New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador announced his retirement today through a letter featured on The Players’ Tribune.
Salvador, 39, detailed the struggles he faced throughout his career dealing with injuries, concussions, adjusting to everyday life and accepting the fact that it was time to walk away from the game.
“Here I am, 786 regular season and 74 playoff games later, retiring as a captain. No matter what anybody says, they can’t take this away from me,” Salvador said. “I played in the freaking NHL.”
Salvador played for the Devils for the last seven and a half years of his 14 year career.
The New Jersey Devils have hired Patrick Rissmiller as their new development coach (Devils, Aug. 26).
“Patrick Rissmiller has played at just about every level – high school, college, ECHL, AHL, NHL and Europe, and with multiple organizations,” said Devils GM Ray Shero. “He will work with all of the players in our organization, as well as our prospects. We feel that he is the ideal individual with the necessary experience and background for this position.”
Rissmiller, 36, played 13 years professionally that included stints with the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers and Florida Panthers organizations.
The Devils have named Joe Lorincz their new strength and conditioning coach (Devils, Aug. 18).
Lorincz, 32, has spent the last six years working with the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton serving under the same position. He has also worked for the Anaheim Ducks, directing their prospect conditioning programs.
According to Devils general manager Ray Shero the Devils may not replace Bryce Salvador right away and put off naming a new captain.
Shero told NJ.com that they won’t name a new captain until the proper leader emerges in the 2015-2016 batch of players, but stressed that doesn’t indicate a lack of leadership on the team.
“If we didn’t have a captain to start the season, it wouldn’t mean we don’t have a leader. Not at all. There are a number of teams with no captains. I don’t know if Columbus had one last season and, of course, Minnesota had rotating captains with Jacques (Lemaire). I don’t want to make a big deal out of it.”
The Devils have signed No. 6 overall pick Pavel Zacha to a three-year, entry level contract, the team announced Tuesday (Aug. 11).
According to the team, the deal has an average annual value of $925,000.
Zacha, 18, was the only 2015 first-round selection that was not either not signed or planning to play in the NCAA.
Zacha weighed in on the deal after coming to terms (Aug. 11).
“All the time I trusted my agent. He told me everything would be okay,” Zacha said. “I had some good talks in New Jersey with the GM. It was just a matter of time until the contract was coming.”
As far as whether Zacha will play in the NHL this season, Devils GM Ray Shero weighed in.
“I don’t know,” Shero said. “One day he will. Whether it’s going to be this year or in the future, we’re not sure. I’m not leaning one way or the other. It’s a decision he makes for us at some point.”
In 37 games with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting last year, Zacha recorded 16 goals and 18 assists. He also had two points in five games for his native Czech Republic during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.