Stanley Cup champion Marc Savard turns to golf

Marc Savard is a Stanley Cup champion, who five times during his NHL career, scored 20 or more goals in a season. But concussions have robbed him of the sport he loves forcing him to find a new passion.

And he hopes to find it in golf.

Savard has not played an NHL game since January 2011, when he suffered his second major concussion.

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“After my big one it was a tough first three months. It was a lot of black rooms. I’ve gotten better from that. I still have my days with a headache and being tired, but besides that, I feel pretty good,” said Savard.

Savard manages to play golf at least three times a week, getting good enough to receive sponsors’ exemption into his first PGA Tour Canada event- The Players Cup in Winnipeg.

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That has made for a week of new experiences.

“I don’t usually walk when I play.  I’ve been walking a lot, so that’s something that’s been a little bit tiring. Probably get into bed right after I play a lot of nights. But I’m really enjoying it. I’ve had a lot of fun so far,” he said.

Though he speaks of the NHL as something from the distant past, Savard is not officially retired from the NHL.

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He still collected his reported $5-million salary this past season while on long-term injured reserve. He meets with Bruins team doctors once a month during the season, but continues to hear he’s not ready for the body contact that comes with being an NHL player.

Savard has already won a pair of city/district golf titles in his hometown of Peterborough, Ont.  Somehow he has found enough time to practice while juggling family life with two boys in triple-A hockey, a daughter in dance and a newborn.

“It’s pretty busy in the winters, but the summers aren’t bad,” said Savard. “I’ve got a great wife and she lets me play and it’s something that she’s great with.”

After shooting 9-over par on day one, Savard knew his tournament would end after Friday’s round, but is comfortable with the result.

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“It’s a learning experience. It’s something that I enjoy. Hopefully if I can take it seriously enough, maybe get a teacher or something I can take another step,” he said.

Savard is hoping having been an elite athlete in the NHL, one day he can do the same in golf.

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