After 16 years in professional hockey, including 184 games as a member of the St. Louis Blues, Jamie Rivers wasn't certain where he would be when he eventually decided to hang up his skates. That next phase in his hockey career started this week when he was named coach of the St. Charles Chill of the Central Hockey League. And in an interesting twist of fate, it was a freak injury that allowed the longtime NHL defenseman to come home.
Formerly the Laredo Bucks, the CHL team's franchise rights were transferred this summer to a new ownership group, which moved them to St. Charles, just a few miles northwest of St. Louis. When the Chill started looking for a coach, Rivers saw a chance to start his new career in his own back yard.
"I was drafted in 1993 [by St. Louis]. Right away when I got here I heard that a lot of guys love to stay here and grow roots in the city," Rivers told NHL.com. "I met my wife here in St. Louis. We have four children now and I think I've been living here since 1995."