Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks Throwback Thursday: Denis Savard

By Sean Fitzgerald
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It’s easy to celebrate former Blackhawk Denis Savard in Montreal

In the spirit of attending the Hockey Hall of Fame and currently writing this in Montreal, I decided this week’s Throwback Thursday would be on Denis Savard. Savard was born in Pointe Gatineau, but raised in Montreal, Canada.

Savard was the third overall pick of the Blackhawks in 1980. Savard played his junior hockey with the Montreal Juniors in the QMJHL. He played 214 games with 146 goals and 309 assists in three seasons.

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His first season with the Blackhawks, he set the then-rookie record for points with 75. Savard would spend 13 seasons with the Blackhawks, scoring 377 goals and 719 assists for 1,096 points.

Savard had a career-high 131 points with the Blackhawks. He made the Spin-o-rama famous in Chicago first before Patrick Kane would carry on the tradition.

He would lead his Blackhawks teams to the conference finals four times, but was never able to break through to the Stanley Cup Final. Savard would leave the Blackhawks organization as a player in 1990.

He then would sign with his hometown team, the Canadiens. He changed his game with the Habs, scoring less. He would get his Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Habs. Savard then would be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He spent one season in Tampa, recording 46 points in 1993-94.

In 1994-95, he would go from Tampa Bay back home to Chicago. He would appear in 12 games in 1994-95. In 1995-96, he would appear in 69 games, recording 48 points. His last season in the NHL would be in Chicago, where he appeared in 64 games while recording 27 points.

The seven-time All-Star eventually went into the Hall of Fame for his on-ice accomplishments. While he never won a postseason trophy (minus the Stanley Cup in 1993), he received votes for the Calder, Hart and Lady Byng in his career.

But Savard wasn’t done with hockey after his playing days ended. He would join the Blackhawks as a coach in 1997-98. He was an assistant until 2006-07, when he became head coach. He would become famous for his tirade about players needing to “commit to the Indian.”

Savard was fired as coach in 2008-09 after four games, as the Blackhawks decided to go with Joel Quenneville, who remains with the team today.

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Savard would remain with organization as an ambassador along with the likes of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Savard was a huge part of the Blackgawks organization as a player and a coach, and he remains so today as a voice to tout all the good the organization is doing.

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