|Born||February 4, 1961|
Pointe Gatineau, Canada
|5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
|Played for||Chicago Blackhawks|
Tampa Bay Lightning
|NHL Draft||3rd overall, 1980|
|Hall of Fame, 2000|
Denis Savard (born on February 4, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1980 to 1997.
He has also served as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and now serves as an ambassador for the Blackhawks' organization.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
For the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens held the first overall pick and many fans hoped the Canadiens would use it to draft Denis.
Instead, the Canadiens drafted Doug Wickenheiser and Denis was chosen third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
He was the highest drafted player in Blackhawks' history, until the organization drafted Patrick Kane with the first overall pick in 2007.
Denis began his career during the 1980–81 NHL season in which he had three assists in his first game. He then went on to set the Blackhawks' record (since broken) for most points by a rookie with 75.
Denis was known for his trademark move, the 'Savardian Spin-o-rama' (a term actually coined by [Danny Gallivan, referencing the move performed by Serge Savard), which entailed he whirling around with the puck in a full rotation allowing him to defeat defenders and goaltenders alike.
Denis had two separate stints with the Blackhawks.
The first was from the 1980–81 season to the 1989–90 season. The second was from 1994–95 to 1996–97. During his absence from Chicago, he played for the Montreal Canadiens (1990–91 to 1992–93) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (1993–94 to 1994–95).
On June 29, 1990, Denis was infamously traded to the Montreal Canadiens for star defenceman Chris Chelios and a second-round pick (Mike Pomichter), a transaction that has since been considered largely in Chicago's favor as Chelios would produce some of his best seasons as a Blackhawk while Savard's career was on the decline.
Denis won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the summer of 1993, where he played a season and a half.
On April 6, 1995, he was traded back to Chicago, for a 1996 sixth-round pick (Xavier Delisle). His NHL career would end where it had started, with the Blackhawks.
In 1,196 NHL games, Denis scored 473 goals and 865 assists, totalling 1338 points. He trails only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita for total points in Chicago Blackhawks history. Five times during his career, he scored at least 100 points and for seven straight years he had at least 30 goals.
Denis's highest point total of 131 came in 1987–88 and his highest goal total of 47 came in 1985–86. In 169 playoff games, he scored 66 goals and 109 assists for a total of 175 points.
On June 26, 1997, Denis officially retired from professional hockey and on March 19, 1998, the Blackhawks retired his jersey number #18.
On November 13, 2000, Denis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Coaching Career[edit | edit source]
Shortly after his retirement as a player, Denis began a coaching career with the Blackhawks in December of 1997.
On November 27, 2006, he was named interim head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks after Trent Yawney was fired mid-season. He was commended for leading a young Blackhawks team to within 3 points of a playoff berth during his second season as coach.
The Blackhawks finished just one victory away from the .500 mark in 2007–2008. The 40 wins in 2007–08 marked the first time the club had reached the 40 win mark in six years.
On October 16, 2008, just four games into the season, Denis was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was replaced by former Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville, who had been hired as a scout for the Blackhawks during the previous summer.
In 147 games as coach, Denis posted a 65–66–16 record. He remains as an ambassador for the Blackhawks and received Stanley Cup rings in 2010 and 2013.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1993–94||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||74||18||28||46||106||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||31||6||11||17||10||—||—||—||—||—|
Coaching Record[edit | edit source]
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|CHI||2006–07||61||24||30||7||(71)||5th in Central||Missed playoffs|
|CHI||2007–08||82||40||34||8||88||3rd in Central||Missed playoffs|
|CHI||2008–09||4||1||2||1||(104)||2nd in Central||(fired)|
Accolades[edit | edit source]
- Member of one Stanley Cup winning team: 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens
- Selected to nine NHL All-Star Games: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 & 1996
- NHL Second All-Star Team: 1983
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Dennis was born in Pointe Gatineau, Quebec, but he grew up in Montreal, Quebec. has a cousin named Jean Savard who coincidentally also played for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1970s.
Denis is also distantly related to Montreal Canadiens' legend Serge Savard, they shared the same number (#18), and in the 1990s Serge was general manager of the Habs when he acquired Denis from the Blackhawks.
His nickname is "Savoir-Faire".