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02-03-2012, 04:11 AM
Snubbed Again
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
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With the 85th pick, the Seattle Metropolitans select Serge Savard.


Regular Season: 1040 Games, 106 Goals, 333 Assists, 439 Points, +460
Playoffs: 130 Games, 19 Goals, 49 Assists, 68 Points


Stanley Cup Champion (1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)
2nd All-Star Team Selection (1979)
All-Star Game Participant (1970, 1973, 1977, 1978)
Conn Smythe Award (1969)
Bill Masterton Trophy (1979)

Voting Records

Top-10 Norris Voting:
1973 – 6th (behind Orr, Lapointe, Park, Laperriere, White)
1975 – 5th (behind Orr, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming)
1976 – 5th (behind Potvin, Park, Lapointe, Salming)
1977 – 5th (behind Robinson, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming)
1978 – 8th (behind Potvin, Park, Robinson, Salming, Lapointe, etc.)
1979 – 4th (behind Potvin, Robinson, Salming)

Top-10 All-Star Team Voting:
1973 – 6th (behind Orr, Lapointe, Park, Laperriere, White)
1975 – 6th (behind Orr, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming, Park)
1976 – 5th (behind Potvin, Park, Lapointe, Salming)
1977 – 5th (behind Robinson, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming)
1978 – 5th (behind Potvin, Park, Robinson, Salming)
1979 – 4th behind Potvin, Robinson, Salming)


Inducted into HHOF (1986)
His #18 is Retired by the Montreal Canadiens organization
Captain of the Montreal Canadiens (1979-1981)
Played in the 1979 Challenge Cup
Ranked 98 on the HOH Top 100 list (2008 edition)
Ranked 81 on the Hockey News Top 100
Named 2nd best defensive defenseman in NHL by the coaches (1979, 1981)

What do the Experts Say?

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Rangy defenseman Serge Savard played 17 seasons in the NHL, 15 (his first season consisted of two games) with his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens, and two with the Winnipeg Jets, who lured him out of retirement after he'd left Montreal following the 1980-81 season.
A member of the Canadiens "Big Three" defensive stars along with Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson, Savard was known as "the Senator" by his teammates for his involvement in activities - mostly in politics - outside the game. In the mid-1980s, he served as general manager of the Habs.

But hockey had been the first thing on Savard's mind since his boyhood in Montreal. When he was 15, a scout noticed him playing a school league game and put him on the team's list of promising reserves. Savard progressed quickly and within a few seasons was captain of the Junior Canadiens. Unlike many prospects of the day, Savard wanted to complete high school. But the Habs signed him to a contract and sent him to Houston to play for the Apollos of the Central Hockey League in 1966. He won the rookie of the year award that season with Houston and the following year was called up by the Habs. By the 1968-69 season, only his second full one in the NHL, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Habs won the Cup in a four-game sweep over the Blues in the finals.

Although Savard was overshadowed by his better-known teammates, he did win another significant award during his years as a player. In 1979 the NHL presented him with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

Savard almost didn't make it much further in NHL play, however. In a game during the 1970-71 season against the Rangers, he skated after New York's Rod Gilbert, trying to stop a breakaway. Savard dove for the puck and felt his left leg crumble underneath him. The result was five separate fractures and three operations that took him out of the game for three months.

After a complete recovery, Savard continued to have problems with the leg and further injuries. In the 1971-72 season, he suffered a new fracture to the same leg after being hit. In 1973 he injured his ankle severely as he tried to help firefighters break down a door during a fire at the Canadiens' hotel in St. Louis.

But the injuries failed to stop Savard. Upon his return to the game, he started to blend his patient, hard-working style with the hard-charging, rushing play of Lapointe and Robinson, the skillful scoring of Guy Lafleur and the outstanding play in the net of Ken Dryden. The result was another Cup for the Habs in 1976, when they swept the defending champion Philadelphia Flyers in four straight games, a victory that many relieved fans hailed as a triumph of skilled play over the fight-filled game of the Broad Street Bullies.

Internationally, Savard's attitude was rewarded by his being named to the Canadian team for the 1972 Summit Series. He appeared in five of the eight games, and - as Savard liked to remind people - Canada won four of those games and tied the other.

By 1981 Savard had had enough of being knocked around in the NHL. He had, after all, played on eight Stanley Cup-winning teams with Montreal and had seen more doctors and surgeons than he cared to remember. His retirement didn't last long, though. He was lured out of inactivity by the Winnipeg Jets, who wanted him for his experience on a young but improving team.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey: One-on-One
He has been called 'The Senator' for as long as most fans can remember. The originator of what Danny Gallivan loved to call a 'Spinarama,' Serge Savard was an integral part of one of the greatest eras in Montreal Canadiens' history; a part of a dynamic defensive troika that included Larry Robinson and Guy Lapointe that helped lead Montreal to eight championships in twelve years.

In his second NHL season, Savard was becoming the dominant team player we reflect back upon today. For a second straight season, Montreal not only finished first in the East, but proceeded to capture the Stanley Cup. Savard was outstanding, blocking shots, clearing the zone and collecting ten points in fourteen games. His four goals was one shy of an NHL record for playoff goals by a defenseman in one season and helped earn Serge the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable playoff performer as his Canadiens swept the St. Louis Blues in four games. Although never afraid to carry the puck, Savard was found to be invaluable in his own end.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey: Pinnacle
When the Canadian team was being assembled to compete against the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series, assistant coach John Ferguson convinced head coach Harry Sinden that Serge Savard had to be in the mix. Although Savard was recovering from the second of two consecutive broken legs, restricting his play to just 23 games in 1971-72 and 37 the year before, Ferguson had been a teammate of Savard's in Montreal and knew him to be a fierce competitor with considerable skills.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Serge Savard was a key component of the Montreal Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s. A consummate professional, Savard sacrificed personal awards and statistics for the success of his team and his teammates. Such selflessness allowed the Guy Lafleurs, Steve Shutts and Larry Robinsons achieve great acclaim, although Savard too received much recognition for his fine play.

Savard, nicknamed "The Senator" and the "Minister of Defense," played 16 seasons with the Habs, including being named captain for 2 of those years. With Savard in the line up, the Canadiens won 8 Stanley Cup championships, including 4 successive Cups from 1976 to 1979.

Savard is best known as a member of The Big Three. Along with Larry Robinson and Guy Lapointe, Savard helped to make what many consider to be the best blue line in NHL history. No other team, say many experts, has ever iced three defenseman of the same quality as The Big Three.

Savard was the elder statesman of The Big Three. A native Montrealer, Savard graduated from the Junior Canadiens to turn pro in 1966. By the 1967-68 season he was on his way to a standout career, winning his first Stanley Cup.

In just his second NHL season, Savard progressed nicely during the regular season, but dominated in the playoffs. He played incredibly through the entire post season, and picked up 4 goals and 10 points in 14 games to earn him the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. Savard became the first defenseman in history to win the award.

Tragedy struck Savard on January 30, 1971. In a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had already had a history of knee and leg injuries, broke bones in both of his legs. He would be able to participate in only 60 games over the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons.

Despite the major set back, Savard was cleared to play for the the 1971-72 season. Before the season got underway Serge was asked to represent Canada against the Soviets in the now-fabled 1972 Summit Series. It is well documented just how much trouble he Canadians had with their Soviet counterparts, but Savard had a calming influence on the team and made a significant difference when he played. Savard played in only 5 of the 8 games against the Russians, and Team Canada never lost a match, going 4-0-1. Coincidence? Maybe, but there can be no doubt that Savard was a big part of the games that he did play in.

Savard returned to the NHL and continued his steady and spectacular play. However he was never noted as much of an offensive threat until the 1974-75 season. Coming off of a 4 goal, 18 point season the previous year, Serge exploded with a 20 goal, 60 point season. That season proved to be a bit of a fluke, as Serge never returned to those numbers again, although he was a consistent 5-10 goal and 40+ point threat through the rest of the Canadiens dynasty in the late 1970s.

Savard stayed in Montreal until the conclusion of the 1980-81 season. The Habs were looking to bring in some youth and exposed Savard on the preseason waiver draft. The Winnipeg Jets, the worst team in hockey, eagerly claimed the wily veteran. The Jets, who had never made the playoffs and finished the previous season with an awful 32 points, convinced Savard to play for them as opposed to retiring. In Savard's first year with Winnipeg, the Jets made the playoffs and improved by 48 points!

Despite suffering two broken legs early in his career, Savard has an impressive collection of awards. Savard earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1969, and was also awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He was also named in 1979 to the NHL Second All-Star Team. Serge likely would have been named to more All Star Teams but he was overshadowed by the offensive likes of Bobby Orr, Brad Park, Denis Potvin and teammates Robinson and Lapointe. Nonetheless, Serge is also an enshrined member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Originally Posted by Montreal Canadiens: Our History
The first of the “Big Three” to make the NHL roster, Savard saw spot duty during the 1968-69 season, getting more ice time as the season progressed. That spring, the Stanley Cup was paraded down Ste. Catherine Street for the third time in four years. Savard would be a member of seven other triumphant Habs squads in his 12 years patrolling the blue line.

He came into his own the following season, taking a regular shift from the opening game and himself as one of the NHL’s rising offensive defensemen. Fast, manoeuvrable and a skillful stickhandler, Savard’s dizzying spins to avoid checkers regularly made the highlight reels. Legendary broadcaster Danny Gallivan coined the phrase “Savardian Spin-o-rama” to try to describe the move.

The Habs made the playoffs and Savard picked up 10 points in the 14 games it took for the Canadiens to capture the 1969 Stanley Cup. This time, Savard had his own silverware to show off, adding a Conn Smythe Trophy to his collection to become the first defenseman to ever earn playoff MVP honors.

Over the course of his career in Montreal, Savard missed very few games in most seasons. When he did go down, however, it was for extended periods of time. He suffered two leg fractures a mere 11 months apart, costing Savard most of two complete seasons and robbing him of much of his speed.

When he came back to play the final games of the 1971-72 season, Savard adapted his game. No longer the speedy, offensive threat he had once been, Savard became one of the league’s best stay-at-home blue-liners, using smarts, size and an uncanny ability to block shots to compensate for his lost swiftness.

Selected to play for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series, Savard played in five games - the lone tie as well as all four Canadian victories – proving himself on the international stage.

The Canadiens piled up the Cups and Savard, learning from the veterans who preceded him, became a respected elder statesman on the team. In 1978-79, he won the Bill Masterton Trophy. The next fall, he succeeded Yvan Cournoyer as team captain, proudly wearing the “C” until his retirement following the 1980-81 season.

Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey
A star Canadiens blue-liner during the 1970's...Canadiens farm system spawned a pair of promising young defensemen, Carol Vadnais and Serge Savard. The latter became a Montreal icon..
Originally Posted by Canadiens Legends: Montreal's Hockey Heroes
Savard's game was built around his great ability to handle the puck and use his size effectively. He was a good skater and didn't mind lugging the puck. Never one to panic in his game, he was very smooth defensively.
Originally Posted by The Greatest Game: The Montreal Canadiens, The Red Army, and the Night that Saved Hockey
With a little over two minutes remaining in the game, Guy Lapointe shoots the puck behind the net on to the stick of his defensive partner, Serge Savard, who carries the puck up the boards. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots a streaming Paul Henderson darting through center ice. Thanks to Savard's amazing precision and awareness, the puck and Henderson meet at the Soviet blue line. Confronted by two Soviet defenseman, Henderson manages to get around them, and while falling, pinches the puck between Tretiak's arm and body for the winning goal....backing them up is the twosome of Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard, who were one of the most valuable defensive pairings for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series....Alexander Gusev finds an opening to take a slapshot on the Canadiens' goal, only to have the puck deflected into the crowd by an alert Serge Savard.
Originally Posted by Let's Talk Hockey: 50 Wonderful Debates
There's a reason I love Savard. He is the one of the most unsung players in NHL history. Take Savard away from those Canadiens teams and they don't win four cups in a row.
Originally Posted by Thunder and Lightning: A No B.S. Hockey Memoir
Jean Beliveau and Serge Savard were unbelievable....I thought it was a huge move, and he put in three gritty players, Serge Savard, Billy White, and Patty Stapleton..the game-winner was scored in overtime by Serge Savard. Serge was steady, not flashy. God, he was good. He twirled at the blue line. He came in and blasted one over J.D.'s left shoulder...
Originally Posted by Searching for Bobby Orr
The Soviets assistant coach Arkady Tchernishev agreed, singling out Orr and fellow defensemen Jim McKenny and Serge Savard for praise.
Originally Posted by Robinson for the Defense
Serge Savard was the ultimate defensive defenseman.
Originally Posted by Simply the Best: Insights and Strategies from Great Hockey Coaches
If I see them now, like a Dryden or Savard, even if I had an average rapport with them when they were playing, I often comment that I didn't realize how good they were. When I watch games now that Serge Savard played in I know I never realized how he made very few errors. He played something like Nicklas Lidstrom.
Originally Posted by Glenn Hall: The Man they Call Mr. Goalie
...Glenn responded to a Serge Savard rising bullet..Jean Beliveau had been the hero of the last series, and young defenseman Serge Savard was having an amazing playoff..
Originally Posted by Twenty Greatest Hockey Goals
Savard was inserted to shore up the play in Canada's end.
Originally Posted by Trusting the Tale
The other natural wit on the Canadiens is their elder statesman, Serge Savard, a man who is so good at what he does that you can't believe that he's doing what he's doing while he's doing it.
Originally Posted by Ken Dryden
They came at us in brigades, but our defensemen, particularly Serge Savard, repeatedly broke up their passing plays near the net.
Originally Posted by Toe Blake on Savard's retirement
It's been said that anyone can be replaced, but that is not the case here.
Originally Posted by Dick Beddoes
Serge Savard, in fact belongs in the present tense. He revealed in the Boston series that he is 1-2 with Robert Orr as the prodigal young defensemen in hockey, and not necessarily 2.
Originally Posted by Jim Proudfoot, Toronto Star
It is no coincidence that the revival of Team Canada in this hockey showdown with the Soviet Union dates back to Serge Savard's return to the defence corps. Nor is it any accident that the Canadians have won three and tied one of the four games in which Savard has been available to add mobility and offensive thrust to an otherwise awkward rearguard.
What did he Say?

Originally Posted by Serge Savard
That game convinced me that God must be a Russian. If he's not, how do you explain a tie when we outplay them by so much?
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
The team is in the culture of the people around here. If you're from here (Montreal), you felt that way all through your youth. It's in people's blood. People identified with our club and it doesn't have anything to do with language.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
When I was younger, I was more of a rusher but after the two bad leg injuries, I didn't have the same speed so I became more of a defensive defenseman.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
Not many guys are hurt stopping shots. You could get killed if you get hit in the temple but the average is good. I turn sideways from twenty to twenty-five feet away and let the goalie take it. He can see it better. To me, there's no danger if you time it right. You have to be almost on top of the shooter before falling.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard on Winnipeg
My duties were clear. No one expected me to carry the club on my shoulders.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
I never pay attention to individual awards and I think that sometimes, too many people place too much value on them.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
I had been on Stanley Cup teams but it was nothing quite like winning against the Soviets that year.
Originally Posted by Serge Savard
I was a member of eight Stanley Cup teams, but this was the greatest experience of my career! I don't think that was the best team I ever played on. That would have to be the '76 Canada Cup team with Bobby Orr. As far as Montreal teams go, the '76-77 team was the best. I thought it was a great team.

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