Sabres trade for Craig Rivet

By Chris

We were looking for that secondary deal and it looks like this is it.

The Buffalo Sabres acquired veteran defenseman Craig Rivet from the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

The Sharks sent the 33-year-old veteran and a seventh-round selection in the 2010 Entry Draft to the Sabres in exchange for second-round selections in the 2009 and 2010 Drafts.

No word on if that second round pick is the one the Sabres got in exchange for Bernier or not. After signing Rob Blake for $5 million and acquiring Dan Boyle and his mammoth $6.67 million cap hit in the last two days, the Sharks needed to move someone out. Darcy Regier pounced on the opportunity and brought in the veteran defenseman.

Rivet will become the Sabres highest paid defenseman next season. The 6’2”, 210 pound defenseman will make $3.5 million each year for the next three seasons.

Last year, he tallied 35 points (5 goals, 30 assists) in 74 games with the Sharks. Twenty of those points came on the Sharks powerplay (2 goals, 18 assists). He also registed 104 penalty minutes last year and recorded 73 hits and 79 blocked shots.

Rivet has played at least 70 games in every season dating back to 2002 when he was with Montreal so he’s durable. Hopefully that trend will continue on a Sabres blueline that seems more fragile than Brian Campbell’s psyche.

He logged an average of 21:11 of ice time per game in the regular season last year, good for fifth on the team and fourth among Sharks defensemen. He was a +3 last year and is a +10 in his 13-year career.

Rivet is a right handed shot on the blue line, which the Sabres desperately need and can play effectively at even strength, on the powerplay and shorthanded (he was among top six on the Sharks in Time On Ice in each of those situations last season).

Oh yeah and he’s willing to fight, too.

Sure the hit from behind in the last one was very dirty but when was the last time a Sabre defensemen took out a guy like that and then defended his actions by dropping the gloves?

He wore an “A” in San Jose and it sure wouldn’t kill the Sabres to have some more leadership on their roster.

As long as he plays with an edge, I’m willing to look beyond the salary and other circumstances (like how Brooks Oprik is five years younger and signed for three years longer than we’ll have Rivet for at $.25 million more per year).

Rivet should be a good addition for the Sabres but it would still be nice if they could bring in Jason Smith for one year (I’ll take him at $2.5 million) to round out a top six of Lydman-Tallinder, Spacek-Rivet and Sekera.



  1. Kris Baker

    So I guess it’s a good deal all the way around. The Sabres are committing to other wingers while shoring up the blue. My iniial reaction, midway through the second 6’er (Happy 4th, Roost!), was that “it fills a need, but he wasn’t the guy I was looking for”. Three more sips and I was OK with it. Enjoy the holiday.

  2. twoeightnine

    The thing about Orpik is he’s still kind of an unknown. He was in the doghouse all season and then had a breakout playoffs. Which player is going to show up next year and after that? Plus he wouldn’t have signed here for that same amount.