New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer announced today that defenseman Bryce Salvador has been named
He becomes the 10th captain in Devils history and takes over for the departed Zach Parise, who signed with the Minnesota Wild as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s the fourth defenseman in team history to be named captain.
Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk will remain alternates.
Salvador returned to the Devils last season after missing the entire 2010-11 campaign battling the effects of a concussion. He played all 82 games during the regular season, recording nine assists. He raised his game during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals, compiling a career-high 14 points (4g, 10a) in the postseason.
This summer, Salvador and the Devils agreed to a three-year, $9.5 million contract.
The New Jersey Devils announced today they signed center Travis Zajac to a long term contract.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello made the announcement today during the team’s scrimmage with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but its been reported it is an eight year, $46 million contract. It’s an annual $5.75 million cap hit and includes a full no-trade clause.
The eight-year deal is the longest allowable under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.
Zajac was entering the final season of a four-year, $15.5 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent in 2009. He was scheduled to make $4.48 million (prorated for the lockout) this season.
The Devils center will make $3.5 million in the first year of the contract. That number jumps to $5 million in the second season. From years three to six, he will make $6.5 million. His salary drops to $5.75 million for the final two years of the contract.
Lamoriello said both sides were working on an extension before the lockout began and completed it this week.
Zajac missed most of the regular season last year recovering from a torn Achillies tendon, an injury that occurred during offseason workouts. He played just 15 regular season games, recording two goals and four assists. He fully recovered by time the postseason rolled around, and became a key contributor for the Devils, netting 14 points (7g, 7a) in 24 playoff games.
He was drafted 20th overall by the New Jersey Devils in 2004. He has 91 goals and 164 assists in 423 regular season NHL games. Of the 19 players selected before him in the draft, only three (Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Andrew Ladd) have more career points.
Eighteen years after his father broke the hearts of New Jersey Devils fans everywhere, his son has a contract with the very same team.
New Jersey signed first round draft pick Stefan Matteau to an entry-level contract. As per club rules, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Matteau, 18, was the 29th overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. He spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development program, collecting 32 points (15g, 17a) and 166 penalty minutes for the under-18 squad this past season. He also participated in USA Hockey’s Under-20 Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid earlier this month.
While he’s expected to play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL next season, Matteau said he’s looking to make the NHL roster this season. He participated in the Devils prospect camp this summer, and earned praise from general manager Lou Lamoriello.
It didn’t take former New Jersey Devil Colin White to find a home.
After being officially bought out by the team yesterday, White signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the San Jose Sharks. He’ll get to wear number 5 with the organization.
“We talked to a couple of teams, but the big thing was San Jose, the opportunity to the ultimate goal of winning,” White told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record.
White spent ten years with the Devils, winning two Stanley Cup championships. He overcame a career-threatening eye injury, suffered in training camp before the start of 2007. He had no hard feelings about the way his time ended in New Jersey.
“I have too many (good) memories,” he told Gulitti. “Obviously, the Cups and getting drafted and just the teammates I played with, the trainers, the coaches, equipment guys. It was a big family there. I think that’s the toughest part. Just having so many friends there, being there so long you get accustomed to going there. But, I’ll keep in touch with all those guys and now it’s just a different experience that I’m looking forward to.”
White will return to the Prudential Center on October 21.
For the past 10 years, Colin White became a staple of the New Jersey Devils’ defense.
For several of those years, he stayed buried under the bigger names on the blue line, with Scott Stevens and others leading the charge. But as players began to retire or leave in free agency, White became an important piece of the defense.
He earned the respect of his teammates, overcoming a gruesome eye injury during training camp in 2007 that almost cost him his career. He became an assistant captain, and at times was asked to act as captain.
But White carried an ugly $3 million cap hit, and the Devils were in a cap crunch. Despite trading Brian Rolston three days ago (and ridding themselves of his $5.2 million contract), Devils’ general manager Lou Lamoriello wanted more wiggle room. With the rise of prospects and the possible return of Bryce Salvador, White became an expendable piece on the blue line.
Lamoriello placed White on waivers today, and intends to buy him out if he clears. The Devils’ general manager admitted it wasn’t an easy decision.
“He’s been a pure Devil,” Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “It’s unfortunate, but there comes a point when young players have to get a chance. With long-term contracts in this league, this is not unusual, but it is unfortunate.”
White ended his ten-year run with 20 goals and 105 assists in 743 regular season games. A former second round draft pick in 1996, the defenseman won two Stanley Cup championships in 2000 and 2003.
Lamoriello and White discussed the move during an end of the season meeting.
“Colin and I sat down and the end of the season and after the discussion we decided just to go and get a bit of a change,” Lamoriello told Gulitti.
If the team buys out White, they will need to pay two thirds of his contract over twice the remaining years. He’s due $3 million this year, in the last year of his contract. New Jersey will pay him $1 million over the next two seasons.
White remained the last stalwart of the Devils’ dynasty defenses. He seemed to play better last season, and showed aggressive play we haven’t seen in the past few seasons. He got into a few scrums and generally threw his body around. For the first time in a long time, White played like the younger version of himself.
With the move, Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur are the only remaining Devils with championship rings. The move also places a ton of confidence in Salvador’s recovery. The defenseman missed all of last season battling post-concussion symptoms, and has yet to participate in contact drills. It also opens a spot along the blueline for one of the Devils’ young defensive prospects.
Lamoriello believes the move allows White an opportunity somewhere else.
“This will be good for Colin,” Lamoriello told Gulitti. “Now, as an unrestricted free agent, he can pick where he wants to go.”
The Devils also placed recently acquired Trent Hunter on waivers. Hunter, acquired in the Rolston trade, has two years and $2 million remaining on his contract. If New Jersey buys him out, they’ll owe him $666,667 for the next four seasons.