With Bryce Salvador retiring as captain earlier this week, who will be named the next C for the New Jersey Devils. Here are five choices.
By Patrick Comia
On Wednesday, Bryce Salvador announced he would be leaving the ice of the Prudential Center, as a player. He served as team captain since 2013. A great locker room presence and even-better leader on the ice, his time with the Devils was admired, and his appointment as team captain was well-deserved.
Unfortunately, series of injuries had left the 39-year old defenseman with little choice, but to walk away from the game he had been playing the past 14 seasons.
In an interview with Northjersey.com, Salvador explained his decision to step aside from the NHL:
I just think there were a lot of factors over the last two seasons…I could just see that the body wasn’t responding as it used to and it was just getting more and more difficult to stay healthy. And the position that I was in, being the captain, this last season it was really tough to be the team leader and not be present. So I just kind of realized that even though I can play, I feel I can play and come back, I just didn’t know if I’d be able to make it a full season…Knowing that, I just kind of really said, ‘Does it make sense to put myself in that situation when the mind is still there and I feel good, but maybe the body is telling me it’s time?’
For the Devils, the question of who will be the next captain might be weighing on their mind. Of course, there are other issues besides naming a Salvador’s successor for general manager Ray Shero and company to deal with.
However, it could be a good influence for the team, especially the up and coming Devils prospects. The naming of a captain would send a message to the Devils fans, and those outside of New Jersey, that the team is prepared to move forward and players are ready to assume the leadership responsibilities.
Here are our top five candidates to assume the mantel of the 12th captaincy for the Devils.