May 25, 2024

David Savard provides the Habs with insurance, giving their young defenseman additional time to slow-cook in the AHL.

The Montreal Canadiens’ blueline has been developed so successfully that having veterans to coach the youth has been a strength in recent drafts.

When talking trading a defender out of Montreal, one name comes to mind: someone who would pique the interest of teams looking to strengthen their blue line. David Savard has been everything the Canadiens have hoped for and more. He quickly assists teammates and is the first to risk his body to block a shot.

In addition, he has served as a mentor to many of Montreal’s rookie defenseman. The majority of his teammates have been left-handed defenders, and the way he plays the game teaches them all how to play an honest, hard-nosed game. Kaiden Guhle’s defensive game improved significantly while playing alongside Savard, and Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble demonstrated incredible maturity and poise by being able to rely on the veteran blueliner.

 

David Savard out six to eight weeks due to injury | Montréal Canadiens
Savard’s Stanley Cup ring gives him a lot of respect in the locker room, and with such a young core, having that sort of leadership is critical for a club creating a sustainable culture. Experience and heart cannot be taught, and Savard has plenty of both, which rubs off on all of the defensemen. While the return would benefit the Habs, it’s difficult to conceive anything more helpful to the Canadiens than Savard’s presence on the blue line.

Mike Matheson and Savard have led the blueline with their expertise and leadership, whether via their play or their words. You can construct a blueline with young players, but the NHL season is lengthy and unpredictable, so having some veterans to calm the storm is essential. Another season or two to allow young defenders to enter the lineup and learn from Savard makes a lot of sense.

Guhle benefited from Savard’s coaching, which paid off this season on the top pair with Matheson. Arber Xhekaj, who I failed to mention previously, has also learned a lot from Savard, and this will continue next year. There are numerous more reasons to keep Savard around, and as a result, there is a strong case to be made for keeping him in Montreal.

 

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