The Sharks addressed their youthful defense at the trade deadline when they made the move to pick up Craig Rivet. Rivet, a veteran defenseman competing in his 13th NHL season, was traded to San Jose from Montreal on February 25. Rivet brings a strong physical presence in the Sharks own end and will undoubtedly help Team Teal during their quest for the cup.
Rink Report took some time after a recent practice to sit down with Rivet and talk about his experience in San Jose thus far.
RR: You’ve spent your entire career in Montreal. What excites you most about playing for a new team?
CR: Well, I think it’s that feeling of starting over. I feel like I’m a rookie again! Everything is new; new guys, new arena, new city and a new style of play. It’s great.
RR: Has it been a fairly easy transition into the new team and has it been easy to get along with everyone?
CR: Everyone has been great. Right after I arrived in San Jose, we were on the road, and when you are on the road you bond the most with the other guys. It’s been easy to get along with everyone and I think I’ve eaten dinner with almost every guy on the team. Everyone’s just so easy to get along so it seems like I’ve been playing here for a while. It’s been a pretty easy transition.
RR: With whom on the team have you been spending the most time with since your arrival in San Jose?
CR: I’ve been spending a lot of time with Bill Guerin. With both of us being new, it’s easy to relate to each other, but I’ve taken the time to get to know almost everyone.
RR: Your jersey number was #52 on the Canadiens and also now with the Sharks. Is there any significance to the number?
CR: No, actually I was given that number my first year at training camp in Montreal when I was 18 years old. They gave me #52 and pretty much I’m not really a picky guy when it comes to that, so I’ve been wearing it ever since.
RR: Has your family been down to visit you since the trade?
CR: My wife is actually flying in this afternoon. She will be here for a couple of days just to check out San Jose and she’s pretty excited about that. I have two young kids, four and a half and three years old, and they are still back home with my parents right now. I think they will probably come out in April.
RR: What do you like best so far about being a Shark?
CR: I’m on one of the best teams I’ve ever played on in all the years I’ve played. I get here, and we have an extremely young team, but at the same time these guys are beasts. They’re humongous guys, one of the biggest teams I’ve ever seen. We have a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup and that’s what we all play this game for. It’s a great feeling to know that were going be competing in the playoffs and that we have a chance to win it.
RR: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
CR: Win the Stanley Cup. That’s it. When I got traded here, the only goal was to win.
RR: What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed from playing in the Eastern Conference to now playing in the Western Conference?
CR: I’d have to say the Eastern Conference is a little more defensive. They play the trap a little more. In the west, our system, compared to Montreal’s system, is completely different. Montreal was very, very defensive, very defensive minded. Here it’s the exact opposite. We’re always trying to push the offense and push the play and it’s something that I’m still trying to get used to.
RR: What is your most memorable hockey moment?
CR: I’d have to say being drafted. I got drafted in 1992, and that was something pretty special just to say that I got drafted by an NHL team. It was a dream come true and something I will never forget.
RR: After your playing career is over, do you plan to stay involved with the game at all? Would you consider coaching, media, or front office?
CR: Most definitely I’ll be involved with hockey in some aspect. I think that’s something I’ll really address when I feel my career is starting to wind down, but I think I’ll always definitely be a part of hockey.