NEWS

Salvador's future tough for Devils to gauge

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 1:45 PM ET / News
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Salvador\'s future tough for Devils to gauge



 
NEWARK, N.J. -- On the list of things Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello has to figure out between now and July is what the value for the second-leading scorer among defensemen in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs is and if it will be worth keeping 36-year-old Bryce Salvador after his unexpected postseason.

Salvador, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, had no goals and nine assists in 82 regular-season games, but he contributed four goals and 10 assists in 24 playoff games to help the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final. The only defenseman with better offensive numbers than Salvador was the Kings' Drew Doughty, who had 16 points in 20 games.

"Certainly [Salvador's] offensive prowess was a pleasant surprise," Lamoriello said.

Now the decision has to be how on how much that surprise will cost them, and if it's a price worth paying.

The Devils already have five defensemen under contract for next season -- Anton Volchenkov, Henrik Tallinder, Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene and Adam Larsson. Mark Fayne is a restricted free agent who likely will re-sign, giving New Jersey six NHL blueliners without Salvador, who just finished a four-year, $11.6 million contract.

"There's a great core of defensemen here and lots of guys under contract," Salvador said.

Salvador also knows he's not Lamoriello's No. 1 priority. The Devils have to try to re-sign captain Zach Parise, who would be the most coveted forward on the market should he not be signed by July 1. Goaltender Martin Brodeur already has stated a desire to return, and provided he gives Lamoriello a firm yes on that, he also will require a new contract.

The Devils, in fact, have 11 players that could be unrestricted free agents July 1.

Salvador said no matter what happens he will sit down with Lamoriello because of the relationship they have, but he understands the reality of the situation is that he might have to sign with a different team. He can handle that reality because just a year ago he was wondering if even playing again would be possible.

Salvador missed the entire 2011-12 season with a concussion. He wasn't sure if he would have to retire.

"We didn't think he'd ever play again," Lamoriello said.

He was given clearance to get back to work last summer, and Lamoriello credited Salvador for getting himself in the best possible shape heading into the season.

"Once he did get the green light to do the things that were necessary, the commitment that he made during the summer to get himself where he should be and to get the reward that he got was just satisfying, especially with the type of individual he is," Lamoriello said. "He's a leader."

But will he be a Devil next season?

"They've got a lot of decisions," Salvador said. "What's Marty going to do? Will [he sign for] one, two or three years? Then Zach? My situation will fall after those guys."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59