The 10th captain in New Jersey Devils history is about to hang up his skates.
An answer on captain Bryce Salvador’s future is expected by the end of the week, though, with a retirement announcement appearing to be the likely conclusion.
“We’ll probably have some news later in the week on Bryce and we’ll kind of see what direction he is going,” Devils GM Ray Shero said today. “I don’t anticipate this will be a situation that’s ongoing for a lot longer one way or the other. I anticipate that relatively soon there will be some sort of information.”
UPDATE: Per an NHLPA release, Salvador has officially called it a career.
“I would like to thank my wife, April, for her unconditional and ongoing support, and love. I’m blessed and so thankful that my two sons, Pierson and Hudson, were able to see and remember me play as I thought my career was over when I missed the entire 2010-11 season due to injury,” Salvador said in a statement. “To my parents, and my extended family, as well as Bonnie and Gerald, thank you for all your love and support.
“I would like to thank the Lethbridge Hurricanes and GM Bob Bartlett, the St. Louis Blues and GM Larry Pleau, and the New Jersey Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello, for giving me the opportunities to play hockey. Thanks also to my teammates, the owners of each of these organizations, and to the fans for bringing excitement and energy to every game. I look forward to a continued involvement in hockey for years to come.”
Salvador, 39, appeared in just 15 games last year, missing extensive time with nerve damage and a bulging disc in his lower back. There was talk of him potentially returning to the team this fall in some capacity — possibly on a training camp PTO — but now he’s walking away from the game after a 14-year career.
It was, by all measures, a pretty solid run.
A sixth-round pick back in ’94, Salvador appeared in nearly 800 games with the Blues and Devils, and was a huge piece of New Jersey’s Stanley Cup run in 2012. Never known for his offense, Salvador scored 14 points in 24 games to finish second among all d-men in playoff scoring.
Following that run, the Devils signed Salvador to a fairly lucrative three-year, $9.5 million deal and, prior to the start of the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, named him captain.
Salvador also addressed his retirement in a recent Players Tribune piece. You can read it here.