The Montreal Canadiens announced on Thursday that they have inked defenceman Craig Rivet to a four-year contract extension.

Rivet is now under contract to the Habs through the 2006-07 season.

The deal reportedly is worth $12 million US.

"He wanted to be in Montreal and this is an excellent contract," said Rivet's agent, Don Meehan. "This secures his future."

A native of North Bay, Ont., Rivet would have become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2002-03 season, his 10th in the NHL.

Instead, general manager Andr Savard made sure to strengthen his blue line corps by inking the burly assistant captain to an extension.

A stay-at-home blueliner, Rivet is known for his strengths in his own end of the rink and for his physical play.

Rivet has played seven campaigns for Montreal and is coming off a season where he recorded career highs in goals (8) and assists (17) in 82 games.

In 355 career NHL games, he has 15 goals and 52 assists.

Rivet, 28, was a third-round pick of the Habs -- 68th overall -- in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.

With files from CP Online