New York Hockey: Bryce Salvador

Salvador, Kovalchuk day-to-day

April, 11, 2013
The New Jersey Devils received some good news Thursday, as it was announced that x-rays on captain Bryce Salvador's wrist turned out negative.

The veteran defenseman, who has been banged up recently, left Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Boston after being hit by a shot from Boston's Zdeno Chara in the second period. He did not return to the game.

According to coach Pete DeBoer, Salvador is day-to-day. That's a relief considering the Devils will be without fellow blue-liner Anton Volchenkov Friday when they host the Senators in a critical match.

Volchenkov earned a four-game suspension for his elbow on Boston's Brad Marchand Wednesday night. The 31-year-old, who was previously suspended for elbowing Carolina's Zach Boychuck back in February 2011, earned a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play. Marchand, who had to be helped off the ice, did not return to the game.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who has been out with a shoulder injury since last month, is also day-to-day, according to DeBoer though his return date remains unclear.

Kovalchuk said he experienced some discomfort when attempting one-timers for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks and sounded non-committal when asked about playing Friday.

"We'll see," he said. "I don't know."

The star winger will likely not be 100% when he comes back, but he said he does not want to take somebody else's spot in the lineup unless he feels he can contribute.

"I just don't want to be a passenger, just sitting on the bench," Kovalchuk said. "Just want to make sure, physically, I feel fine."

Kovalchuk admitted, however, that the team's eight-game winless streak does have an impact on how he feels about coming back.

"Yeah, obviously," he said. "Eight games left and we're four points behind, so it's not a situation where we want to be, but, like I said, I don't want to just go out there because of that. You want to go out there to help the team. If you're going too take somebody's spot that's 100% me that doesn't make any sense."

All throughout the lineup, the floundering Devils are hobbled. Backup netminder Johan Hedberg sat out Wednesday's game with "soreness." According to DeBoer, the team won't know until Friday morning whether Hedberg will be available to back up or whether they will use emergency recall Keith Kinkaid in that spot.

Second-year defenseman Adam Larsson took a hard shot off the right foot Wednesday, but said he is ready to go. Although his foot swelled up considerably Wednesday night, Larsson said he was feeling much better Friday.

"I'm ready to play, so hopefully I'll play tomorrow," he said.

Devils' Volchenkov to have hearing

April, 11, 2013
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has a phone hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety for his elbowing hit on Boston's Brad Marchand Wednesday night, a source confirmed to

Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute elbowing major and game misconduct after he delivered an elbow to Marchand's head at 15:11 of the second period of the Devils' 5-4 loss to the Bruins. Marchand went down after the hit and did not return to the game.

With a suspension appearing imminent for Volchenkov, it is very likely the Devils will be down two defensemen when they host the struggling Senators on Friday night. New Jersey, also floundering without a win in the last eight games, lost captain Bryce Salvador to a wrist injury during the game.

According to the Devils, Salvador will be re-evaluated Thursday.

Salvador named Devils' captain

January, 17, 2013
The New Jersey Devils on Tuesday named Bryce Salvador their captain, the 10th in team history.

The 36-year-old defenseman has been with the Devils since 2008 and replaces former captain Zach Parise, who signed with the Minnesota Wild in the offseason.

"It's a tremendous honor," Salvador said, according to The Record's Tom Gulitti. "It's just a huge compliment."

"The strength, I think, of our group is the depth of leadership in that room," said Devils coach Pete DeBoer, according to Gulitti. "As tough as it was to pick a captain, it was tough to not put A's on certain guys, too. That's a real strength for us. I think whomever I picked would have been right.

"Sal is a consummate pro, leads by example and has developed into a great leader and a great player in this league. So, it was a good choice by us."

Forwards Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk remain alternate captains.

The Devils open their regular season Saturday night against the New York Islanders, at Nassau Coliseum.

The name's Salvador, Bryce Salvador

June, 10, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bryce Salvador may have been a so-called "no-name defenseman" going into the Stanley Cup finals.

He isn't anymore.

"I don't know how you couldn't know him," fellow blueliner Mark Fayne said after Salvador scored the decisive goal in Game 5, the New Jersey Devils' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

"If you watch any highlights from the playoffs, he's gonna be on them. He's just been a horse for us."

Salvador, 36, has been known throughout his decade-long career as a stay-at-home defenseman, always making the intangible plays -- blocking shots, closing off offensive players on the rush or killing penalties -- that don't show up in the box score.

But ever since the 2012 playoffs began, Salvador has added a never-before-seen offensive dimension to his game. And that dimension was on full display Saturday night.

With 10:55 remaining in the second period and the score tied at 1, Salvador patiently waited for a shooting lane to open before firing a wrist shot from the left point. The puck deflected off defenseman Slava Voynov's shoulder and past goaltender Jonathan Quick. Salvador's fourth goal of the playoffs proved to be the winner as the Devils staved off elimination once again.

Click here for the full story.

Rapid Reaction: Devils 2 , Kings 1

June, 9, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: Looks like we have a series.

Facing a daunting 3-0 deficit, the New Jersey Devils have now rattled off two straight wins against the Los Angeles Kings to force a Game 6 and keep their comeback hopes alive.

Held off the scoresheet in the first four games of the series, captain Zach Parise finally tallied a goal, and defenseman Bryce Salvador chipped in with one of his own for a 2-1 Devils win at Prudential Center on Saturday night.

Pulling within a game of the Kings, 3-2, the Devils sullied L.A.'s immaculate 10-0 road record and sent the series back to the West Coast for Monday's Game 6.

No team since 1942 has come back to win the Cup after falling behind 3-0, but the Devils are making their best attempt to become the second.

Captain comes through: Parise recorded his first point of the series with a power-play goal that gave the team a 1-0 lead in the first period. Jonathan Quick made a rare puck-handling miscue behind the net and Parise beat him back to the right post to stuff it in at 12:45. It was Parise's first goal since May 23 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Rangers.

Power-play breaks through: Parise's first-period marker was also the Devils' first power-play goal this series. The Devils entered Saturday's match 0-for-15 with the man-advantage through the first four games against the Kings' stingy penalty-killing unit.

Second-chance stunner: After hitting the post in the first period, L.A.'s Justin Williams ripped a shot past Martin Brodeur to tie the score early in the second period.

Stellar saves: Dueling goaltenders Brodeur and Quick made a pair of tremendous stops within the span of 19 seconds early in the second period. With the game tied at 1, Brodeur stacked his pads to stop Jarret Stoll on a breakaway at 4:53. Quick answered at the other end with his best save of the night, kicking out his right pad to deny Travis Zajac's back-handed attempt at 5:12.

Victim Voynov: Salvador was credited with the Devils' go-ahead goal at 9:05 of the second after his shot appeared to deflect first off teammate David Clarkson, then Kings defenseman Slava Voynov. It was a tough break for the rookie blue-liner, who had a puck bounce off him for a Devils goal earlier in the series.

Sky-high: Despite Stoll's best attempt to sell what would’ve been the equalizer for the Kings at 11:16 of the second, his bat-the-puck-out-of-midair-goal was immediately waved off because of a high stick.

Devils to start with skeleton crew

October, 7, 2010
The New Jersey Devils will start the season with just 20 players on their NHL roster, but met the 3 p.m. Wednesday deadline to get underneath the salary cap without giving up any of their players to other teams.

Both D Bryce Salvador and D Anssi Salmela will start the season on injured lists, with Salvador designated for long-term injured reserve and Salmela earmarked as an injured, non-roster player. The cap relief the Devils get from those moves barely scrapes them below the $59.4 million salary cap ceiling for the 2010-11 season.

With the assignment of D Matt Taormina to Albany of the AHL and the recall of C Adam Henrique, the Devils have their roster. The risks of playing with a skeleton crew are many, but foremost the Devils run the risk of an active player injuring himself and needing replacement. Rather than dressing a healthy scratch, New Jersey would have to recall a player from Albany, the team’s AHL affiliate.

Should Salvador get healthy again, the team would first have to clear the necessary cap room before activating him.

For his part, GM Lou Lamoriello noted the proximity of Albany should the Devils need to recall a player and alluded to the fact that the opening day roster may be altered as the season moves on.

"This is just our opening day roster," Lamoriello said. "We will start with 20 people. Rosters can change from day to day and Albany is only an hour and three quarters away so when time is on your side, you use it."

With his well-earned reputation, Lamoriello has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt, but I really question how this can work beyond Oct. 27, when the team begins a five-game western swing against the Sharks, Ducks, Kings, Canucks and Blackhawks. Albany may be an hour and 45 minutes from Newark, but Anaheim and Vancouver are a different story.

And given that the Ducks are one of the most physical teams in the NHL, what happens if a player gets dinged in the Oct. 29 game and then falters in the morning skate the next day? Heck, what about swine flu? Or a common cold? The team would either have to fly out a player from Albany for a game in L.A. Oct. 30 or play shorthanded.

Could more injuries help the salary cap situation? Maybe. But any player with a worthwhile cap hit that lands on the IR would also drain the team’s talent pool. That’s hardly ideal.

I suspect the roster will continue to be a work in progress as the season begins and Lamoriello will continue to try and free cap space by moving a player. It feels to me that logistics just become too complicated otherwise and provide a huge handicap over the course of 82-games. Nevertheless, here’s how the roster shapes up right now:

Forwards: Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rolston, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Rod Pelley, Adam Henrique.
Defensemen: Henrik Tallinder, Andy Greene, Colin White, Anton Volchenkov, Alex Urbom, Mark Fraser.
Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg.

Morning Links
  • Tom Gulitti pens an epic post on the Devils’ approach to the Ilya Kovalchuk signing in his Fire and Ice blog. You may need a Power Bar to finish it, but it’s an interesting read, particularly as it disputes the notion that owner Jeff Vanderbeek was driving the movement to sign Kovalchuk against Lamoriello’s judgement.
  • The Post writes that the Devils still lack room to sign Adam Mair.
  • The Post’s team preview emphasizes the Devils’ new-look offense.
  • In Lou We Trust provided four reasons why the Devils’ 20-man roster approach is foolish.
  • And that site also has a few questions about the Taormina/Henrique shuffling.
  • The Star-Ledger rates the Devils No. 2 in the Eastern Conference behind the Washington Capitals in its season preview.

As cap deadline looms, Devils stay silent

October, 4, 2010
With the Wednesday 3 p.m. deadline approaching, the Devils essentially have 48 hours to shed almost $3 million and get under the NHL salary cap of $59.4 million. How they'll do it seems to be anybody's guess.

With time ticking down, GM Lou Lamoriello has given few clues as to how he'll make room, though he's maintained confidence that the team will be cap compliant by the deadline. For now though, the Devils' roster remains in limbo, with trade rumors teasing players' possible fates.

The cap predicament does provide a silver lining to some bad news, however. D Bryce Salvador is out indefinitely with a concussion, according to the team, but as long as Salvador remains in street clothes on injured reserve, the Devils will be relieved of his $2.9M salary cap hit. They'll need to do more maneuvering before Salvador can suit up for the team though.

In Fire and Ice today, Gulitti caught up with Jamie Langenbrunner and the team captain, whose name has surfaced in several trade rumors, said he had not yet been asked to waive his no-trade clause.

The Newark Star-Ledger's Rich Chere writes that Dainius Zubrus and/or Colin White could be victims of the cap squeeze.

With everyone waiting for the first of the Devils' dominoes to fall, the roster remains at 28 players with rookies Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Alex Urbom, Matt Corrente and Matt Taormina still in camp. (Update: Check that, @NHLDevils just tweeted "Devils have assigned G-Mike McKenna, D- Matt Corrente, C- Jacob Josefson, RW-Mattias Tedenby to Albany (AHL). Rob Davison placed on waivers.")

The Devils start their season Friday at home against the Dallas Stars.

Brodeur's future and more cap concerns

October, 1, 2010
Bergen Record scribe Tom Gulitti chatted with Martin Brodeur yesterday about his future in the sport. The netminder’s contract runs through the 2011-12 season and Brodeur says that he’ll play until that deal ends. Whether or not he returns to the ice for the 2012-13 season could be impacted by a potential work stoppage following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. Here’s what Brodeur had to say, via Fire and Ice:
“I don’t know if it’s going to be that’s all after this,” he told me today. “I plan the long-range (with) what I have (with his contract) and that’s what I’m focusing on, to be as good as I can be for those two years and have that goal. We’ll see how I feel next year. Next year, in the middle of the season, that’s when you’re going to start thinking about it more because there’s a lot of things that could happen with the NHL and the NHLPA. That (the end of the CBA) comes right after that season. So, who knows? I can’t just commit myself and then have a lockout or if there’s a lockout (for a full year), do I go back the year after?”

Plenty more through that link, and more to come in Saturday’s Record.

Cap crunch coming

Still no news on the extent of Salvador’s injury. Salvador was taken for tests on Wednesday after exiting Tuesday’s preseason game following hits from James van Riemsdyk and Scott Hartnell.

With the deadline for the Devils to become cap compliant creeping closer, an injury to Salvador could help buy the team some time. If they can put the defenseman on injured reserve his salary won’t count against the cap. New Jersey would have to make a move to get him back into the lineup however.

The New York Post speculates that the Devils could carry just 20 players (21 if Salvador is hurt) in order to alleviate the cap concerns. Still in the scenario presented, the team would need to waive Colin White and Dainius Zubrus to make it work.

The Devils have until Wednesday to get under the cap.

Cost of Kovalchuk keeps escalating

September, 14, 2010
Add $3 million dollars and a first- and third-round draft pick to the cost of signing Ilya Kovalchuk.

Despite arbitrator Richard Bloch noting that the Devils did not act in poor faith when they first signed Kovalchuk to the 17-year, $102M contract he interpreted as a form of salary cap circumvention, the NHL nevertheless severely punished New Jersey for the attempt.

The penalty, issued Monday night, strips the Devils of their third-round pick in the 2011 draft and a first-round draft pick sometime in the next four years.

Even as many debate whether the acquisition of Kovalchuk will help the Devils, the cost keeps escalating. The first price was a package of the Devils’ 2010 first-round pick, Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors and prospect Patrice Cormier, sent to Atlanta for Kovalchuk, in addition to Anssi Salmella and flipping second-round picks with the Thrashers. Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record has a running tab over at the Fire and Ice Blog. (And bartender … keep it open.)

Because of Kovalchuk’s new contract, New Jersey must still balance its salary-cap ledger by shedding at least $3M from its 2010-11 player payroll, which will likely require two players to be traded or relegated to the minor leagues/a European team. Should one of those players be talented young center Travis Zajac, or if Kovalchuk’s signing prohibits them from retaining 26-year-old star Zach Parise -- a restricted free agent after the season -- the move may well be indefensible without a Stanley Cup to balance the columns.

Trading Zajac is a last resort, but the most likely trade candidates all carry bad contracts most teams are in no hurry to acquire. And the league requirement for salary cap compliance by the start of the NHL season already strips Devils GM Lou Lamoriello of any and all leverage. Some media speculated that Lamoriello may have to entice trading partners by adding a top prospect or draft pick in addition to The Expendables -- Dainius Zubrus and Bryce Salvador, the most likely players for the Devils to deal.

But now short two more future draft picks, New Jersey’s picks and prospects become even more valuable (New Jersey already swapped its 2011 second-round pick in exchange for Jason Arnott this summer), particularly as the team looks for young, cost-controlled players to balance against Kovalchuk’s $6.67M cap hit. Fortunately for the Devils, the $3M fine will not count against the team’s salary cap, as it could have under league rules. That concession was “won” at the time the Kovalchuk deal was signed, after negotiations between the league and the NHLPA, according to an AP report.

However, with the other teams under scrutiny for possible salary cap circumvention at that time -- the Flyers (Chris Pronger’s contract), the Blackhawks (Marian Hossa), the Canucks (Roberto Luongo) and the Bruins (Marc Savard) – going unpunished by the league, it certainly provides the appearance the Devils are being made the scapegoat for franchises with similar sins. After many of those pacts were finalized last season, the league did warn team to stop signing players to such excessive, long-term deals, so perhaps New Jersey shouldn’t have been surprised by the ruling. However, the league did still accept those previous deals, while the Devils were the team out of which the NHL finally made an example.

Morning Links

Devils roster purge rumors swirl

September, 9, 2010
As the Devils try to clear cap space, The Post sites rumblings that GM Lou Lamoriello is hesitant to part with D Bryce Salvador, thought to be one of the most likely players to leave. The article also adds former first-round pick Matt Corrente to the speculation (likely as an incentive for teams to take on a bad contract) and sites the Toronto Maple Leafs as an oft-mentioned, but unlikely, trading partner.

Meanwhile, In Lou We Trust is already cleaning out Salvador’s locker and says the final cap casualty will come down to Dainius Zubrus and Brian Rolston, offering an interesting head-to-head comparison along the way.

Morning Links

Zajac could be Kovy cap casualty

August, 30, 2010
While the hockey world waits for the NHL’s verdict on the re-submitted contract for LW Ilya Kovalchuk, the New York Post wonders who goes if Kovalchuk stays. The Dallas Stars are thought to be a possible destination for D Bryce Salvador, with Dainius Zubrus – a target we looked at a little Friday – also mentioned. Other possibilities are far more complicated given no-trade-clauses in their contracts, but one name may cause the faithful to groan at the continually rising cost to keep the Russian sniper.

According to a new blog post from the Post early this morning, C Travis Zajac is rumored to be on the trading block should Kovalchulk’s deal be approved. The center makes $3.89 million per season, which would help solve the Devils’ salary cap concerns, but he also put up 67 points last year as the team’s top pivot.

On one hand, trading Zajac would be a serious hit to this team, as newly acquired C Jason Arnottwould inherit top-line duties and the Devils would likely have to promote their second-line center from within the organization. On the other, the trade market for Zajac would be far more lucrative than for either Salvador or Zubrus, meaning GM Lou Lamoriello could earn some decent low-salary pieces for the future (prospects, draft picks) in return. The Washington Capitals have been searching for a second-line center all summer and would almost certainly be interested in Zajac. The Caps also have one of the deepest farm systems in hockey and could send the Devs some solid value.

But even then it's far from an ideal solution. There is a thought that centers and defensemen are the building blocks of Stanley Cup champions in today’s NHL, with the elite blue line of the Detroit Red Wings (2008 champions) and Chicago Blackhawks (’10), and the three-deep center corps of the Pittsburgh Penguins (’09) often used as examples.

Should the Devils move Zajac, his most likely replacement is Swedish C Jacob Josefson (drafted 20th overall in 2009), ranked as the second-best prospect in New Jersey’s system (behind Mattias Tedenby).

Josefson spent last season playing in his native country (20 points in 43 regular-season games for Djurgardens), but inked an entry-level deal with the Devils in May. Thought to be a heady, two-way player capable of reaching the NHL this season, he may now play a far more pivotal role than expected.

Trading the 25-year-old Zajac just as he enters his prime is certainly not an appealing avenue for the Devils to pursue, but the team will have to do something to clear the necessary space, thought to be at least $3.07M.

The Post's speculation on Zajac is only attributed to rumors, and it's doubtful he's the team's top trade option. But with so many players enjoying no-trade clauses in their contracts (Patrik Elias, Colin White, Brian Rolston, Jamie Langenbrunner and Johan Hedbergamong them), Zajac may not be as far from the top of the list as you might think.

Morning Links
  • Lamoriello told Fire and Ice he feels confident about the contract and that it will be approved by the NHL. We could hear as early as today. Wednesday is deadline day. Also, one small detail has emerged: The first year of Kovalchuk’s contract pays $6M.
  • In Lou We Trust wonders when Mike Mottau will be signed.

More on Devils' NHL meeting

August, 24, 2010
The local press has a little more on the Ilya Kovalchuk development from yesterday. Mark Everson of the New York Post points out that the window may be closing for NHL teams to reach a deal with the Russian LW, as the KHL starts up play Sept. 8. Kovalchuk has shown little interest in that league to date, however. Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov reported on what Kovalchuk might receive from a KHL club earlier this month.

The Post story also credits a source as saying the Devils are working to move D Bryce Salvador, perhaps to the Dallas Stars, to free up his $2.9 million in cap space.

Tom Gulitti of The Record adds a quote from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirming that no new contract was submitted at yesterday’s meeting.

With the flurry of activity yesterday, most seem to expect a new contract to be submitted today, though there has been nothing concrete reported. While you’re waiting on the edge of your seat for breaking news, scoot a little closer and check out today’s links.

Morning Links
  • Beyond the Blueshirts has a translated interview with Alexander Frolov from Russian site, explaining why he picked the Rangers over the KHL. He says the Rangers are a respected franchise and blah, blah, blah … Look, it’s a great interview, but when it comes to the KHL, forget the money. Forget the rep of NHL teams. There are other factors at play.
    In the NHL your worst road trip is the long flight to Vancouver. In the KHL it’s to Khanty-Mansiysk, located in the heart of that thriving tourist Mecca known as Siberia. One of Khanty-Mansiysk’s most notable enterprises? Its “large beast farm.” Rick Steves is all over that one.
    Check out the town on this map. Oh, and be sure to scroll out to see how, uh, close it is to other Russian cities. I-95 looks pretty appealing now, eh Alex? Who wants Roy Rogers?
  • Former Providence College standout Mark Fayne inked a deal with the Albany Devils. Fayne, a defenseman, was drafted by New Jersey in the fifth round in 2005.
  • The Islanders’ Behind the Number series hits you with some knowledge on No. 23, which belonged to Bob Nystrom.
  • Blueshirt Banter goes waaaaay inside the shootout with some serious Rangers-related stats.
  • Newsday’s Steve Zipay tweets the Rangers will unveil their third jerseys in November. SNY Rangers Blog’s Adam Rotter says they’ll likely be throwbacks to honor the team’s 85th anniversary.
  • Lighthouse Hockey compares the Islanders’ forwards current salaries with those on the 2008-09 squad. It’s a stark contrast.
  • Chris Botta writes on NYI Point Blank that Butch Goring will succeed Billy Jaffe on MSG’s Islanders broadcasts.
  • The World Hockey Summit began Monday, bringing some of the sport’s most influential figures to Toronto. ESPN’s Scott Burnside has more.
  • While the NHL spent part of last week sampling new rules for future implementation, at least one change will take effect for next season. As E.J. Hradek reported, the NHL will now use overtime and regulation wins as the first regular-season tiebreaker, excluding shootout victories. That change wouldn’t have had much impact last season, but it would have flipped Florida and Montreal for the final Eastern playoff spot in 2008-09, with the Habs owing seven of their 41 wins to the shootout.