Denis Savard (born February 4, 1961) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played in the National Hockey League from 1980 to 1997, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000. He has also served as head coach of the Blackhawks, and now serves as an ambassador for the Blackhawks' organization. He also owns a frozen pizza line, Savy's, that serves the Chicago area. You can visit his website here.
NHL playing career
Denis Savard was drafted in the first round, 3rd overall, in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft by the Blackhawks. He was the highest drafted player in Blackhawks' history, until the organization drafted Patrick Kane with the first overall pick in 2007. He began his career during the 1980-81 season in which he had three assists in his first game. He then went on to set the Blackhawks' record (since broken) for most points by a rookie with 75.
He was known for his trademark move, the 'Savardian Spin-o-rama' (a term actually coined by Danny Gallivan, referencing the move performed by Serge Savard ), which entailed Savard whirling around with the puck in a full rotation allowing him to defeat defenders and goaltenders alike.
Savard had two separate stints with the Blackhawks. The first was from the 1980–81 season to the 1989–90 season. The second was from 1994–95 to 1996–97. During his absence from Chicago, he played for the Montreal Canadiens (1990–91 to 1992–93) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94 to 1994–95).
On June 29, 1990, Savard was famously traded to the Montreal Canadiens for defenceman and future team captain Chris Chelios and a second-round pick (Mike Pomichter). Savard won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 1993, where he played 1½ seasons. On April 6, 1995 Savard was traded back to Chicago, for a 1996 sixth-round pick (Xavier Delisle). Savard's NHL career would end where it had started, with the Blackhawks.
In 1,196 NHL games, Savard scored 473 goals and 865 assists, totalling 1338 points. He trails only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita for total points in Chicago Blackhawks history. Five times during his career he scored at least 100 points and for seven straight years he had at least 30 goals. His highest point total of 131 came in 1987–88 and his highest goal total of 47 came in 1985–86. In 169 playoff games, he scored 66 goals and 109 assists for a total of 175 points.
Savard officially retired from professional hockey on June 26, 1997. On March 19, 1998, the Blackhawks retired his jersey number #18. Savard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fameon November 13, 2000.
|1993–94||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||74||18||28||46||106||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||31||6||11||17||10||—||—||—||—||—|
Shortly after his retirement as a player, Savard began a coaching career with the Blackhawks in December 1997. On November 27, 2006, Savard was named interim head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks after Trent Yawney was fired mid-season. He was commended for leading a young Blackhawks team to within 3 points of a playoff berth during his second season as coach. The Hawks finished just one victory away from the .500 mark in 2007–2008. The 40 wins in 2007–08 marked the first time the club had reached the 40 win mark in six years.
On October 16, 2008, just four games into the season Savard was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was replaced by Joel Quenneville, former coach of the Colorado Avalanche, recently hired as a scout for the Blackhawks' organization. In 147 games as coach, Savard posted a 65–66–16 record.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|CHI||2006–07||61||24||30||7||(71)||5th in Central||Missed playoffs|
|CHI||2007–08||82||40||34||8||88||3rd in Central||Missed playoffs|
|CHI||2008–09||4||1||2||1||(104)||2nd in Central||(fired)|
- Denis Savard has a cousin named Jean Savard who coincidentally also played for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1970s.
- Despite having the same number (#18) and last name as Montreal Canadiens' legend Serge Savard, the two are only distantly related.
- He is sometimes called "Savoir-Faire" referring to a fictional French Canadian mouse that was the archnemesis of the cartoon character Klondike Kat.