Bob Rivard, a minor league scoring star, passed away on the first day of 2023. The 83 year old had suffered from Alzheimer's for several years.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1939, Rivard played his junior hockey with a young Scotty Bowman with the Peterborough Petes in Ontario.
In the years before the NHL Entry Draft, Rivard was property of the Montreal Canadiens but never came close to playing with the Habs. He is best remembered for lighting up the red lights with the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL in the early 1960s and the Baltimore Clippers in the late 1960s and into the mid 1970s.
Rivard was claimed from Montreal by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1967 expansion draft. He appeared in 27 games with the expansion Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1967-68 season, scoring a respectable 5 goals and 17 points, but never returned to the NHL.
“He was fast,” Peterborough Petes teammate and life long friend Pat Casey once said. “He was short but he could really skate. He’d get the puck and we used to laugh, he’d go around the net two or three times before anyone could stop him. We used to always tell him to shoot the puck or pass it to us and we’ll put it in the net for you. he was a lot of fun.”
Rivard returned to Peterborough after hanging up his skates and became a superintendent at a local golf course for many years.