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Bryce Salvador

Developed Skills In Ahl

Salvador was dispatched to the Worcester Ice Cats American Hockey League (AHL) team in the Blues' minor-league system and spent three seasons there, playing in 170 games and winning the team's Most Improved Player award in 1998. "Worcester was good for me," Salvador told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "Some guys say they don't need the minors, but I did. It was important for my career." Salvador and his wife April put down roots in that small Massachusetts city and continued to spend the off-season there after he joined the Blues in St. Louis.

Salvador first took to the ice as an NHL player on October 5, 2000, as the Blues took on Phoenix. It was the first of 75 regular-season games he would play in during his rookie season, and he also appeared in all 14 of the Blues' playoff games in the spring of 2001. He scored his first point, an assist, on October 29 as his father Eugene watched in the stands in St. Louis. But Salvador, although he surprised fans with some sudden goals in Blues playoff games and won the team's hardest shot competition in 2000, was never primarily an offensive threat. At six feet two inches tall and 215 pounds, he was a classic defenseman, strong, rangy, and physical.

In his first year with the Blues he had 142 hits, third-highest on the squad. "Crash and bang" was Salvador's succinct description of his playing philosophy, as quoted by Tom Wheatley of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "When the guy comes down to my wall, I've got to be hard to play against. I don't turn away from anyone, but I want to be killing penalties, not putting my team a man down and sitting in the box. There's a difference between being physical and being stupid."

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyBryce Salvador Biography - Drafted By Tampa Bay, Developed Skills In Ahl, Played Hard Despite Injuries