The Boston Bruins have reportedly had discussions about whether to shut down centre Marc Savard for the rest of the season as he battles the fourth concussion of his career.
According to ESPNBoston.com, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli admitted that "there is a strong possibility [of shutting him down], but you have to take it step by step".
Savard suffered his latest concussion on Jan. 22 during a game in Colorado. His head hit the corner glass on a check by Avalanche defenceman Matt Hunwick, and Savard had to be helped to the dressing room bleeding from the face.
The 33-year-old forward was officially diagnosed with a "moderate concussion" by Bruins medical staff two days later.
"With the time between concussions, and with the severity of the concussion [last March], and the time between when he basically stopped having concussion symptoms, [shutting him down] is certainly something you would have to consider," Chiarelli told ESPNBoston.com.
"He still has some symptoms. It hasn't totally disappeared," explained Boston head coach Claude Julien in the same report. "We'll let the medical people deal with him when he gets back. Hopefully for his sake, not the team's sake, but more for his sake that he gets better".
The report from ESPNBoston.com also states that should the Bruins decide to shut Savard down, he will be placed on long-term injured reserve. That move would clear his cap room and allow the Bruins to acquire another player prior to the Feb. 28 trade deadline if the team so chooses.
Savard missed the first 23 games of this season because of post-concussion symptoms that were originally caused by a hit from Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke last March.
Savard has played 25 games this season, with two goals and eight assists. In his last full season in 2008-09, Savard scored 25 goals and 63 assists.
He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday in Boston.