Boston Bruins: With Recent Setbacks, Should Marc Savard Retire from the NHL?

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Boston Bruins: With Recent Setbacks, Should Marc Savard Retire from the NHL?
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Boston Bruins center Marc Savard is still suffering from headaches, according to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli via the Boston Globe.

Savard will miss the start of the Bruins training camp this fall, unless his condition takes a miraculous step forward.

After suffering a vicious hit to the head by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke in 2010, Savard has never been the same.

He played in 25 games for the Bruins last year, but his season was cut short on January 22 when he suffered another concussion from a hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick.

Concussions are a serious matter in today's sporting world, and in the physical game of hockey, every precaution must be taken.

With Savard's history of concussions, his ongoing symptoms, and his inability to stay on the ice when he does return, it may be best for him to retire and not damage the future of his life.

At 34 years old, Savard does not have the young legs or youthful energy to help him in his rehab.

When teammate Patrice Bergeron suffered his concussions a few years ago, he was in his early twenties, and his body was young enough to heal and recover better and more quickly.

Also for Bergeron, he had plenty of time to take off and fully recover by being young. With Savard, he can't afford to take years to heal because he'll be approaching his mid-late thirties soon.

Is coming back and suffering another concussion worth it to Savard?

It's immensely tough to walk away from the sport you've dedicated your life to since you were a little boy, but when your body can't handle the physicality that comes with each NHL game, it's best to move on.

He came back against the Philadelphia Flyers for the second round of the playoffs in 2010, but that didn't go too well for him other than Game 1 when he scored the overtime winner. Savard just wasn't the same player.

Even if Savard could come back next season, he won't be the same player that was so crucial in helping the Bruins become a playoff contender again.

He won't be a top line center, and he won't light up the stat sheet. Savard will also be more passive in his play. I'm not blaming him for this and not saying anything is wrong with that, but anyone who has suffered multiple concussions will be looking over their shoulder so they can avoid or brace for a check.

Coming back to hockey and playing like this and at the same time putting not only your hockey career, but your life in jeopardy, is simply not worth it.

Retiring from sports is one of the toughest decisions an athlete can make. This decision isn't about hockey for Marc Savard, or the Bruins, it's about his life, and the quality of it moving forward well after he hangs up his skates for good.

For more on Savard, check out this recent article: Will Marc Savard get his name on the Stanley Cup?

Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report, and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. Follow him on Twitter for NHL news and analysis. 

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