When Bryce Salvador announced his retirement Wednesday, he did so with a distinction not shared by many players. Salvador hung up his skates as the captain of the New Jersey Devils, a testament to both his leadership skills and his enduring excellence.
It’s not often a player retires as captain of his team. Most times the player either gets shuffled off to another team to finish his career or his play declines to the point where the ‘C’ is taken away from him and given to a younger player. To retire as captain of a team indicates the kind of continuity, reciprocal loyalty and long-lasting relationship you don’t see very often. Read more
Bryce Salvador’s path to the NHL wasn’t an easy one, and after 13 seasons in the league the 39-year-old defenseman is prepared to call it a career.
Wednesday morning, Salvador made his retirement announcement via The Players Tribune, in a piece titled “‘Til It’s Gone.”
In the piece, Salvador describes the symptoms of his multiple concussions which caused him to miss the entire 2010-11 campaign. After recounting the story of his struggles with a concussion and damage to his vestibular system — which included his eyes not communicating with one another — Salvador revealed that he was choosing to step away from the game.
“Today, I am retiring from the National Hockey League,” Salvador wrote. “I achieved my goal of coming back so that my boys would be able to remember me as an NHL player, and now I am content to step away on my own terms. But I am not leaving hockey, and I am not leaving New Jersey or the Devils. This organization never stopped believing in me, even when I was spinning around in office chairs (to heal my vestibular system).” Read more
In one off-season, the New Jersey Devils have said goodbye to Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire and longtime scout David Conte. This coming after a season in which they parted ways with all-time Devils great Martin Brodeur.
When it comes to Brodeur, who had a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues in 2014-15 before hanging up his skates and joining the Blues’ front office, things could have been much different for him post-career. In a recent interview, the 43-year-old sure-fire Hall of Famer said when he first retired, he had wanted to return to the New Jersey organization. Turns out Brodeur made the correct choice.
“[The Blues] offered me the (assistant GM) job, and I had to think about it a little bit,” Brodeur told NHL.com’s Arpon Basu. “I would have liked to go back to New Jersey, so it took some time for me to make my decision. But for me to go back there after everything that’s happened in New Jersey lately, I think I made the right move.” Read more
The New Jersey Devils are without a doubt going to get younger as a team and they took one of the first big steps towards that Tuesday, signing 18-year-old first-round pick Pavel Zacha to a three-year entry level deal.
Zacha, 18, was selected sixth overall by the Devils in the 2015 draft. Suiting up for the Sarnia Sting this past season, Zacha registered 16 goals and 34 points in 37 games and took off to play internationally for the Czech Republic at both the under-18 and under-20 World Junior Championships. At the U18 tournament, Zacha notched five goals in five games, adding another goal and two points at the U20 competition.
“It’s my goal for this season to play in the NHL, and now I just have to show everyone I can make the team and I’ll do everything for that (chance),” Zacha told NHL.com. “Camp is coming up and I am going there and I am going to get ready now for it. I’ve never been in a full camp of the NHL before; I was just at Devils (development) camp.” Read more
No matter which direction he chooses to go, Cory Schneider is going to have one of the most visually appealing masks in the NHL next season.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender is in the midst of holding a mask design competition. The competition, which began at the end of July, is now on to its second stage, with Schneider narrowing down the submissions to his five favorites. From one to five, each of the frontrunners brings something different to the table, be it devil horns or references to the history of New Jersey.
Take a look: Read more
(The AHL has undergone big changes in the past year and one third of the league will change locations or logos for the 2015-16 season. Leading up to the new campaign, The Hockey News will be ranking the logos of the league’s teams and offering a brief look at the history of each franchise.)
Big changes came to the New Jersey Devils organization this off-season, but it’s yet to be seen exactly how those changes will alter the future of the Albany Devils, the franchise’s AHL affiliate.
With longtime Devils GM Lou Lamoriello out of the Garden State and off to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office, the organizational shift has already begun. Longtime scout David Conte is out, former Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins coach John Hynes is in behind the bench, veteran Dainius Zubrus has been bought out and the organization is seemingly getting younger by the day.
Does that mean a shift in mentality for the Devils, who finished a pair of points outside of the post-season in 2014-15 campaign? This past season, the club was led by winger Joe Whitney, who scored 23 goals and 60 points in 67 games. But Whitney won’t be back, having signed a one-year, two-way deal with the New York Islanders. Scoring might be left to young guns such as Stefan Matteau, Reid Boucher and defenseman Reece Scarlett. Read more
The Pittsburgh Penguins made a move yesterday that flew a bit under the radar, signing center Matt Cullen to a one-year, $800,000 contract.
Cullen, who has played in more than 1,200 games over his career, has been a steady middle of the lineup player throughout his career. Cullen can give the Penguins some veteran depth, so it’s not a terrible signing, but what’s shocking about the deal is that Cullen is inching closer to his 39th birthday.
The Penguins also signed Eric Fehr this off-season, but Fehr, a veteran of 10 NHL seasons, is still 10 years Cullen’s junior. That’s no small age gap. Even still, Cullen barely cracks the five oldest players this season. Here are the NHL’s elder statesmen with contracts for the upcoming season: Read more
Dainius Zubrus may have played his final game in the NHL.
New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero announced Wednesday afternoon that the club has placed Zubrus on unconditional waivers with the intention to terminate his contract. Zubrus, who has spent the past eight seasons with the Devils, signed a three-year, $9.3 million contract extension with New Jersey in July 2013.
However, after a dismal four-goal, 10-point season in 2014-15, the Devils are ready to part ways with the veteran winger. His down year, which was the worst of his career, came one season following a 13-goal, 26-point campaign, but at his age and with the miles on his career, it wouldn’t be shocking were Zubrus to retire or pursue options overseas. This past season, he saw his ice time in New Jersey slip by nearly three minutes per game. Read more