Jamie Rivers was one of those players that you forget about because not much light was shown on him during his stay in St. Louis. That does not mean he was not a good player.
Like so many other former Blues, Rivers chose to make St. Louis his permanent home once he finally decided the playing days were over. That shows how much of an impact St. Louis can have on someone since he really only had two full seasons with The Note.
After playing with St. Louis, Rivers went on to have seasons with the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes, as well as stints in Russia and Switzerland. The funny thing is he was actually quite talented for someone who jumped around so often and stayed in one place so little.
Rivers main problem was he did not quite fit with the era he came up in. While his career lasted through the time when the NHL was beginning to change, Rivers would have been better off playing in today’s NHL.
Rivers was a quick skater, even though he was not blessed with blazing speed. He also had good hands and was good at moving the puck.
Rivers showed his offensive side when he had more of an open opportunity in the AHL. Rivers scored as many as eight goals in one season and had a 52 point season with the Worchester IceCats.
He never really got the chance to shine in the NHL. He was often a third pairing defenseman with the Blues, and some of the other NHL teams.
Thus, he was asked to play a purely defensive role. Additionally, defensemen were not expected to jump into the play the way they are today.
Defenders would normally get their points on special teams or when the team had the play set up in the offensive zone. You put Rivers in today’s game and he likely could have thrived by joining in the rush with a team like St. Louis in 2019 where everyone went forward as a five-man unit.