New relationships are built everyday. Whether you give a quick smile to someone you walk past on the street or create a new friendship, we constantly come across people that we remember. But every once in a while, you find a person whose presence makes such a deep impact on your life, you never forget the imprint they've left on your own personal journey.
Denis Savard has made that impact on more than one occasion.
Last weekend at the Blackhawks Convention, Eddie Olczyk sat down with Savard in a panel discussion about their days as teammates and personal relationship off the ice. The time they spent sitting together began with jokes and laughter, and even included a water gun Savy would occasionally shoot in Eddie O.'s direction.
But when asked how Savard has personally affected his life, Olczyk immediately teared up and needed some time to gather his emotions before he could even begin answering the question.
Growing up, Savard was who Olczyk looked up to, and getting to play three seasons with his hero was more of a dream than he could have asked for. But Olczyk said that what's influenced him the most, is the off-ice relationship the two developed as they continue their careers within the Blackhawks organization.
"He's one of the greatest guys you'll ever want to meet," Olczyk said with deep emotion in his voice. "He's as good as it gets."
In the latest edition of the Blackhawks' "Blood, Sweat and Cheers" series, Wayne Gretzky chimed in on the legacy Savard continues building throughout the hockey community.
As players advance through their NHL careers, they give it their all during each game, challenging and beating one another. But it's those who stay involved in the sport after their playing careers end who realize that the closely-knit hockey community is filled with good people, from the guys in the front office to those on the ice. Gretzky has no doubt that Savard ranks at the top of that list.
"When it comes to dealing with people and making sure they're comfortable and have a nice time, there's nobody better than Denis. I have to believe he has no enemies in the whole world, including guys he made look foolish when he was playing.
"I don't know that Denis ever has a really bad day. Even on the day he got let go as coach of the Blackhawks in 2008, he took it like a man. I called him, because I knew how it hurt. He loves Chicago and loves that franchise. But he said to me, 'Wayne, this is part of the business. I'm fine. I'll move on. Everything happens for a reason.' Now he's back as the Blackhawks Ambassador and he's as happy as I've ever seen him, which is great.
"Good things happen to good people, and he is good people."