Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while living in a Boston sports world where everything is coming up Green at this point.
*What a harrowing entry in the Players Tribune from Marc Savard about his battle with post-concussion syndrome and his perspective of the ordeal he went through following the dirty head shot from Matt Cooke that ostensibly ended his career. These are Savard’s words: “Well, imagine waking up and still feeling completely exhausted. Imagine that feeling lingering for almost two months. No matter how much you rest, you never feel like yourself. There’s no relief. You’re just exhausted and pissed off and confused.
"For two months, I was a zombie.”
I remember both of the events he detailed like it was yesterday. I was in Pittsburgh when Savard was blindsided by Matt Cooke, and barely caught the elbow/forearm to his vulnerable head because it was so far behind the play and where the puck was. I was also in Colorado when Matt Hunwick hit him with the final concussion that ended his NHL career, and remember vividly, sadly the sight of Savard in tears skating off the ice knowing that he was all done as a hockey player. That was something I’d never seen before, and something I hope to never see again. There was an energy and a creativity to Savard’s game when he was at his best, and it was gone in those games he played in 2010-11 before the Hunwick hit. Cooke took that from him with his cheap shot and the NHL embarrassed itself by not doing anything to the Penguins forward on a clearly dirty hit. It’s infuriating all over again when you think about it. But it’s good to hear that Savard is doing better now. He’s getting more involved with coaching and he’s finding ways to live his life to its fullest even though he knows his NHL career was taken away from him in his prime with the Bruins poised to win the Cup that season.
If anything you just hope that Savard’s account of his issues continues to be a reminder that NHL players, or any pro athletes for that matter, can’t come back from concussions before they’re feeling 100 percent, and that the NHL needs to continue to be vigilant about the headshots that do this kind of damage to somebody’s brain.
*Good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper about Nashville Predators coach Phil Housley, who coaches offense to the Preds defense.
*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli says he’s still not sure if Leon Draisaitl is a center or a right wing as his ideal, permanent NHL position.
*The NHL expansion draft is on the radar for the Detroit Red Wings, and they are going to have some difficult decisions in front of them.
*Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is downplaying any tensions between Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin, but what else is he supposed to do?
*Congrats to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Steve Mears for landing the play-by-play gig for his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins after a nice run at the NHL Network.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the latest chapter of Ryan Kesler vs. Ryan Johansen with Kesler feeling like he’s in the Nashville forward’s kitchen cooking bacon and eggs.
*For something completely different: The reaction of my CSN colleagues after the Celtics were awarded the No. 1 overall pick was priceless. Sherrod was pumped.