Played Hard Despite Injuries
Indeed, Salvador's physical style of play resulted in a number of small injuries that kept him off the ice for short periods and in the penalty box for a career-high 95 minutes in the 2002-03 season. He was also briefly sidelined that year by whiplash resulting from an auto accident. Nevertheless, he became a key day-to-day component of the Blues' defensive backbone. In his early days with the Blues, noted Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he "soaked up knowledge.... The raw texture has given way to a resilient coating, tough and trustworthy."
"Salvy," as his teammates nicknamed him, played in over 65 games in each of his first four seasons with the team, and his plus-minus rating (a measure of a team's scoring ability when a particular player is on the ice) rose to a career-high plus-seven in 2002-03. He missed ten games due to wrist injuries during the 2003-04 season and was briefly sent to Worcester to recuperate, but he still got into 69 games and notched eight points on three goals and five assists.
Off the ice, Salvador made large donations to and became involved with the United Way organization in the African-American community. And he and fellow Blues player (and former Worcester Ice Cats teammate) Jamal Mayers started an innovative youth group called Jam 'n' Sal's Community Stars Program, which gave a total of 110 students per season the chance to attend a Blues home game for free and to attend a skating party with the two players. Students selected were nominated by teachers or school administrators in recognition of good deeds or acts of kindness toward others. Emerging as one of the NHL's most consistent defensemen as the 2004-05 strike halted play, Salvador seemed likely to have many more years ahead in the NHL after the game resumed.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 21, 2001, p. Sports-7; September 21, 2000, p. B2; October 29, 2000, p. D11; February 10, 2001, p. 5; January 8, 2003, p. D4.
Standard (St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada), April 20, 2001, p. C2.
Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA), January 22, 2002, p. D1.
"Bryce Salvador," St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, http://stlouisblues.com/team/players/salvador.html (March 10, 2005).
"Bryce Salvador," TSN.ca, www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/player_bio.asp?player_id=1915&hubName=STL (March 10, 2005).
—James M. Manheim
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