May 30, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador (24) carries the puck away from Los Angeles Kings center Colin Fraser (24) during the third period in game one of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Bryce Salvador Named Captain, Right Move For NJ


With the suspense of the future New Jersey Devils captain settled, it can now be said: Bryce Salvador was the best move.

With extreme likability among his teammates, and a display of a strong desire to remain in New Jersey from the offseason — Salvador is a perfect fit as the Devils captain for the 2013 season.

Generally, defensemen have fared better donning the ‘C’ for the Devils — with Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer‘s, two former blueline captains —  jersey numbers hanging from the rafters.

Over the past few years, captaincy hasn’t exactly been reaping success for the Devils. Aside from Zach Parise, who lasted for a season before signing the big bucks with the Minnesota Wild in the offseason, recent captains Jamie Langenbrunner and Patrik Elias each had short tenures in the main leadership role.

Elias served shortly in 2006, and Langebrunner was the captain for four years before getting traded to the Dallas Stars in 2011.

Salvador signed a three-year, $9 million deal on July 3, this season, a day before Parise decided to not return to the Garden State. He’s coming off a monstrous playoff stretch, in which he uncharacteristically displayed serious offensive prowess. After registering nine points — on nine assists — in all 82 regular season games, Salvador ripped off 14 points, on four goals and 10 assists, in 24 playoff games last spring.

And, after being named the 10th captain in the history of the Devils, Salvador received praise from several players, including some that were up for the honor as the next captain in New Jersey.

“I think it’s a great choice,” said Ilya Kovalchuk, according to the Bergen Record. Kovalchuk appeared to have the ‘C’ all but sewn on his jersey after Parise left, but his standoff with the NHL after the lockout ended may have ended those chances.

“He’s been around the league for a long time. He’s a well-respected guy in the locker room,” Elias said, also according to the Bergen Record.

Other than Kovalchuk, David Clarkson, who is entering his contract year, was speculated to be in consideration for the role, along with Travis Zajac, who locked up a long-term deal on Wednesday.

 

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