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Time away, Rivet & Bernier

I want to start by apologizing for taking a hiatus at the most inopportune time with the trade for Rivet and trading away Bernier but sometimes duty calls.  The truth is that I am a one man show here and had nobody that could hold the fort while I was away on a camping trip.  My daughter shares her birthday with the United States of America and it seemed like a great time for a weekend away.  I know nobody cares about the weekend camping trip but I'll just say that there was a mean game of kickball on Saturday, golfing on Sunday and a trip to the emergency room on Monday (ten stitches later my four-year old is no worse for wear).

I already spoke a little about the Bernier trade and just as I suggested it was a precursor to another move.  It seems the Sabres went out and got themselves a big strong defenseman that will bring a veteran presence to the locker room.  Rivet will bring all those things to the Sabres but that doesn't mean I have to like the trade.

I like Rivet as a player and I think he will make the Sabres a better team immediately but he commands a high price tag and he is getting older.  It's possible that he could play another 10 seasons but it's also possible that he quickly goes into a tailspin.  Rivet is signed for three more years at $3.5 million per season.  When the contract expires he will be 36 years-old.

The trade also makes Rivet the Sabres highest paid defensive player on the roster.  I'm guessing that Tallinder, Lydman and Spcek may become a bit unsettled by the fact that they are paid less than Rivet.  Last season Rivet had five goals, 30 assists and he was a plus three with 104 penalty minutes.  Tallinder scored one goal with 17 assists and he was a plus five with 48 penalty minutes.  Tallinder put up pretty decent stats with a plus five while playing against the opponents best scorers most times.  Rivet will bring more a physical [presence than a defensive presence but he can also play in his own end.

I'll be watching intently to see how this turns out as well as how the Sabres go about the rest of the off-season.  I find it extremely interesting that Bernier was traded while Max Afinogenov remains on the roster.  As was pointed out by a fellow blog, that does not mean that Afinogenov will remain on the Sabres roster because there is still no place for him on the roster.

Potential line combos

Vanek-Roy-Stafford

Hecht-Connolly-Pominville

Paille-Gaustad-Kotalik

MacArthur-Mair-Kaleta

extra: Peters, Afinogenov

 

Defensive Pairings

Tallinder-Lydman

Spacek-Rivet

Weber-Sekera

extra: Paetsch