The New Jersey Devils
picked up some depth on defense, while the St. Louis Blues
got a physical, energetic fourth-line winger who is antsy to play this season in a trade announced Tuesday morning.
The Devils, who were eager for help on the back end, got stay-at-home defenseman Bryce Salvador in exchange for Cam Janssen, who was activated from injured reserve for the first time all season Monday night as a precursor to this deal.
Janssen, by the way, is a St. Louis native.
Salvador gives the Devils another physical presence on the back end to join Colin White and Vitaly Vishnevski in those roles. He has a goal and 10 assists this season, but the key stat is his plus-12 rating, which was best on the Blues. Salvador is slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so the Devils are getting him for an immediate return.
“In Bryce Salvador, we have acquired a veteran NHL defenseman with good size and strength who plays a physical game,” Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello said. “We look forward to the depth Bryce will bring to our roster.”
New Jersey currently leads the Ottawa Senators by a point for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are two points ahead of Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division. The Devils, Penguins and Senators all have 21 games remaining.
Salvador’s 19:38 of ice time per game was third on St. Louis behind fellow defensemen Eric Brewer and Barrett Jackman, who signed a long-term contract Monday. Salvador is a key penalty killer as well, and was third on the Blues with 91 blocked shots.
As for Janssen, in the past he’s been an energetic forward for the Devils who liked to play physical and fight. Last season, he was especially good at defending the team’s top forwards. He had shoulder surgery after being injured in a pre-season game, which landed him on IR. Janssen was recently on a four-game conditioning stint with Lowell of the AHL.
The Blues aren’t getting Janssen for his offensive prowess. In 95 career games he has only one goal and no assists. He had 91 penalty minutes 11 fighting majors in 2005-06, and 114 penalty minutes and 16 majors last season.
“We feel that Cam’s style of play will bring energy and grit to our lineup and being from St. Louis, feel that he will be an instant fan favorite here,” said Blues President John Davidson. “Our depth at defense enabled us to make this move. We admire and respect Bryce as a player for what he did on and off the ice in St. Louis and thank Bryce and his wife April for their contributions as members of our family.”
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