Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google


Salvador ready after lost season

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 7:14 PM / News
By Eric Marin
Share with your Friends

Salvador ready after lost season
Salvador passed his physical Friday and was on the ice for the start of camp on Saturday. (New Jersey Devils)
Bryce Salvador hasn’t played an NHL game in nearly a year. But he was finally back where he belonged on Saturday, stepping out on the ice at AmeriHealth Pavilion for the start of training camp.

After the long road back from a concussion, the hard-hitting defenseman is finally ready to patrol the Devils blue line once again. He's been away from the game since Sept. 28, when he was forced to leave a preseason game against Philadelphia.

“It was just fun to be back,” Salvador said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had that energy going through me, the nervousness, just the fun and the competitive spirit of being back. It was kind of nice to be alive again. It’s good to be back out there.”

Salvador took part in the day's second session, which included fourth-overall pick, defenseman Adam Larsson

“Timing’s off a little bit but that’ll come pretty quick,” Salvador said. “It’s just going to be good to be back every day and having that mindset of coming back to the rink every day. Looking forward to it. We’ve got a lot of great veterans here and a good group of young guys coming up. It’s just fun to be back in that atmosphere.”

His conditioning levels are right where he wants them coming out of the long layoff. The last time he played a game that counted, it was Game 5 of the Devils’ 2010 playoff series with the Flyers.

“I feel really good,” he said. “From a conditioning standpoint I feel really good. The more important thing is just getting the timing back. Being out there, just being in situations, reading, reacting, breaking up two-on-ones, three-on-ones, just getting back into that mindset of reading the plays and situations. That’s what you need to get back into, and you get that way by practicing every day.”

Physical play has always been a part of his game, and that’s not something he expects to change now. That applies fighting, too.

“Not at all,” he said. “I think that’s part of the game, part of the edge. You need to have that. You can’t take certain parts out of your game. As soon as you try to change the way you play or react, in my opinion, it’s time to pack it in.”

Given the number of youngsters at this year’s camp, the 35-year-old considers himself a potential mentor for the up-and-comers.

“I think playing defense is by far the hardest position for a young kid to step into and to be able to play consistent,” Salvador said. “I think if you’re going to be taking one of the six positions, playing regularly every night, you have to be ready to play or be able to be mentally tough for the up and downs. If I can help some of the young kids understand that and come in and help them from a professional standpoint with how to be prepared every night, that’d be a great role to take.”

Larsson, who turns 19 in November, is among this year’s hopefuls. Even after an hour on the ice, it was easy for Salvador to see why.

“He skates well and he handles the puck well,” he said. “He seems quite composed. From talking to him and just from what I’ve heard, he’s played elite hockey over in Europe. He’s definitely got the skill set. You don’t want to put too much pressure on him. Playing defense in this League as a young d-man is very difficult. You just let him develop and not too much pressure on him. I think we’ve got a gem in him.”

Notes and quotes
Salvador was asked if he saw himself as a candidate for the Devils' captaincy, which has been vacant since Jamie Langenbrunner was traded to Dallas in January.

"I haven’t even thought about something like that," he said. "That’s something that I don’t really spend much time thinking about. Everyone’s a leader in their own way and how they lead. Letters for me have never really meant anything from my personal standpoint other than just coming out and leading by example. Whatever the organization decides to do, I think there’s a lot of great leaders in here. A lot of captain-material guys in here. I think it’s going to be a great decision no matter who they pick."




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31


A. Henrique 41 10 16 -2 26
J. Jagr 44 9 16 -11 25
M. Cammalleri 36 15 6 -3 21
P. Elias 38 6 15 -13 21
M. Zidlicky 48 4 16 -8 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
T. Zajac 40 8 8 -6 16
S. Gomez 24 4 12 -6 16
S. Bernier 33 6 7 1 13
M. Havlat 30 5 8 -9 13
C. Schneider 17 19 4 .921 2.37
K. Kinkaid 1 3 3 .913 2.54