The Buffalo Sabres' captain is on his way out of town. The Columbus Blue Jackets have claimed Craig Rivet off re-entry waivers.
The Sabres, who were unsuccessful in their attempt to trade their captain, waived the oft-scratched defenseman Wednesday with hopes someone would take him and his $3.5 million salary. Once that failed, they assigned him to Portland and put him on re-entry waivers Friday. The Blue Jackets picked up the 36-year-old today and have to pay only 50 percent of his salary. The Sabres will pay the other half.
"I just spoke with Craig and wished him the very best, thanked him on behalf of the organization, expressed to him that he was very much needed at the time when we acquired him," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said this afternoon. "He did a terrific job for the organization, for his teammates. I wished him the very best, and he sounded excited. It’s great."
Regier said it will be up to coach Lindy Ruff to decide whether to name a captain for the remainder of the season or wait until next season.
Rivet played in just 23 games for the Sabres and was scratched for the past 18. He has one goal, three points and a minus-5 rating.
The Blue Jackets have had a spot for a veteran leader since sending Mike Commodore to the minors last month.
Rivet has been the Sabres' captain since arriving in 2008 and is still held in high regard in the dressing room despite not playing. The players were hopeful that Rivet would get a chance to play somewhere, and the Blue Jackets are going to give him that chance.
"Craig's a guy I've really looked up to from Day One when I came into this room," Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. "As a young guy my first year in the league, he really helped me out and made it comfortable for me. I'll admit I was a little homesick last year, and it was tough coming in after playing with 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds. He was a key part of why I felt so good in this room last year.
"It's tough to take and tough to see, but he's a guy I can't thank enough."