When I say Marc Savard, many fans will know him as the concussion sufferer. Those stories about being unable to open the curtains because the light hurt his head during the worst days of his concussion. While this is undoubtedly a sad story, this isn’t the one we’re covering here. A long, long time ago, Savard was a member of the New York Rangers. This was a long time ago, during a weird phase called the 1990s.
Savard was drafted by the Rangers with the 91st overall pick in 1995. Yes, there was hockey before the change of the millennium. During his 98-game stint in Manhatten, Savard scored ten goals and 41 assists for 51 points. Doing this during the late 1990s when scoring was through the floor is impressive, but priorities changed as we started to approach the 1999 NHL draft.
New York turned up to this draft with the 11th overall pick in a draft that was expected to be extremely good. However, with Brian Burke and the Vancouver Canucks causing all sorts of mayhem near the top of the draft order, the Rangers wanted to try and move up the pecking order themselves. So, we have a deal to announce on June 26, 1999.
Marc Savard and the 11th overall pick are sent to the Calgary Flames for the 9th overall pick in 1999, a 1999 3rd-round pick, and the rights to Jan Hlavac. This was a big trade on the draft floor to move up two spots, and there was pressure on Neil Smith to make this deal work for the New York Rangers going forward. There was no room for error with the pick they had. Moving up at the cost of a solid middle-six player hurts, so it had to be worthwhile.