Features

Savard happy to be back with Blue Jackets

Monday, 07.15.2013 / 4:45 PM / Features
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com


COLUMBUS, Ohio --
David Savard has watched the Blue Jackets build organizational depth on defense at both the NHL and AHL levels, and it wasn't lost on him that "competition" would be the buzzword during training camp.

But there was one small problem: he was a restricted free agent - until this afternoon. Dialogue on a contract extension continued throughout the summer and was completed in recent days, with Savard putting pen to paper on a one-year extension that gives him another opportunity to become a regular NHL player.

Now, the road ahead has been paved; Savard is well aware that ice time at the NHL level isn't going to be handed out. And there's admittedly a touch of relief knowing he will be back in Columbus and with the team that drafted him in fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

"It's a good feeling to know I'll be coming back," Savard told BlueJackets.com. "It's never fun to go into the summer not knowing what's going to happen (with the contract). I was talking to my agent and in talking to the team, he was very confident that they wanted me back. To be able to come back here is great; talking to Chris MacFarland, they're really happy to have me back, too.

"This is a boost of confidence going into next year trying to get the job done and be part of this team full-time."

Savard, 22, was a point-producing defenseman with the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats who caught the Blue Jackets' eye with his ability to make a deft first pass and quarterback the power play. He's established himself as a top-pairing defenseman with the Springfield Falcons and has seen spot duty in the NHL, but that's not satisfactory by any means.

Though he did score his first NHL goal during a recall stint with Columbus two years ago, he wants to add a few more pucks to the mantle.

"You're always working toward the NHL, and going from junior to pro hockey was an adjustment for me and all players go through the same thing," Savard said. "Now I'm trying to get ready to play in the NHL full-time. Having played in a few games here over the last couple of years always helps, and hopefully, I can come into this year's training camp with full confidence and be ready to stay here right away."

With a solid stable of young defensemen in the organization, Savard said he and his fellow prospects have benefited from the veterans in the Blue Jackets dressing room. Last season, Adrian Aucoin was a great sounding board for the kids and often paired with them early in the season.

But Aucoin is one of several players who have made themselves available for any and all questions, Savard said, and it has made what could be a daunting transition into a comfortable challenge.

"There are guys like Jack (Johnson) and (James Wisniewski) who have been in the NHL for a long time, and they can teach you to do the little things that make a big difference," Savard said. "I remember my second season when Brett Lebda was down in Springfield; to be able to play with a guy who had played a lot of games in the NHL was very helpful for us and it was great for the younger guys.

"Every year, I'm trying to learn whatever I can from the guys here and use whatever they can teach me to get better. Even in Springfield, there are good defensemen going through and I'm trying to learn from them. I try to use that and make myself better."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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