If you follow former Devils captain Bryce Salvador on Twitter, something new may have been popping up on your timeline. Working as an analyst for the MSG broadcasts, if Salvador is going to make critical comments about his former team, and some of his former teammates, he's going to make sure he's backing up his words.
"I'm critiquing guys that I played against […] If I'm going to say that he's not having a very good game in the faceoff circle, okay, let's make sure that I'm getting correct stats. Or if I'm saying that, you know, he's turning the puck over a lot, well, let's make sure that he actually is, and kind of getting a little bit away from just the eye test."
This season Salvador has been breaking down the play not only on the air but sharing his breakdowns in intricate detail on Twitter as well. He has combined both his new broadcasting career and analyst mind to provide Devils fans with in-depth breakdown of plays right on his Twitter feed.
"I wanted to just kind of validate that what I'm seeing is actually happening," he shared, "And then what I also realized is that it was a couple years since I played, and the game evolved in just those couple of years that I retired. And when I got between the benches, I was just like, wow, like, my mind thinks I can play or, you know, my body thinks I can play but my mind is seeing that ow, like everybody's jumping up and play. It's all about puck possession. What is everyone focusing on? What is those buzz-words?"
That realization, standing between the benches, has led Salvador to make sure that not only he, but the fans watching the game truly understand the intricacies of what is going on, on the ice.
Salvador joins the Speak of the Devils Podcast, presented by RWJ Barnabas Health this week, hosted by Matt Loughlin and Chris Wescott for a lengthy conversation about his journey from player to broadcaster. Where it begins, like most conversations with former NHL players, is the transition from player to post-playing life. Having played a game your entire life, with its structure and schedule, all of a sudden once you are done playing, there's a lot to discover about yourself.
"You think you're just gonna come and hang around and just kind of let things figure things out, [take] one day at a time, but you realize real quick that like my case, [with] two boys and with my wife their life didn't change. And so, you're coming in, and you're kind of in the way, and so I realized real quick that, I need to make sure that I stay active and get involved in some things."
His new career path fell into his lap by chance, and now several years later he has become an invaluable asset to the MSG broadcast team.
"I actually never thought I'd be in broadcasting, or in front of a camera talking all the time. And it was just one of these things that organically happened. [John] MacLean, he was he was in the position that I am, and then last moment, he got the job assistant coaching job for the Arizona Coyotes. And, even when that happened, I wasn't even thinking that when he leaves that job position would open."
Not only did he not think it was open, but it wasn't on his radar.
But it was on his wife's.
"My wife said […] why don't you, you know, ask about that position with MSG […] I kind of reached out, and talked to the Devils, and I said, actually, coincidentally, that day, they were just talking about who could maybe fill that position as the story goes, and my name was one of them. And so, the fact that I happened to actually have called in and said, Ah, you know, what, maybe?"
We are all the better for it, as Salvador continues to expand not only his analyst skills, but his ability to communicate them to fans looking to learn more about the game.
"I realized on air things that I was saying, a lot of people weren't understanding," he emphasized, "So I just realized that I'm taking so much for granted. So, let's kind of break some of this stuff down […] So that's kind of really where it started as you know, my first season, the second season just by saying okay, well, you know, 'here's a low to high play, that's when the puck is going from the offensive zone below the goal line up to your point. Everyone sees that, but really no one's heard the terminology. So I just figured, I just started see that people really were enjoying, you know, kind of some of that more thorough explanation."
For more insight from Bryce, tune into the Speak of the Devils Podcast this week! And make sure to follow Bryce on Twitter at @BryceSalvador.