The Sabres have had a busy month. With the change in ownership, the addition of Brad Boyes and the current race back into the playoff picture there has been a lot of optimism. I hope, though, that fans are taking just a moment to stop and look back at one of the other big moves during deadline week.
Captain Craig Rivet was claimed off waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets two days before the deadline, ending his career with the Buffalo Sabres. A career that started so promisingly in the summer of 2008.
When Rivet arrived in Buffalo from San Jose he was accepted with open arms. On a team desperate for toughness and leadership, he provided the promise of both. The Sabres had just shipped underachiever Steve Bernier out of town and used the draft picks to acquire Rivet.
Rivet was immediately voted as team captain by his teammates. This was a distinction that no one player had held since Stu Barnes in 2003. He brought a new look to a franchise that was looking for a change.
He played in 64 games in his first season in Buffalo, registering two goals and 22 points while keeping a steady +5. He played a shutdown, tough-guy role rather effectively on a team that missed the playoffs.
The next offseason Rivet came through for his teammates. He convinced Mike Grier it was time to give Buffalo another shot. The two players essentially became assistant coaches on the bench and in the locker room.
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