Marc Savard, who played 13 seasons in the NHL, has joined the Blues as an assistant coach whose assignments will include, most significantly, the power play.
Savard was drafted by the Rangers in 1995 and played for the Rangers, Calgary, Atlanta and Boston in his career. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Bruins. In his career, he had 706 points in 807 games.
"I was a power play guy for sure in my playing days, me and Craig (Berube) had many many discussions," Savard said. "I have some philosophies and I've been able to watch a lot of hockey, day in day out, and picked up a lot of stuff, what works, what doesn't, I can bring a lot of adjustments, new looks, fresh looks. Different options, great pieces."
In the regular season, the Blues' power play was 10th in the league at 21.1 percent. But it labored in the last half of the season and in the postseason, where it was 12th out of 16 teams and was successful just 16.3 percent of the time.
"I was a little surprised (by that)," he said. "I know it gets frustating and you start gripping your sticks. I can help with my experience. With Tarasenko, Perron, Schenn, Ryan O'Reilly, the defensive corps, there's a lot of great options. It's about bringing them all together, working together. I think there are enough good players to have two solid units that can be successful if put in the right situations."
After his playing career, Savard has been an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada and worked on Toronto Maple Leafs pregame and postgame radio coverage. He's worked on skills and development with the Peterborough Petes junior team.
The Blues had an opening on their staff after Berube moved from associate head coach to head coach when Mike Yeo was fired. The other assistant coaches, Steve Ott and Mike Van Ryn, will be back.
Savard was a teammate of Blues coach Craig Berube for one full season and part of another in Calgary in 2001-02 and 02-03.
“I was fortunate to play with Marc during my career and I’m very familiar with his passion and acumen for the game,” said Berube in a news release from the team. “He was a tremendous player and possesses an elite offensive mind. His addition to our staff will be a great benefit to our players and the organization.”