Peter Ciavaglia, Buffalo Sabres (retired)
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A native of Albany, New York, Peter Ciavaglia attended high school at Nichols School in Buffalo. Ciavaglia graduated from Nichols in 1987, and was selected in that year's NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. Ciavaglia was taken in the 7th Round with the 145th Overall pick.
Ciavaglia was a center on the Harvard Crimson hockey team from 1987 to 1991. In 1987-88, Ciavaglia led the Crimson in scoring with 33 points in 30 games. He was voted ECAC Rookie of the Year. In 1988-89, Ciavaglia again led the team in scoring as the Crimson went on to win the 1989 NCAA Championship. In his final season, 1990-91, Ciavaglia led the team in scoring for the third time. At the end of the season, he was selected ECAC Player of the Year and named to the AHCA All-American Second Team. Ciavaglia graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.
Unable to reach a contract with the Calgary Flames, Ciavaglia became a free agent. He signed with the Buffalo Sabres in 1991, and was assigned to the Rochester Americans, the Sabres' top farm club, for the 1991-92 season. Ciavaglia appeared in 77 games with Rochester in 1991-92, scoring 37 goals and 61 points, leading the team in scoring in his first professional season. Ciavaglia also made his NHL debut that season, earning a two-game call-up to Buffalo. Ciavaglia was held scoreless in both games. At the end of the year, Ciavaglia was named Rochester's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He also won the team's award for Sportsmanship, finishing the year with just 16 minutes in penalties.
Ciavaglia was back in Rochester for the 1992-93 season. In 64 games there, Ciavaglia scored 35 goals, second on the team behind team Captain Jody Gage. Ciavaglia led the team in assists with 67 and total points with 102. In the Playoffs, Ciavaglia's 9 goals tied him for the team lead with Viktor Gordiouk as the Amerks advanced to the Calder Cup Finals. Ciavaglia also played in 3 more games with the Buffalo Sabres during the season. He was again held scoreless in limited action in his 3 NHL games.
With his contract expired at the end of the 1992-93 season, Ciavaglia became a free agent. Unsigned, he spent the 1993-94 season in Sweden, playing for Leksands of the Swedish Elite League. He appeared as a member of Team USA at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
In the fall of 1994, Ciavaglia signed as a free agent with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League. Ciavaglia led the team in scoring in it's inagural season of 1994-95. Ciavaglia remained with the team for six seasons, eventually becoming team captain. In that time, Ciavaglia captured every major offensive record in Detroit Vipers history. When he retired in 2000, Ciavaglia was the Vipers' all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points and game-winning goals. He also held the record for most assists in a game and most assists in a season.
Ciavaglia also held the Vipers' Playoff records for goals, assists, points and game-winning goals. Ciavaglia won the Bud Polie Award for MVP of the Playoffs, leading the Vipers to the 1996-97 Turner Cup Championship. Ciavaglia retired from the Detroit Vipers in 2000, following a nagging groin injury that hampered him throughout his final season there.
Following his retirement, Ciavaglia remained with the Vipers' organization, as a scout and offensive consultant. On January 6, 2001, the Vipers retired Ciavaglia's number 12. At the end of the 2000-01 season, the IHL merged with the American Hockey League. The Detroit Vipers were not a part of that merger, and the team folded.
1987-1991 Harvard University Hockey Team
1989 National Champion
1991 Hobey Baker Finalist
2006 Inducted into Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame
1991-1993 Rochester Americans Hockey Team (AHL)
Voted Team MVP in both seasons
Runner-up rookie of the year in 1991-1992
1991-1993 Buffalo Sabres
total of 5 games played over 2 seasons
1994 Member of US Olympic Team (Lillehammer, Norway)
1994-2000 Detroit Vipers (International Hockey League)
1997 Turner Cup Champion and playoff MVP
2000-Present President of PAC Capital Management (investment and financial planning firm)
2007-Present Founder and Director of Detroit MORC Stars Special Hockey Organization
Chris Beehler, Executive Director
P.O. Box 3411
Crofton, Maryland 21114