Former NHLer Marc Savard who had a 13 year pro career split between the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Boston Bruins has been hired as a head coach by the Ontario Hockey League's (OHL) Windsor Spitfires.
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The 44 year old Savard, of course, was forced to retire from the NHL in 2011 after suffering ongoing concussion issues stemming from an absolutely brutal head shot from then Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke.
Today though, Savard has come out on the other end of a dark tunnel and is excited to start a new life as a head coach in one of the hockey world's premier junior leagues.
“It feels amazing, I have been waiting for this opportunity," Savard said in a prepared statement on the Spitfires' website. "The process has been first class all the way with Bill and Ownership. I want to be a head coach and earn my craft. I want to be here for a while and learn a lot. I can’t wait to get started.”
Joining Marc Savard on the Spitfires' bench will be longtime assistant coach Jerrod Smith who has been with the team for over a decade now. Also joining Savard and Smith on the bench will be the new assistant coach Andy Delmore who comes to the team from the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. If Delmore's name also sounds familiar it's because he managed 283 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets. Delmore retired from pro hockey in 2013 and quickly transitioned into a coaching role with the Sarnia Sting which he held for two years. Andy then moved into an assistant coaching role the University of Windsor Mens Lancers in 2015 for a season before moving to the ECHL. Delmore has been with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL for the last four seasons, two as assistant coach and two as associate head coach.
As for Savard, the native native of Peterborough Ont., and played his junior career with the Oshawa Generals before being drafted 91st overall in the 1995 NHL entry draft by the New York Rangers. Savard is a two-time winner of the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for the OHL’s top scorer and an OHL champion. Savard is also the leader in all-time points for the Oshawa Generals. Savard played 14 seasons in the NHL and amassed over 800 games and over 700 points with four teams. Savard has won one Stanley cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011 and was a two-time NHL all-star. Savard has served one season as the assistant coach of the St. Louis Blues in the NHL during the 2019-2020 season.