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Ribeiro’s contract talks with Caps appear to be stalled

Jun 5, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT

Mike Ribeiro AP

Of all the players eligible to test the unrestricted free agent market this summer, no one recorded as many points as Washington Capitals forward Mike Ribeiro. It’s not even close.

Capitals coach Adam Oates felt Ribeiro’s contributions were “huge” this season, but they might have to do without him all the same.

With a month left before the start of the free agent period, Riberio’s agent Don Meehan said that “there really aren’t any updates” as far as contract negotiations go, according to CSN Washington.

As much as Washington would like Ribeiro back, it’s not hard to see why he might be wearing a different jersey next season. With the salary cap going down to $64.3 million, the Capitals are in a cap crunch.

They still have to deal with restricted free agents Marcus Johansson and Karl Alzner. Washington will likely get some relief by trading or buying out the final season of defenseman Jeff Schultz four-year, $11 million deal, but even that won’t be enough to get Ribeiro under the cap, based on CSN Washington’s projections.

The Capitals might have to resort to shipping off another player, like forward Martin Erat ($4.5 million cap hit) just to make a Ribeiro deal work. Perhaps Washington will find a creative way to retain Ribeiro, but for now it sounds like the negotiations aren’t progressing.

  1. therealjr - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    The issue isn’t cap space it’s contract length. They have ample cap space, more when Schultz is gone. Ribeiro thinks he’s getting a 4-5 year contract.

    Trading Erat is ludicrous. Do your homework next time.

    • blackfoot11 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      I agree. The issue is contract length as Ribby wants 4 or 5 years, but the Caps want 3 years max. There is still a month until FA begins, maybe they can find a middle ground. Although, the big wild card in this Ribeiro negotiation is if Kuznetsov plans to join the Caps after the Olympics next year, as stated. Maybe they decide to put Laich back at his natural Center position on the 2nd line until Kuznetsov joins the team. Trading or buying out Erat is not an option as he has 3 years left on his deal, and fits in Oates’ plans.

    • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      trading FOR erat was ridiculous in the first place

      • bohman88 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        Indeed it was. Letting Erat go would be pretty stupid as well. Considering you (GMGM) gave up one of our top prospects for the guy.

  2. operwapitsai - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    comon gmgm, prove you can be an elite gm or get outta here. no more schultz, no more erats. do something

  3. capsrockva - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    We need to keep Ribbs. let Schultz go and erat as well. I don’t know why gmgm traded for him and sending Phip to Nashville

    • 19to77 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      So how do you figure giving up the player he got in return after just a few months would make it better, exactly?

  4. jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    how do we know ribeiro isnt just hard balling them because he doesnt want to be there. he already said he wants to play for a winner – “You can’t just re-sign me and then have the same kind of team.”

    sounds like a guy who doesnt see much future in washington as it is. if i was 33, without a cup, and probably facing my last relevant free agency opportunity, i wouldnt want to be in washington either, especially after this last campaign. i dont blame schultz either or any other guy for that matter wanting out of there, especially since it doesnt look like gmgm is going anywhere. where’s the vote of confidence or cultural change, no shake ups? business as usual, owner seems to be ok with failure i guess

    • blackfoot11 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      I see some Caps fans must have gotten you all worked up. I see Ribeiro playing hard ball because, as you stated, this is his last relevant FA contract. If Ribeiro was true to his desire to be resigned and have a better team around him, then take less money to allow for the Caps to make improvements. His quotes and the article you posted link to, are very self-serving. Regarding Schultz, consistent poor performer, a defensive liability, and failed to live to his 1st round billing was his undoing. Regardless, if you think GMGM is delusional, he believes the Caps are a few pieces away. I see a need for a change in how the roster and prospects are managed.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        yeah i’ve never been high on schultz and you’ve probably seen my posts before. i’m a closet caps follower, i live here and just about everyone i know here likes and talks the caps. i feel like the caps need some accountability somewhere. there isnt really a culture of accountability and their captain is a good example of it. changing the coaches (we’ll see) and not signing semin again were all good attempts in the past to try to shake it up but i think mcphee has been the only constant throughout all the failures and since ovechkin and leonsis arent going anywhere, he has to take the fall here at some point. he keeps getting a pass somehow and i personally believe its not that they are just a few players away, its a mindset and a leadership problem they have. theyve had such good teams in the past, there’s no more excuses left for mcphee.

      • blackfoot11 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        J…you are completely right about the accountability. GMGM is out of excuses and needs to be fired if the Caps have another lackluster playoff run or fall short of the postseason.

  5. drewsylvania - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Maybe they’re stalled due to Caps thing he’s injured after yet another Emmy-winning flop & cry.

  6. drewsylvania - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM


  7. subliminalnoize - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Let Ribby go, he was a ghost in the playoffs over passing and not pulling the trigger. Also, they need to find a way to off load some dead weight, so they can keep good key players i.e. Alzner, and Hendricks. Alzner is one of the best d-man in the league, and down right the best d-man DC has on its roster. Hendricks is a cornerstone on shut down lines, you can put him out against the oppositions best and he will be a big factor in keeping them along the boards. As far as Erat, I have no idea why we traded for him, he might be decent if they can keep him of the injury list, either way I wasn’t thrilled with his cap hit, and still don’t like it cause now it makes it really challenging to sign good meat and potato players you need to back the run and gun style that the big contract players continue to play even in the system changes. Thank you GMGM for running this team into the ground again in fifteen years.

  8. jb8588 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Maybe replacing McPhee should be the first priority…like it should of been for at least the last three seasons.

    • 19to77 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Yyyyep. He’s not very good at this whole team-building thing. Of course, the question then becomes, who do you replace him with?

      • jpelle82 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        anyone with a sack. the caps need another guy like oates upstairs

  9. govtminion - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Since he was about the only player to put in a consistent effort all season on the whole roster, I’d move heaven and earth to try to keep him. No one else (with apologies to the oft-injured Brooks Laich) seemed to even try for the first two months or so.

  10. babykaby - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I’d let him go. He’s a hothead and can’t keep his mouth shut. Look at all the 10 minute misconducts he took in this short season. All he is doing is turning the refs against the team and that is never good. I really think he stopped trying when Oates took him off the line with Ovi and put Nicky back with Ovi where he belongs. I really think that pissed Ribeiro off. Let him go. He commands way too much money and is demanding way too many years. Once a hothead, always a hothead.

    All of you whining about Ovi not being a good captain, would you rather have a whining crying oft injured player like the much revered Crosby? At least Ovi is out there every night, hurt or not, willing to do whatever is asked of him. Give me a break. and please stop the russian hate.

    Hendricks. Some of you want to resign this guy that can’t stay up on his feet for a single shift. Yeah he talks a good game, but he is not that great out there on the ice. Some of you need to stop believing what others are saying and actually watch this guy on the ice. He’s a talker and not much more.

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