Does Serge Savard Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

ActuaLitté, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are basically only 3 post-Bobby Orr defensive defencemen in the Hockey Hall of Fame. (And Savard actually is a contemporary of Bobby Orr, so maybe there are only two.) It’s hard to get in as a defensive defenceman when so many D score now.

On the other hand, there are few NHL players in NHL history to have a higher career plus minus than career points total. Savard is one of those players. And if Savard had never played for the Jets, his utterly insane plus minus would be even higher than his total points.

Is it possible that Savard’s remarkable goal differential is a product of his Hall of Fame teammates? In part, sure. But it’s a chicken or egg question, isn’t it?

So, does Serge Savard belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Listen to us discuss it here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1986: Serge Savard, Dave Keon, Leo Boivin

Serge Savard’s Career:

  • NHL: 1966-83; 17 seasons, 14 quality
  • Totals:
    • 106G (21st D All Time at his retirement),
    • 333A (14th D All Time at his retirement) for 
    • 439P (15th D All Time at his retirement),
    • +462 (6th All Time, 5th All Time at his retirement – Orr, Robinson, Lafleur Clarke – and 3rd D) in
    • 1040 Games;
    • 102.5 PS (11th D All Time at his retirement);
    • Savard is 16th All Time in Defensive Point Shares (4th at his retirement – Horton, Harvey, Pronovost)
    • 16th All Time in APG
    • Savard doesn’t qualify for GPG or PPG but if we lower the qualifiers so he does, he would have been
      • 21st All Time in GPG
      • 16th All Time in PPG
  • Not drafted
  • Era: Of the 11 D to play in at least 820 games between 1966 and 1983, Savard is
    • 5th in Goals
    • 5th (last) in GPG (0 qualifying players)
    • 5th in Assists
    • 6th (last) in APG (6 qualifying players)
    • 5th in Points
    • 6th (last) in PPG (3 qualifying players)
    • 1st in Plus/Minus (by over 50)
    • 6th in Offensive Point Shares
    • 1st in Defensive Point Shares (by over 5)
    • 3rd in Point Shares
    • 2nd in Games
  • 82-game average: 8G, 26A for 34P, +36; 8.1 PS
  • 3-year peak (1974-77): 80-game average of 13G, 39A for 52P, +71; 11.1 PS
  • Playoffs:
    • 19G (6th D All Time at his retirement),
    • 49A (8th D All Time at his retirement) for
    • 68P (7th D All Time at his retirement),
    • +47 (5th D All Time at his retirement – Potvin, Robinson, Orr, Jimmy Watson) in
    • 130 Games (7th D All Time at his retirement)
    • Per Game: At his retirement, among D, Savard was
      • 14th All Time in APG
      • 9th All Time in PPG (11 qualifying players);
      • Savard doesn’t qualifying for playoff GPG, but if the qualifier is lowered he was
        • 6th All Time in GPG (7 players)
    • Era: Of the 14 D to play in at least 82 playoff games between 1966 and 1983, Savard is
      • 4th in Goals
      • 5th in GPG (4 qualifying players)
      • 4th in Assists
      • 4th in APG (8 qualifying players)
      • 5th in Points
      • 5th in PPG (6 qualifying players)
      • 4th in Plus/Minus
      • 4th in Games
  • Adjusted for Era:
    • Hockey-Reference:
      • 93G
      • 303A for
      • 396P
      • 82-game average: 7G, 24A for 31P (-3P per 82 games)
      • Per Game: doesn’t qualify for anything but APG and isn’t on that leaderboard
    • VsX: doesn’t qualify
  • Trades:
    • Waived at 35

Serge Savard’s Accomplishments:

  • Top 5 in Norris voting four times
  • Conn Smythe (‘69)
  • Masterton (‘79)
  • All Star:
    • 2nd Team All Star once
    • 4 All Star Game appearances
  • Top Player:
    • Top 10 Player (by PS) once (‘75)
    • Best Defensive Player (by DPS) once (‘73)
    • Top 5 Defensive Player six times (‘69, ‘75, ‘76, ‘77, ‘78, ‘79)
  • Goals:
    • 20 goals once
  • Assists:
    • 40 assists once
  • Points:
    • 60 points once
  • Plus/Minus:
    • Top 5 in Plus/Minus four times – tied 6th most ever
    • Top 10 sven times
  • VsX Peak: doesn’t qualify

Serge Savard’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • MVP (best D by points) on one Champion (‘69 Canadiens)
    • Best D (by points, led playoffs in plus/minus) on one Champion (‘76 Canadiens)
    • Top 2 D (by points, led the playoffs in plus/minus) on one Champion (‘78 Canadiens)
    • Top 2 D (by points) on two Champions (‘73, ‘79 Canadiens) and one Final Four (‘75 Canadiens)
    • Top 4 D (by points) on one Champion (‘77 Canadiens)
    • Injured (missed 7 games) on one Champion (‘68 Canadiens)
  • Canada (World) Cup:
    • Top 4? D (by points?) on one Champion (‘76 Canada)
  • Summit Series:
    • Top 4 D (by points) on one Champion (‘72 Canada)

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