After skating with the rest of his teammates for the first time this season, Bruins center Marc Savard addressed his state of mind, his recovery from post-concussion syndrome, and the unflattering light in which his name has grabbed headlines of late. NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who coached Savard while the two were with the Rangers in 1997-98, had emails leaked in which he called Savard a "little fake artist" and the "biggest faker going." On Saturday, Savard reminisced on their days in New York and the positive relationship the two had, and noted that it would be unfair to suggest the emails conveyed a bias that went into the decision to not suspend Matt Cooke, who gave Savard his concussion last March.
"I have nothing against [Colin Campbell]. I think that stuff was private stuff, and I think that stuff that he was saying got interpreted in a bad way," Savard, who noted the emails "didn't faze" him. "It had nothing to do with the Cooke incident.
"Me and Colie got along fine," he added. "He actually joked with me a lot. He made me feel comfortable, and I owe a lot to him. He was my first coach that I broke in with, and he gave me an opportunity. … He was great for me, and I've got no hard feelings against him. I think that the media should maybe take it a little bit easier on him."
As for the idea that he is a "faker," Savard said that he felt the comments were probably less serious than one would think, given that Campbell himself encouraged that style of play.
"I played for Colie, and I think one of the ways when I first came in the league to stay in the lineup was to draw penalties, and I think he encouraged that at the time if you asked him," Savard said. "I think that's what he was referring to, but it had nothing to do with the Cooke situation. "
The situation was made dicier by the fact that one of the emails was about a high sticking call that Savard drew on Campbell's son Gregory, now playing for the Bruins, back in 2007.
"I talked to [Gregory Campbell, a.k.a 'Soupy'] here, and Soupy's a great kid. We had no hard feelings against each other. I can't wait to get back and play with him."
Savard has been cleared to practice with the team, but still cannot take physical contact. He is expected to undergo further testing next week. For more on the Bruins, visit their team page at weei.com/bruins .