Class is class, no matter what side of a rivalry you are on. The Sabres and Canadiens have never been close franchise friends in any sense, but they have shared in the career of stand up defenseman Craig Rivet. Both Buffalo and Montreal love the guy, even after his departure from their clubs.
For once, feelings are mutual.
From the Montreal Gazette’s article entitled “Sabres, Blue Jackets show Class with Veteran Rivet:”
“Here’s a good guy who had been the Sabres’ captain for three years, yet didn’t whimper despite being a healthy scratch for 18 consecutive games this season. Instead, he continued to help Sabres players off the ice and during practices. No surprise there: he always brought his best to the arena.
Columbus’s claim of the 36-year-old helped Rivet and the Sabres. Reports suggest Rivet requested a trade early last week and when there were no takers, he was assigned to minor-league Portland for the sole purpose of getting him on re-entry waivers. That allowed Buffalo and Columbus to split the $792,000 remaining on his $3.5-million contract. Good for both teams.”
It’s the sole feel-good story of the season that both the Sabres and Les Habs can enjoy together. Again, from the Gazette:
“You’ve got to feel good for Craig Rivet after the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets got together to allow him to end his career at the NHL level.”
Considering Rivet’s leadership while in Buffalo – particularly during the “Flight 3407 game,” (bang on the link for video of that game), I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss his grizzled mug on the ice every night.
Take a moment fans, and nod in agreement with the Habs… Ok, moment’s over. Time to get back to destroying the Canadiens on the ice.