Defenseman dBryce Salvador is the captain of the New Jersey Devils, but he isn’t loved as much as other captains in the Tri-State area. Since signing a three-year, $9.5 million contract after leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals, he hasn’t been as good.
The 2013-14 season has been especially tough on Salvador. Fans were screaming that the only reason for him being in the lineup every night was the C on his sweater. He just didn’t perform up to the standards that a captain should. He was missing assignments and giving up breakaways.
Then there was the extremely bizarre circumstances that caused him to miss all of November and most of December. General manager Lou Lamoriello said that Salvador was going to miss a game due to a death in his family. Then word came out that he had a broken foot. It was supposed to be an injury that sidelined him for 5-10 days. He ended up missing two months with the injury, much longer than expected.
He returned on Dec. 28 and immediately logged 23 minutes of ice time. He was definitely a minutes eater.
Salvador was in the same boat as Anton Volchenkov for most of the year. It seems like he has lost a step, which is to be expected from a 38-year-old veteran. There is the possibility that the Devils will use their compliance buyout on their captain. That obviously shows the situation the team is in with him.
Salvador had a bad season and he did not step up when the team needed him. There were times where he lost games for the team with his bad play. His plus/minus was all over the place. One game he would be +2 and another game he would be -3. The team needs someone more consistent on their back line. This team doesn’t get enough offense to be able to survive their captain giving up bad breakaways.
Season Grade: D+.