There was a time in his youth when Brian Savage may have dreamed of playing in the Olympics, only as a golfer or a track star, not a hockey player.
A nephew of former NHLer Larry Hillman, Savage grew up in Sudbury and played many sports. In fact, he even gave up hockey between the normally important development years of ages 15 through 17 in order concentrate on golf full time. He won three consecutive Northern Ontario junior golf championships and once capture the longest drive competition at the Canadian junior golf championship.
Savage, who along with his brother Dave are legendary high school track and field stars in Sudbury, actually attend Miami (Ohio) University on a golf scholarship. He just so happened to make the hockey team as well.
Savage had decided to return to hockey after attending a Sudbury Wolves junior game. He was inspired to play again because he saw childhood friends excelling at this level and he wanted to return to the ice.
It was a good decision for Savage. He went on to be drafted by the Montreal Canadiens and became one of the top players in American collegiate hockey. By 1994 he was playing with the Canadian Olympic Team, capturing a silver medal in Lillehammer. In his career he would also compete in two world championships for Team Canada.
Savage joined the national team in the fall of 1993 after attending the Montreal Canadiens training camp.
"Looking back on it, I wish we could have won the gold," said. "It's still in the back of my mind that we didn't win, but it's still been an amazing year.
Savage would never get to return to the Olympics once the NHL dream teams started playing in 1998. He was quite opinionated on that topic.