After surprising playoff run, defenceman Bryce Salvador stays a Devil, snares three-year deal

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

NEWARK, N.J. - Defenceman Bryce Salvador, a key cog in New Jersey's run to the Stanley Cup finals, re-signed with the Devils on Tuesday.

Salvador, 36, who had four goals and 14 points in the post-season after a regular season in which he failed to find the net once, received a three-year deal, worth $9.5 million.

Teamed up with Marek Zidlicky, a midseason acquisition from Minnesota, Salvador found his groove in the playoffs, as the Devils defeated the Panthers, Flyers and Rangers en route to their first Eastern Conference title since 2003. He finished second behind Los Angeles' Drew Doughty in post-season scoring among defencemen.

New Jersey, a No. 6 seed that went 14-10 in a surprising post-season run, has re-signed several components to the puzzle this week. In net, they brought back Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg. They also locked up the entire fourth line—a makeshift group put together at season's end that found spring success and featured Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier and Stephen Gionta—as well as defenceman Peter Harrold, who was in and out of the lineup during the Devils' four playoff series.

Left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, a midseason acquisition from Carolina who scored an overtime winner vs. Philadelphia in Round 2, signed with Winnipeg, and forward Petr Sykora, in his second term as a Devil, remains unsigned.

Of course, the biggest name—forward Zach Parise—is still out there, as well. The Devils captain has received numerous offers, and is now back home in Minnesota, weighing his options.

Salvador played all 82 regular-season games for the Devils last season, a year after missing the entire season with a rare, inner-ear concussion. He is the very essence of a stay-at-home, defensive, defenceman, who was a plus-18 with nine assists in the regular season, and took a lighthearted approach to his scoring success in the playoffs.

In fact, his first goal of the post-season was an empty-netter which travelled the length of the ice in a 4-1 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia. When asked about having an offensive touch back in his game for the first time in a long time during the playoffs, he responded in kind.

"You mean since I was 10," Salvador said at the time. "I just think it is everyone buying into the system and good things are happening for everyone."

Armed now with a new deal, they still are.

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