San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed Group III unrestricted free agent defenseman Craig Rivet to a reported four-year contract worth $3.5 million per year.
Since using a first round pick to grab Rivet this spring, re-signing the blueliner was a top priority.
“We did a lot of work last year before we even acquired him,” said Wilson. “The type of guy he, whether it’s fair or unfair, is like a Mike Grier on the back end. He’s easy to play with, he’s got that professionalism and he’s got poise. I think it was a great indication that he wanted to be with us and liked the direction we’re going. Craig didn’t have to make that decision now. He could have waited and looked around. He stepped up and we appreciate that.”
|Sharks defensemen Craig Rivet and Matt Carle celebrate Rivet's goal against the Anaheim Ducks on March 2, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Avery) |
For Rivet, choosing to stay in Silicon Valley, it was a no-brainer.
“The team is very focused on bringing the Stanley Cup to San Jose,” said Rivet. “That is the main reason I signed. The growth of this team caught my eye. I played about 25 games and it was sold out almost every game. With the lifestyle, you can’t beat it.”
With a four-year deal in hand, Rivet will look to settle some roots in the Bay Area.
“We really enjoyed the Hilton, but we’ll probably be down in the next couple of days (to find a house),” laughed Rivet.
Rivet, 32, was acquired on Feb. 25 along with a fifth round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Josh Gorges and a first round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In 17 regular season games with the Sharks, he posted nine points (one goal [in his first game with San Jose], seven assists) and was a plus-eight.
In 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Rivet was second on the team with five points (two goals, three assists).
Overall in 71 games with San Jose and Montreal, Rivet finished the 2006-07 regular season with 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) and 69 penalty minutes. With San Jose, he averaged 23:30 minutes per game and had 118 blocked shots on the season, which would place him third overall on the Sharks.
Prior to joining the Sharks, the six-foot-two, 210-pound defenseman from North Bay, Ontario spent his first 12 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, who selected him in the third round (68th overall) in 1992 NHL Entry Draft.
In 670 NHL games with San Jose and Montreal, Rivet has posted 159 points (40 goals, 119 assists) and 807 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 50 Stanley Cup Playoff games, adding 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) and 42 penalty minutes.