Marc Savard says the hit he took from Matt Cooke was intended to injure.
The Boston Bruins centre, sidelined since March 7 with a Grade 2 concussion after the Pittsburgh player’s hard elbow to the head sent him off the ice on a stretcher, spoke to the media for the first time on Saturday.
"To me, it wasn't a shoulder and I watched the [Mike] Richards on [David] Booth hit," Savard said before the Bruins beat the Calgary Flames 5-0. "I think that was a shoulder. … I think mine was more of an elbow, so I think there was an attempt to injure there.
"I was obviously very unhappy with what happened, and I think it could have been avoided very easily."
Cooke, who was not penalized for the hit nor suspended by the league, reportedly tried to contact Savard when the Penguins were in Boston last week.
"He's tried and has tried to get my phone number and stuff like that," Savard said. "From what happened, I really don't, at the moment, have any interest in talking to him. That's just how I feel.
"Maybe down the road, but right now I'm not feeling any better so I would rather not talk to him."
Cooke, speaking after Pittsburgh's 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, denied the hit was intentional.
"I have to thank my wife, my kids and the Penguins for sticking by me through this. It's hard on them because they know those comments aren't true," Cooke said.
Savard met with a neuropsychological specialist and, according to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, was told, "It doesn’t look good for the rest of the year."
As for Savard himself, he says he’s not "feeling myself quite yet. I still don’t have any recollection of the hit."
The 32-year-old had 10 goals and 23 assists in 41 games this season.