The Bruins drafted Savard 6th overall in 1973, behind a couple of gems like Denis Potvin, bob Gainey and Lanny McDonald. Savard had a monster year in Quebec, scoring 67 goals and 151 points in just 56 games. 12 of those points came in a single game!
That offense was not nearly so potent in the NHL. He topped 20 goals three times, including a 31 goal, 74 point campaign in 1980-81, but generally speaking he was regularly a 20 goal, 40 point 3rd line center.
Savard was buried behind some big names in Boston, with the likes of Phil Esposito and Jean Ratelle ahead of him on the depth chart. That led to a stalemate when contract time came in the summer of 1976. The result was Boston trading his rights to Buffalo for the rights of Peter McNab, who similarly was having troubles coming to a new contract.
Where he came to excel at the NHL level was as a checking center. The fans appreciated it, too. He was named the most popular player in Buffalo as well as the unsung hero and most enthusiastic player team awards. He was part of a very effective line with Craig Ramsay and Ric Seiling. He and Derek Smith were shoehorned into the second line center spot at times.
A serious knee injury ended Savard's career prematurely. In 790 NHL contests Savard scored 211 goals, 271 assists for 482 points. In 85 playoff games he added 13 goals and 31 points.
He went on to become a long time coach, scout and manager. He had short stints as head coach in Quebec and as general manager in Montreal.