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.
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 12:56 pm
The Buffalo Sabres have made their selection for the new team captain, and it might come as a surprise to some. Wearing the C this season for the Sabres will be Jason Pominville, entering his eighth season with the team. Assistant captains will be Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy.
He takes over the spot vacated by Craig Rivet, who had been Sabres captain since 2008 before leaving town.
The thing about coach Lindy Ruff's selection was that it was tough to make a bad choice. The Sabres have done a remarkable job of keeping a core together for many years now. There are nine players on the roster that have played in Buffalo for at least the past five seasons. That's a lot of continuity.
Buffalo clearly has a good thing going on as hopes are very high under new owner Terry Pegula. The hope is that the additions to the core of Ville Leino, Christian Ehrhoff and Robyn Regehr are enough to put them into the upper echelon.
As for Pominville, well he's been as big a part of that core as anybody. He's actually coming off his worst statistical season since his rookie campaign, and he still had 52 points (22/30).
Plus, he might have a future as a camera man ... if he can find the on/off button. He shot this 24/7-esque video from the team bus in Europe. In this episode, Luke Adam left his bag in Buffalo and Tyler Ennis debates who gets credit for a nickname.