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Dreger: Savard at crossroads after another concussion

Darren Dreger

1/25/2011 10:57:09 PM

Marc Savard has reached a crossroads in his career.

Another concussion, his second in 10 months, is forcing the 33-year-old to consider retirement as he did during his darkest days in the summer when post-concussion syndrome tightened its grip, mere months after Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke sidelined Savard with a blindside hit.

On Saturday, former Bruin Matt Hunwick delivered the latest blow, leaving Savard with a moderate concussion. However, based on the cumulative risks, quality of life may hang in the balance - an issue that, in time, both Savard and the Bruins will face together.

According to information obtained by a league-wide sweep of the 30 teams, 13 players are currently out with concussions, or concussion-like symptoms.

Long-term casualties include Paul Kariya, who is taking the year to deal with post-concussion issues. Colorado's Peter Mueller hasn't played since September, while New Jersey's Bryce Salvador, who sustained a concussion in the pre-season, is unlikely to return this season.

Calgary's Raitis Ivanans has missed 49 games following an early October fight with Edmonton's Steve MacIntyre. Nashville's Matthew Lombardi hasn't played a game since Oct. 13 - the Predators' second game of the season - and remains questionable for the remainder of the year. David Perron has been sidelined since Nov. 4 following a controversial hit that earned San Jose's Joe Thornton a two-game suspension.

That concussions are a perplexing and pervasive problem for the NHL is not new. Nor is the league's efforts to get a handle on the issue. Gary Bettman is expected to address the subject - and provide the latest data on it - Saturday at the Board of Governors meeting in Raleigh.