The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that Marc Savard has been hired as an assistant coach. The hiring completes head coach Craig Berube’s staff for the upcoming season, which includes associate Lane Lambert, assistant Mike Van Ryn, goaltending coach Curtis Sanford, and video coaches Jordan Bean and Sam Kim.
Savard joins the Maple Leafs after serving as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames last season, following two seasons as head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. During his two seasons (2021-22 and 2022-23) in Windsor, Savard guided the Spitfires to a record of 88-35-8-5 and an appearance in the OHL Finals in 2022. The Ottawa, Ontario native began his coaching career with the St. Louis Blues in 2019-20 before beginning his tenure in Windsor.

Savard is widely seen as a power play specialist, and while the Leafs had a very good regular season power play by advanced shot-based measures, it failed to score down the stretch. In the playoffs, facing Jeremy Swayman, it really failed to score even when the shot rate was high at first. Eventually the wheels fell off completely.

However, is Savard a power play guy, and is he good? And how can you tell looking at Calgary last season when they were struggling in many ways.

Their Expected Goals For on the power play went from 8.33 to 9.05 from the prior year to this season under Savard. That's good enough to have the Flames in 13th place in the NHL. The Leafs were fourth behind the Wild, Panthers and Oilers.

To succeed on the power play, you need skill as well as a system, and it's plausible to allow that Calgary lacked that. It's also plausible to just call Savard the bro they both know.

The proof will be in the playing this coming season.

Welcome to Toronto, Marc, start counting the days to your first #firesavard hashtag on Twitter or your first moment as a hero when that PP% pleases people.