins and management fired head coach Bruce Cassidy yesterday as they prepare to go in a new direction. With just two head coaches managing the Bruins bench since 2007, this will be a critical choice for the Bruins to decide who will coach this team moving forward. With a new core ready to take over in Boston and plenty of younger players waiting in the wings ready to join the mix, the B’s will need a coach capable of developing young talent. With Savard’s success with Windsor and his history with the storied franchise, it is not far-fetched to think Savard may be the next head coach for Boston. He will be in the running for the opportunity along with other former Bruins players such as Mark Recchi and Rick Tocchet, along with outside names like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella and Jay Leach. Only time will tell what Don Sweeney and Cam Neely decide to do but stay tuned as Savard’s name will continue to be linked to the Bruin’s head coach vacancy.
Interview w/Bruins' Jack Ahcan – Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod