The New Jersey Devils seem to be doing everything they can to keep together their team that went to the Stanley Cup Final this past season.
They're still waiting for word on the biggest part of that team -- free agent forward Zach Parise -- but after bringing back their entire fourth line, as well retaining the services of their two goalies, Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, the team also agreed to terms with defenseman Bryce Salvador on Tuesday.
The deal is for three years and a total of $9.5 million, which comes out to an average salary cap hit of around $3.1 million per season.
That's a slight increase from the $2.9 million he averaged on his previous deal.
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It's still a lot money for Salvador (especially for a team with some well documented financial problems), but coming off a surprisingly productive postseason performance and combined with a weak -- and shrinking -- group of free agent defensemen he was able to cash in on a pretty substantial deal.
Salvador was a nice story for the Devils this season as he was able to appear in all 82 games after missing the entire 2010-11 season due to a concussion.
He didn't score a single goal in the regular season, but played over 20 minutes a night. Despite not scoring a goal during the season, and having not scored one since March of 2010, Salvador's offense suddenly exploded during the playoffs as he scored four goals to go with 10 assists in the Devils' 24 postseason games. One of them was of the empty net variety, and a couple of them were the result of some bounces going his way (puck luck!).
To put that goal number into perspective, only twice during his 10-year NHL career has he scored at least four goals during an entire regular season. His career high is five.
Salvador told Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger that his playoff performance is what got him a third year on his contract.
It's probably fair to assume it got him a little extra money, too.
With Salvador signed the Devils now have over $54 million in cap space committed to 20 players for the upcoming season.
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