Monday, June 13, 2011

The Changing of the Guard.

While I was away this weekend, the Blue Jackets apparently informed Ethan Moreau, Chris Clark, and Craig Rivet that their services were no longer needed. I think that none of these come as a surprise - in fact, rumor had it that Chris Clark had put his house on the market immediately following the last game of the season (however, I had always heard what a nice guy he is from those who lived around him).

But, while we know these moves are right and necessary as we hope to become the organization we want to be, I did want to grab one quick second to thank Rivet for something I witnessed while he was here in the C-Bus.

Now lets be honest, you gotta feel somewhat for the guy, the writing was on the wall in Buffalo and then he comes here, is scratched more than he played, and plays his last game arguably directly contributing to a win for his FORMER team against us (and then announces he's considering retirement right after the final horn blew).

But, I will never forget the first time I saw him on the ice in Nationwide - and we went to a face-off and suddenly I noticed he was doing something different than the other players on the ice. He was directing the younger guys - pointing where to be, what to do. And I saw the players react. He was trying to help and teach even mid-game, even on the ice. Now, look, obviously I'm not saying Rivet was a hockey savant - obviously his guidance didn't immediately result in a series of Jacket wins. But I think it bears appreciation that, even as he saw his time on the ice winding down, he was still trying to help. The fact that players listened and reacted shows that they saw value in what he was saying (or perhaps that he cared to say anything at all.)

While we sit right now looking at all the "team over ego" comments that came as a result of the recent NBA Championship, and face down the off season of conjecture, high hopes, dashed trades and "will he or won't he sign" drama (I'm looking at you, Upshall), I just wanted to pause quickly and say that I do believe team, commitment and heart are going to be quite essential to our CBJ success in addition to the skills we lack. So, in that vein, I simply recognize a guy who seemed to really come and try and do something - no matter how futile. Rivet wasn't just phoning it in, and I just didn't want it to go unnoticed.

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