Bryce Salvador stays in NJ; destitute, debt-ridden Devils sign him for $9.5 million

Bryce Salvador was the New Jersey Devils' best defenseman in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is to say he had more points in the playoffs (14) than he had in 82 regular-season games (9), finishing with a plus-9.

After failing to come to terms with the Devils before unrestricted free agency, Salvador watched Dennis Wideman get a $5.25 million cap hit from the Calgary Flames over five years and Hal Gill get a $2 million hit from the Nashville Predators for two years.

"There's kind of a nice range (between $5.25 million and $2 million per season) where I'd fit in," Salvador told the Star Ledger.

Well, the Lou Lamoriello Kool-Aid he drank was strong enough to keep that range on the low end: Salvador re-signed with the Devils for three years and $9.5 million, an average cap hit of $3.16 million.

That comes on the heels of Martin Brodeur re-signing for two years on Monday, and with the Zach Parise drama unfolding as the Devils' captain considers his future.

According to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, Salvador received offers as a UFA that the Devils ended up matching. Also from Gulitti:

"Salvador did not receive or ask for a no-trade. Like Brodeur, he did get a signing bonus as a little protection against possible lockout."

(Remember that signing bonus stuff if and when Parise signs; it could determine where he's headed.)

A three-year deal for a 36-year-old seems a bit much in today's NHL, but that's how the Devils were going to keep him. Also keep in mind Salvador missed the entire 2010-11 season with an inner ear ailment. He was sixth in total average ice time on the team at 20:12, and second in shorthanded ice time at 3:04 per game last season.

So the debt-ridden, cash-strapped New Jersey Devils have now signed eight free agents in the last week — Cam Janssen, Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, Peter Harrold, Marty Brodeur, Johan Hedberg and Bryce Salvador; they lost Alexei Ponikarovsky to Winnipeg and Eric Boulton to the Islanders.

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