The San Jose Sharks continued a busy week of wheeling and dealing Friday by sending veteran defenceman Craig Rivet to the Buffalo Sabres for a pair of second-round draft choices.
San Jose also parted with a seventh-round pick in 2010 along with Rivet, the longtime Montreal defenceman who joined the Sharks in a trade late in the 2006-07 season. San Jose gets a second rounder in each of the next two drafts.
"Under the [salary] cap system, difficult decisions have to be made and this is one of them," said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. "Craig is a true professional and we would like to thank him for everything that he has done here."
Wilson added two top NHL defencemen in as many days before Rivet's departure, signing Rob Blake to a one-year free-agent deal Thursday before acquiring Dan Boyle from Tampa Bay in a four-player trade earlier Friday.
San Jose lost defenceman Brian Campbell — acquired from Buffalo at last season's trade deadline — on Tuesday when Chicago signed him to a staggering eight-year, $57.12 million deal.
Buffalo GM Darcy Regier was also busy earlier on Friday, shipping forward Steve Bernier — acquired from the Sharks in the Campbell trade — to Vancouver for a second- and a third-round pick.
Rivet fits the Sabres' need for an affordable defenceman. The 33-year-old signed a four-year, $14 million contract with San Jose last summer, then went on to record five goals, 35 points and a plus-three rating in 74 games for the Sharks last season.
"We are very excited to add such a quality veteran player to our roster," said Regier. "He is a great character player that will provide our club added leadership and experience."
In 744 NHL games Rivet has 194 points, including 45 goals. Chosen in the third round by Montreal in the 1992 draft, he played parts of 12 seasons with the Canadiens before being traded to San Jose.