Savard: "One of the biggest mistakes I made as a general manager"

Posted By: Barry Morgan · 12/12/2011 4:16:00 PM

I'll never forget the day I met Denis Savard for the first time. It was in June of 1990, after he was acquired from the Blackhawks for Chris Chelios.

It was a thrill for me to meet one of the most exciting players in the game. Little did we know how short his time in Montreal would be and how much longer Chelios would play.

Savard spent three seasons with the Habs, his final year was in 1993 when they last won the Stanley Cup. Savard was behind the bench when the Canadiens beat L-A in game five to win their 24th title.(And of course, they haven't won one since.)

Chelios didn't retire until the 2009-2010 season.

I spoke today with former Canadiens general manager Serge Savard who pulled the trigger on the Chelios-Savard deal. He says it was "one of the biggest mistakes I made as a general manager."

But Savard says he was told at the time that Chelios' knees wouldn't last very long. How wrong everyone was. His career ended more than 12 years after Denis Savard retired.

Imagine how different life as a Habs fan would have been had the Canadiens drafted Savard and not Doug Wickenheiser(may he rest in peace) with their first overall pick in 1980.

Savard went to Chicago with the 3rd overall pick. By the way, defenseman Dave Babych went second overall, selected by Winnipeg.

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