Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Last spring, shortly after the Buffalo Sabres took a butt slide out of the playoffs, we found out that Craig Rivet had been playing injured for most of the season. It appears that Captain Bad Bod was suffering from a double labrum tear. The 36 year-old had to undergo surgery.
In two seasons with the Sabres, Rivet has struggled to stay healthy. When he first arrived in 2008 he had to have knee surgery early on. He quickly returned after surgery and finished the season with 24 points in 64 games.
Last season, the grizzled veteran played in 78 games, mostly while injured. Season highlights included 6 fights (2 with that dirty little man Daniel Carcillo), a playoff goal, and a face-off with Lord Vader presiding.
To say that Rivet has slowed a bit since his days with Montreal is probably accurate. But you might have to say that he has gotten tougher with age, just like an old beef bull. The man danced with a few nasty characters last season while wearing a brace to support his injured shoulder.
His latest boo-boo is a throat contusion. Rivet says that he was clipped in the throat by a teammate's shoulder pad during one of the first practices of training camp, and five days later he felt a pop. A blood vessel had burst. Gross.
He went to the hospital and after eating an orange Popsicle, he was told that he was going to have to take some time off to let it heal. How long was the question?
Recent reports make it sound like Rivet may be ready for Friday's opener against arch nemesis Ottawa. As of October 6th, he is cleared to play.
That is good news for Buffalo. You don't want to start the season without your captain. Especially one who will drop gloves to stick up for you, even if he is wearing a straight jacket.