Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Salvador Back in Devils' Fold

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Salvador Back in Devils' Fold

Article excerpt

While Zach Parise continued to ponder whether he would return to New Jersey or sign elsewhere, the Devils continued to go about their business of keeping together most of the rest of the team that reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

Defenseman Bryce Salvador became the latest unrestricted free agent to re-sign, agreeing Tuesday to a three-year contract for $9.5 million.

After Salvador, 36, missed all of the 2010-11 season with a cochlear (inner-ear) concussion, he did not miss a game in the regular season or playoffs in 2011-12. He led the Devils with a plus- 18 defensive rating and had no goals and nine assists in 82 regular- season games, and then was a surprising standout offensively in the playoffs with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 24 playoff games -- second behind Los Angeles' Drew Doughty in scoring among defensemen.

"The season showed me I have a lot left," Salvador said. "I felt the best that I ever felt, and it's funny how the year off really helped me. There's a lot of things that I learned in that year off in terms of training and taking care of myself. I was able to see that it paid off during the season in the amount of games I played and just how I felt throughout the whole playoffs."

Salvador received offers from six teams, and 10 teams total expressed interest. Salvador's first choice always was to come back to the Devils, though, and said general manager Lou Lamoriello matched his best offer.

"My first priority was to be with the Devils, but it was just really flattering [with] all the teams that had interest," Salvador said. "And for the Devils to view me the same way other teams felt and come with the same contract other teams were offering was definitely flattering.

"So, it made it an easy decision for me. It's been a great fit."

Salvador's decision may have been easy, but Parise still is struggling with his. …

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