Birth Date: 9/13/1974
Birth Country: Canada (North Bay)
Year Drafted: 1992
Round Drafted: 3
Overall Choice: 68
Salary 2003/04: $2,500,000.00
Children: Ella, Nathan (2004)
HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report
He’s had an extremely trying time so far this year. From the drop of the opening puck, he’s struggled with his game and has put more pucks on opponents’ sticks than he has on his own teammates. I think it boils down to him trying to do too much in light of his sparkly new contract. What he has to realize, and what I think the coaches are slowly getting through to him at this point, is that his game isn’t as a number one or two defender, it’s as a solid number four or five who gets the job done.
At this point, what you’ll see in Rivet’s game is the very simple plays. He’s starting to angle his player out rather than make bigger hits, he’s using his stick a little better now in terms of checking his opponents. Occasionally he gets to running around defensively, but again, he’s slowly working that out of his game. When he’s got the puck he’s chipping it out and rarely makes any kind of break-out pass; this last I believe is a direct result of coaching and confidence. For a while he was consistently losing the puck on supposed attempted passes only to have them come back in his face. His game is simpler and as such, much more what the coaches are looking for from someone like him.
It’s interesting to me that someone his size has far less impact in terms of hitting than his partner Bouillon. Part of it is leg drive, for sure. Rivet tends to hit with his upper body instead of driving through his opponent. Sure, he starts with the legs, but he doesn’t really follow through, it’s more arm drive. The major problem is timing. Quite honestly, he doesn’t have half the timing Bouillon does when hitting an opponent, and timing is a tough thing to master.
For now I’m satisfied with Rivet’s game as he’s taken hold of the coaches concepts and goals and is playing within the system regularly. He’s a leader and one of the most intense players on the team and those two elements flow together and are part of the reason Markov had such an improvement last year.
As to his future, I have my doubts. He does have value on the trade market and with our youngsters on the cusp, he might be a logical choice to move. If he doesn’t move, he, along with Quintal, are the two whose positions are most threatened by the upcoming Komisarek. Time will tell.
Craig Rivet was drafted 68th overall in the 1992 Entry Draft by the Montréal Canadiens. In the shortened 1994-95 season, he made his NHL debut on April 15 against the Bruins. After playing four more games that season (he scored an assist on April 19 against the Senators), Craig played 19 games for the Canadiens the following season. On March 25, 1996, Craig scored his first goal against the Islanders’ Éric Fichaud. In 1996-97, he played 35 games for the Canadiens. In 1997-98, Craig joined the Canadiens full time and played 61 games. The following season, he played 66 games and tallied ten points, 78 hits and 40 blocked shots. In 1999-2000, as his average ice time per game improved from 14:20 minutes to 19:03 minutes, Craig scored 17 points, knocked 80 hits and blocked 59 shots. He led the team with a +11 plus/minus rating. In 2000-01, Craig played 26 games for the Canadiens and scored 38 hits.