Throwback Thursday: Denis Savard

By Josh Brink
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Sep 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks alumni Stan Makita, left, Denis Savard, center, and Tony Esposito before the game between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

After spending 10 years wearing the red sweater and with his stock price high, the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens decided to make a blockbuster trade June 29, 1990, after the Canadiens had previously passed over him nearly a decade ago in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. It would cost the Canadiens Chicago native and future Hall of Famer Chris Chelios. The deal was a lot sweater for the Blackhawks because the way history played out Chris Chelios went on to have a famed career on the defensive side of the puck while Denis Savard had reached his peak and never scored 30+ goals in a season again, nor did he average a point a game as he did with the Blackhawks earlier in his career.

During his 3 year stint with the Canadiens, Savard did manage to win a Stanley Cup ring during the 1992-93 season so he was the one who had the fortune of being traded to a contending team. After the Canadiens Stanley Cup Savard tested free agency and ended up landing a spot on the Tampa Bay Lighting for 1 ½ seasons until he was once again reunited with his original team the Chicago Blackhawks for a sixth round pick. Savard was probably acquired more so for his veteran leadership and hockey IQ and Denis Savard spent three more seasons with the Blackhawks putting up lower numbers towards the end of his career. On June 26, 1997 Denis Savard officially retired from playing professional hockey and his #17 jersey was later retired on March 19, 1998.

In December of 1997 just months after announcing retirement from playing in the league, Denis Savard began a coaching career with the Chicago Blackhawks. On November 27, 2006, Denis Savard was named the Chicago Blackhawks interim coach and went on to get the starting job. He managed to put up a 65–66–16 record in 147 games but was fired and replaced by current coach Joel Quenneville October 16, 2008 after just four games into the season. Denis Savard stayed close with the organization becoming an ambassador for the team and helped bring them back on the map with 2 Stanley Cups in 2010 and 2013.

Noteable accomplishments:

  • 9 time NHL All-Star (1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996)
  • CBH team record 87 assists in one season (twice) 1981-82 and 1987-88
  • CBH team record 131 points recorded 1987-88 season
  • Seven straight seasons he scored 30 or more goals
  • Third place all time points leader in Chicago Blackhawks history
  • Recorded five 100 + point seasons
  • Total career stats – 1196 games, 473 goals , 865 assists for a total of 1338 points

Any Denis Savard fans out there on Throwback Thursday? Let me know what your thoughts are or any specific memories you may have in the comments below!

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