Marc Savard and Boston Bruins' Trade Chatter: To Rumor or Not To Rumor?

Cory Ducey@@duceycoAnalyst IIIJune 28, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 12: Marc Savard #91 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Wachovia Center on May 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The rumor mill makes its way through the NHL like clockwork, and it finds its way to the Boston Bruins with talks that an imminent trade is in the works for centerman Marc Savard.

Savard, who turns 33 in the upcoming season, just recently acquired a long term, cap-friendly contract with the intent to potentially play out his career in Beantown.

Savard has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to go to two teams, and after July 1, that will expand to five.  The two teams reportedly in the mix are the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While the rumors are stating various reasons, there are "inside NHL sources".  There are other "sources" that are stating the contrary.  That said, to move on something when the actual parties involved have not come out and publicly confirmed it is not only irresponsible, but shameless in the bid to have something to write about and stir up chatter.

I call it the "Fox News effect"—One of the first news organizations that started to sensationalize news by making information believable but using half-truths or hiding behind the "reliable source" shtick.  Got to love that freedom of the press rule.

It's easy for "sportscasters" to start something.  As the old saying goes, "It is not an easy task to unring a bell, nor to remove from the mind an impression once firmly imprinted there."

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Simply put, if it's wrong, then they can fall back on "It was a rumor," and life goes on.  Never mind the uncertainty it can create and relationships it can (temporarily or permanently) strain as a result of misinformed or unconfirmed bylines.

If they are right, then they come out looking like a genius.  It's a gamble, but a gamble that holds no retribution and a ton of gains.  In short, low risk gives the media virtually nothing on the downside if they are wrong and high gains if they are correct.

Enough of the explanations.  You get the idea.

Let's look at some facts:

• The Boston Bruins organization, Marc Savard, the Ottawa Senators, or the Toronto Maple Leafs have not publicly confirmed any truth to the rumors.  This has been going on for two days now and not one person from any camp has made a public statement on it.  It's Monday so we'll see.

• The Boston Bruins have just acquired a quality winger in Nathan Horton and their second overall draft pick in Tyler Seguin, whose role has been discussed publicly by GM Peter Chiarelli, potentially to be played as a winger.

• Vladimir Sobotka, an up and coming center, was just traded to the St. Louis Blues, clearing up a center position in the roster.

These can suggest something entirely different from the current rumor.  This sounds like the Bruins are trying to shape the team around Savard rather than trying to ship him off to another town.

Shipping him to the Leafs, of whom Boston has their first-round pick in the 2011/12 draft, would not be wise for two reasons: Divisional rivals get the Savard/Kessel one-two punch reunited, and they could potentially reduce the value of their draft pick by bolstering Toronto's offense.

Toronto GM Brian Burke is known for creating doublespeak and allowing a rumor to escalate to keep the media guessing; dealing with the media is clearly not his favorite part of the job.  It almost seems like he enjoys to play the cat-and-mouse game with an industry that tries to be first in line with a story.  Given the current media available, it's much more urgent today than it was years ago.

Rogers Sportsnet has been riding this story heavily but is yet to produce any official word. You would think that, given their resources, they would have something from some camp. With the anti-tampering rules, there's no surprise little information has come from Burke and party.

However, not a single confirmation has been made by the Bruins or Savard.

The same goes for TSN, ESPN, and other major sports media organizations.  If I'm wrong, at least I didn't go on rumor. 

Is it true?  Nothing is official from the camps involved.  Until then it's a rumor, plain and simple.

This is Cory Ducey saying, "Hit hard, but keep it clean."

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