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Players on the Bruins bench tapped their sticks against the boards in support.It was the sixth concussion of Savard’s career, and it came just 10 months after the one he suffered as a result of a blind-side hit to the head by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke. 22, 2011, Savard never played hockey again.“I remember going into the room and shedding a tear there because it had been a long battle, you know,’’ said Savard, who played a total of 13 years in the NHL and was finished at age 33.I can’t see anything.’ And my eyes were open, so I was quite scared there.”Savard, who had already missed the first 23 games of that 2010-11 season with postconcussion syndrome, struggled to his feet.He clutched a towel to his face as teammates, including captain Zdeno Chara, guided him off the ice.“That’s what makes it tough.”But the smile is coming back.“Getting better,” said Savard, who is now 39 and head coach of the Peterborough Minor Bantam AAA Petes and proud father of 13-year-old forward Tyler Savard, who like his father wears No. Savard still has health issues — anxiety and short-term memory loss — but he’s back in the game he loves. He’s also counting his blessings.“The good thing is that I’m helping kids today — earlier than I should have — get better at the game that gave me everything I have.”n game day, while most everybody else enters the Evinrude Centre through the double-decker doors in the front of the building, Marc Savard slips in quietly via the back door used by the Zamboni operator.“He doesn’t want to talk to the parents,” said one father of a Petes player.“He just wants to be with the kids.”He doesn’t want to relive the 207 goals or 706 points he scored in the NHL with the Rangers, Flames, Thrashers, and Bruins.

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Savard is dressed in a Petes black fleece and a shirt and tie open at the collar.

He’s friendly and relaxed in the coach’s room 90 minutes before the game. “They were the ones that told me at the end of the day, I think you’ve had enough.

Whether it’s around the coaching staff or these kids, it’s great to get out and joke and have some fun and compete.’In Savard’s final season of 2010-11, the Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup, clinching it without him in Vancouver in June.

Savard said it was difficult being a spectator.“Just not to be able to be on the ice with the guys, knowing that I could contribute, was probably the toughest thing,’’ he said.

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