Blog Entry

Craig Rivet signs with ECHL Elmira Jackals

Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:54 pm
By: Adam Gretz

Last year at this time Craig Rivet was starting his 17th year in the NHL and was the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.

This year, he's signing with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League, the lowest level of minor league hockey associated with the NHL, and taking on what will surely be a different kind of leadership role. Instead of skating with players like Tyler Myers and clearing the crease for Ryan Miller, Rivet will be the oldest player on a team that is loaded with prospects at the earliest stage of their development in their quest to make the NHL.

The Jackals announced the signing in a press release on Monday morning, with head coach Pat Bingham saying, "Craig's experience and leadership qualities are invaluable to any team. His work ethic will be a great example for our young players who are looking to advance in hockey."

Rivet, who just turned 37 in September, is the oldest player on the roster by a sizable margin, while the only other player listed on the roster over the age of 30 is Mario Larocque, a former first-round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 1996. To his credit, Rivet appears to be excited and eager about joining the team and seems to simply be interested in continuing to play hockey at a competitive level, whether it's with an NHL club or in the minor leagues.

Here's video of Rivet talking about joining the team:

In 923 NHL games Rivet scored 50 goals and logged over 1,100 penalty minutes with the Sabres, Blue Jackets, Canadiens and Sharks. A third-round draft pick by the Canadiens back in 1992, Rivet hasn't appeared in a minor league game since the 1996-97 season when he played 23 games with the now-defunct Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League.

The Jackals open their season on Friday against the Trenton Titans.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 3:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:42 pm

Craig Rivet signs with ECHL Elmira Jackals

Craig has had a pretty respectful NHL career.  Injuries the recent past few years have hampered Craig from being able to play in the lineup consistently and play at the top of his game.  The Sabres moved forward defensively with the development of Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers and the acquisitions of Jordan Leopold late last season plus Robyn Regehr and Christian Erhoff this past off season.  So Craig's salary was needed to be funnelled on other team needs.

This is all speculation on my part.  Maybe his signing with Elmira is just about Craig staying involved in the game that he has invested most of his life into, playing, competing, contributing, leading and teaching.  Maybe he views it as placing himself in a situation that allows him to stay in game shape in case another opportunity opens up to him.  Maybe as his playing days wind down, he is mulling over thoughts of staying in the game longer term by being a teacher and perhaps eventually a coach.  It might even be more personal.  I don't know Craig's personal life situation.  He may be married and have school age children with a home in the Buffalo area.  If so. he may not want to disrupt the family and relocate somewhere across the globe.  Elmira and Buffalo aren't very far apart.  Craig might be looking after the family first.  It might be a combination of all the above.

In any event, I wish him the best in all his future endeavors. 

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:46 pm

Craig Rivet signs with ECHL Elmira Jackals

Good luck to him. Liked him as a Hab and still do.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:35 am

Craig Rivet signs with ECHL Elmira Jackals

I can't imagine anyone going back to that level and being satisfied. I can only assume he's genuinely interested in helping develop young players, and not too concerned with the level of play. To me, it'd be like hearing Tiger Woods tell you he's real excited at the idea of playing the Senior Tour when he turns 50. No one would believe him.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:56 am

Craig Rivet signs with ECHL Elmira Jackals

I feel bad for rivet but atleast hes still playing hockey hopefully he can get back in the nhl where he belongs

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