No team claimed Sabres captain Craig Rivet on waivers today, so Buffalo has assigned him to minor-league Portland. It is merely a paper transaction, however, as he will not leave town or play for the Pirates. He will be placed on re-entry waivers at noon Friday with the hopes that some team will claim him at 50 percent of his salary. The Sabres would be responsible for the other half. They will learn at noon Saturday whether that will happen.
"We’ll continue to work to try and get him playing somewhere in the National Hockey League and allow him to continue his career," General Manager Darcy Regier said in HSBC Arena. "He also knows what the next step is with respect to trying to help him resume his career, so there’s another step here that will take place tomorrow, and we’ll go from there."
Rivet is in the final year of a $3.5 million contract, and he has about $846,000 remaining.
"It's prorated," Regier said. "From trade deadline on there’s 40 days left in the season, and so I might argue that Craig Rivet is good value from that point on. On re-entry, it’s 50 percent of that, so again I’m really hopeful that we can help him here."
Rivet hasn't played for the Sabres since Jan. 11. He is the eighth defenseman on the eight-man depth chart and has also been passed over in favor of minor-league call-up Marc-Andre Gragnani. The 36-year-old has one goal, two assists and a minus-5 rating in 23 games.
He and agent Pat Morris requested a trade this week, but Regier was unsuccessful.
"It’s tough because I don’t want to leave here," Rivet said. "We’ve got a super bunch of guys in this room, and everybody in this organization has been fantastic. It makes for a difficult decision, but for me I feel that I can play in this league. If it’s not going to be here, then I need to give myself an opportunity to play someplace else."
Below are today's interviews with Regier and Rivet. The captain spoke before he learned he had cleared waivers.