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Rivet to have shoulder surgery, will miss start of next season

Craig Rivet hadn't even finished cleaning out his locker for this season when the Sabres' captain announced he'll miss the beginning of the next one.

Rivet has a double labrum tear in his left shoulder and will undergo surgery after another consultation with doctors, he told The News and a correspondent from the Olean Times Herald. The recovery time is four to six months, so the defenseman will not be available when the Sabres come to training camp in September for the 2010-11 season.

Rivet suffered the injury Nov. 29, 2008, when he was hit by Montreal's Guillaume Latendresse. He played just three games over the next five weeks in an attempt to heal the injury.

"I was stuck with this exact same decision last year," Rivet said of the surgery option. "Ultimately, I wanted to try and fight through the injury and not have the major surgery. The doctor said, 'It’s just going to be your decision because you’re going to have to deal with the pain and that type of thing.'

"The pain could be dealt with, but when I think it’s taking away from your game and how you want to play, I think right now we need to go the other route and make sure when I do come back next year I’m able to perform the way I should."

Rivet struggled this season, scoring just once while recording 14 assists and minus-6 rating. He had one goal and was plus-2 in the six-game playoff loss to Boston.

"The whole season I played with a brace that felt like a straitjacket," Rivet said. "I was never Nicklas Lidstrom to begin with, but I think I’m a better player than what I’ve shown. I think just throughout the season the wear and tear on it, the loss of strength, took away from a lot of the things I was able to do.

"I didn’t hurt it more. I didn’t make it worse. But due to wearing the brace, I just lost all the strength. When I came to training camp it was strong. I felt good. I was confident about coming into this season, and obviously it deteriorated pretty quickly once I started to play.

"It kind of feels like I’m giving you an excuse for my season, and I don’t think there is an excuse. I think I can be a lot better player."

The audio of the interview is below.

---John Vogl


NHL | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

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Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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