It was finally made officially on Monday, but even before that point, it looked like the New Jersey Devils are going to spend the last week of the regular season like they’ve spent the last couple prior to it. Without their captain.
Bryce Salvador is unlikely to return this season as he’s still recovering from a wrist injury. The good news there is that the injury will not require surgery, which was originally feared. However, it’s just the latest negative in a season full of them for Salvador and the Devils.
Many were surprised when the Devils signed Salvador to a three-year contract last summer, despite the fact that he had a very good postseason. That small stretch alone earned him the new deal, but the bigger surprise was still to come. The Devils named Salvador the successor to Zach Parise as their new captain.
Since that point, it’s been a whole bunch of negatives, both for Salvador and for the Devils. The Devils were recently mathematically eliminated from the postseason, bringing an unofficial end to an otherwise disappointing season for them.
Salvador’s struggles started much earlier than the Devils, who actually got off to a pretty good start. But the captain did not have the year that many were hoping for from him after that brilliant postseason stretch. He had just two points and was a minus-12 in action before he went down with that wrist injury.
It will be interesting to see if the Devils decide to try and use a buyout to part ways with Salvador this summer. Given that they just named him captain less than a year ago, it seems unlikely. But given how mightily he struggled this season, it wouldn’t be all that surprising.