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Sharks acquire Craig Rivet
SJ deals Gorges and a 1st round pick to Montreal
2/25/07 - By Mike Lee

Craig Rivet
The Sharks sent young defenseman Josh Gorges and a 1st round draft pick to the Montreal Candiens on Sunday in exchange for veteran defenseman Craig Rivet, in an attempt to shore up a defensive corps that has struggled of late. Rivet, a veteran of 12 NHL seasons was Montreal's longest tenured player. The 32-year-old defenseman has 653 NHL games under his belt, and another 39 playoff appearances, all for Montreal. The Sharks will also receive a 5th round draft pick from Montreal in 2008.

San Jose sends Montreal a 1st round pick that was acquired from New Jersey and defenseman who had found himself in the doghouse as of late.

"We acquired that pick for this purpose," said Sharks GM Doug Wilson. "I would rather get exactly what we want and pay a price than to have to chase your tail and get something that maybe doesn't fit as well."

Rivet has missed the last two weeks, due to a bout with pneumonia, but should be ready to go as soon as he arrives in San Jose.

"Craig may have been in the lineup (Monday) night after an absence of two weeks, so you'd expect it will take him a bit of time to find his game shape and to be comfortable and productive again," said Canadiens GM Bob Gainey. "The Sharks look like they're locked into a playoff position and they can allow him the time to get his full form back."

The move didn't come as a surprise to Rivet, who has had a well publicized disagreement with Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau, after he was scratched from a game on 16th against Vancouver.

"It was something that I was preparing myself for," the North Bay, Ont., native said. "It's something that's difficult because I've been in Montreal a long time.

"I have a lot of roots here. But at the same time I kind of saw the writing on the wall. I was thinking in my mind that change would be good. I feel great about it."

The Sharks deal a green defeneseman in Gorges, in exchange for a seasoned veteran who should provide a calming affect to one of the youngest blueline's in the NHL. Rivet becomes the oldest player on the Sharks roster.

"We were looking for a Mike Grier-type player to play on our back end," Wilson said. "Mike Grier has had a big impact up front and we look to get that from Craig on defense. He's obviously been well-coached coming from the Canadiens' organization."

Gorges was signed as an undrafted free-agent in 2002 when he was with the Kelowna Rockets. Gorges served as the Rockets team captain and won a Memorial Cup with them in 2004. He was a surprise roster addition for the Sharks in 2005-06 after a strong training camp. The 22-year-old struggled this season and was a frequent scratch.

Profile: Craig Rivet

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