Lamoriello has said he's always on the lookout for an opportunity to make his club better, no matter the time of year. He believes he has done just that with the acquisition of rugged defenseman Bryce Salvador
"We wanted to get a little more size and strength at defense, and he certainly brings that," Lamoriello said following Tuesday's 3 p.m. deadline. "His style of play fits with what what our system is, and that played a role in this."
Salvador, 32, is in his seventh National Hockey League season, and 11th year as a pro. The 6-2, 220-lb. blueliner has one goal and 10 assists for 11 points and 43 penalty minutes in 56 games this season. He has career totals of 16 goals and 47 assists for 63 points and 413 penalty minutes in 447 games, all with St. Louis.
The Brandon, Manitoba native was expected in New Jersey on Tuesday night, with a physical scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Headed the other way in the deal was forward Cam Janssen
, a St. Louis native. Janssen was activated from the Long Term Injury List on Feb. 25, and had appeared in three games with Lowell (AHL) since suffering a shoulder injury during the preseason.
"It certainly was a very difficult decision," Lamoriello said of moving the gritty winger. "The style of play that we have and the emergence of players like David Clarkson
, along with the improvement of Mike Rupp and the versatility of Arron Asham factored into what ice time Cam would have had. The opportunity to get Salvador was the right decision for the team."
Salvador's style of play should be familiar to Devils fans. Lamoriello said that Salvador's steady, physical presence will fit in well with New Jersey's current corps of rearguards.
"In our minds, we were lacking a certain style similar to the one that Colin White plays night in, night out.," Lamoriello said. "Salvador plays the way that White plays, and now we have depth with players that can do those things. There's no question that he will be an asset to our defense."
The move likely won't make many headlines on a day that saw more than two dozen different deals completed. But preserving the existing chemistry seemed to be a consideration for a team that has steadily risen to the top of both the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division with its recent play.
The Devils entered Tuesday's meeting with Carolina having won five in row, and riding a streak of eight straight games with at least one point (7-0-1).
"We're a team, and that's what it's all about," Lamoriello said. "You have to be careful with what you do when you do have that chemistry. When you do have everyone going in one direction, and when you do have the coach that's doing the job that [Brent Sutter] is doing, all of that factors into your decision making.
We've gone through some adversity, but we've overcome all of it because people were all pulling in the same direction. Now what we have to do is settle down. The trade deadline is behind us. Our philosophy has always been to give the team the best opportunity to have the most success that we can. That's exactly where we are today."