Hawks Honor Savard Before Victory Over Canadiens

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CHICAGO - MARCH 09: Head coach Denis Savard of the Chiago Blackhawks looks on from the bench along with some of his players against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on March 9, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

by Scott King

The Blackhawks honored former player and coach Denis Savard, who skated out to join the team for the anthem prior to Sunday night’s game vs. the Montreal Canadiens. Savard played for the Hawks from 1980-1990, then again from 1995-1997 and logged time as head coach from 2006-2008.

The tribute was special to the hall of famer who also played for the visiting Canadiens from 1990-1993.

“Part of it is original six teams playing together, and I was very fortunate to play for both teams,” Savard said. “It was a pretty special night. To be on the ice brings a lot of great memories. The first thing that came to mind for me was the anthems. Especially the one here, because when we played here it was loud and I don’t think that’s changed.

“It’s touching. I have to be honest with you, I was nervous. Not sure what to expect, I know people applaud and really send their gratitudes, but at the same time for me I wanted to make sure I don’t disturb the game that’s going to go on here in the next two, three minutes.

“But to be on the ice with two original six teams, the team I won the Cup with and the team that’s given me the life that I have today in the Blackhawks, it’s pretty special. So thanks to our fans and thanks to everybody for cheering on.”

Savard was impressed with Patrick Kane’s falling-down game-winning goal in the second period which made it 3-2.

“That’s what he is, that’s what he does,” Savard said. “He’s the type of player that’s going to score big goals on big stages. Not [that] it’s my stage tonight, because it’s his stage all the time, the fact that we’re playing the Montreal Canadiens is a big game for him in his mind.

“He’s going to try to be the best player that he can be out there. Pretty special goal. We’ve seen that many times, it’s not the first one. They’re tough to get and they’re tough to do. How he did it was pretty special.”

Red-hot Hawks winger Marian Hossa, who scored the 2-2 equalizer in the second period, thought the tribute for Savard was an inspiring moment. “He’s a legend here,” Hossa said. “He has his jersey under the roof and those guys, it’s fun to see [them] on the ice. It’s great to see [him] get an honor like that.”

Former Hawk Andrew Shaw was given a video tribute by the Blackhawks Sunday night during the first period for his first time back at the United Center. “It’s amazing, obviously. I’ve built some relationships here over the years, to see the support that’s still there is pretty phenomenal. I hope they always support me as a hockey player.”


The Hawks are in good shape heading out to their annual Canadian “circus trip” which begins Nov. 15 in Winnipeg. They sit atop the Western Conference five points ahead of Edmonton and are six points ahead of Winnipeg in the Central division.

A first for everything

Gustav Forsling scored his first NHL goal at 12:06 in the first period assisted by Hjalmarsson and Kruger.

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