The San Jose Sharks acquisition of Craig Rivet will bolster their blueline for a playoff run by adding a few simple, but overlooked factors to San Jose’s blue line corps.
“We’re very pleased to get Craig,” said Doug Wilson. “The best example is to look at Mike Grier and he is that type of player on the backend. He is a hard-nosed player with outstanding character and he won a gold medal at the World Championships with Patrick Marleau
. Craig is a right shot and all our other guys are left shots. He was at the top of our list in many different categories. He has a very detailed game and I know our coaches are excited about this.”
Rivet plans to join his new teammates in San Jose, but will likely be out for Monday’s contest against Anaheim.
“I’m really excited to get down there,” said Rivet.
“We anticipate it (his immigration) taking a couple of days,” said Wilson.
The move to the west coast will be a new test for Rivet, as the 1992 third round pick of Montreal has never played for any NHL franchise but the famed Canadiens. His entire junior career was spent in Kingston, making this his first ever trade.
“This is new and very exciting,” said Rivet.
Rivet was prepared for the possibility of a move with his impending free agency this summer.
“I’m doing pretty good,” said Rivet. “I think I had an idea and I was prepared. I’ve been in Montreal a long time. I have some good memories in Montreal and some not so good memories, but I enjoyed every single minute in Montreal.”
While he has always been an eastern guy, Rivet is aware of the Sharks and their possibilities.
“I know they have a very strong team and Joe is among the best players putting on skates right now,” said Rivet. “I think we have a team that can do some damage and I hope to make them better.”
Rivet has missed the past several weeks due to a bout with Pneumonia, but it must be noted that in the past four NHL seasons, Rivet has played in 82, 82, 80 and 82 games.
“I’ve been pushing hard,” said Rivet. “I may not be 100 percent, but I’m looking forward to getting back in game shape.”
This marks the second time the Sharks organization has looked to Montreal at the trade deadline with a first round pick as bait. The last time it happened, the Sharks picked up Vincent Damphousse.
“I know him very well,” said Rivet. “He is a good friend of mine.”
Rivet brings a veteran presence to the Sharks blueline that allows Ron Wilson the option of having a seasoned player on the backend at all times.
“They have great pieces up front and I hope to be a solid piece to the puzzle (on the blueline),” said Rivet.
The newest Sharks blueliner is looking forward to fighting for more than just the last playoff spot.
“In Montreal, we were always in a dogfight for the eighth spot and now I’m moving to a team that is comfortably in and fighting for home ice advantage.
The first round pick the Sharks surrendered in the deal is the Sharks original pick, but San Jose still possesses New Jersey’s first round choice this summer.
The Sharks will face Anaheim tomorrow night at HP Pavilion in a nationally television game on Versus. The 7 p.m. start will also be available on 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com.