He played in 13 NHL seasons for two different clubs. He scored 86 assists and 110 points, registered 696 penalty minutes and logged over 14,000 minutes during his career. Bryce Salvador was a captain on the ice and a leader in the locker room.
The Brandon, Manitoba, native was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round, 138th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. Although he never played in a game with the Lightning, Salvador continued his quest for the NHL and landed a spot with the St. Louis Blues’ Worcester IceCats of the American Hockey League in 1997-98. Salvador’s gritty style and ability to more than keep up with the speed of the AHL led to his first NHL appearance on Oct. 5, 2000 against the Phoenix Coyotes. He registered his first fight, a melee with enforcer Brad May.
He registered his first goal 26 games later in a 6-1 rout over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Salvador quickly became a mainstay on the Blues’ back end and had multiple memorable moments. He scored his first playoff overtime goal against the San Jose Sharks on April 19, 2001 and even appeared in the Western Conference Final in the same year.
However, the Blues hit a rough patch from 2005-06 until Salvador’s departure in 2007-08. The team began moving pieces and decided Salvador, one of their longest tenured players at that point, would be better served on another roster as his contract was up the following summer. Salvador was traded to the New Jersey Devils for forward Cam Janssen on Feb. 26, 2008, and appeared in his first game three days later against the Washington Capitals. Salvador returned to the NHL playoffs that season, his first since 2003-04, and scored his first goal as a member of the Devils against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of their Eastern quarterfinal series.
Salvador opted to sign with New Jersey that summer and was part of a roster that included future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur and scoring dynamos Patrik Elias and Zach Parise.
With the Devils, Salvador arguably played in the best years of his career. In 2012, he helped the franchise reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in nine years. Salvador had a tremendous postseason, recording four goals and 14 points in 24 games. It was during this run that the infamous “no-name defensemen” incident occurred.
Thanks to his ability to lead a young defense and take charge on the ice, Salvador was named captain of the team the following season. He served in this position until his retirement at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Salvador’s career was more than just 786 games. It included massive hits, memorable fights and a slew of important goals and assists.
This is all immortalized at BryceSalvador.com, as well as on the following highlight video of Salvador’s career.
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