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Caps letting Ribeiro go to market

Jun 30, 2013, 10:20 PM EDT

Mike Ribeiro AP

Mike Ribeiro‘s time in the nation’s capital will be brief.

The Capitals have informed the pending UFA he won’t be given a new deal, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. The news comes after Ribeiro spent just one lockout-shortened season in Washington, after being acquired at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Ribeiro, 33, did enjoy a tremendous 2013 campaign, scoring 49 points in 48 games as the Caps won the Southeast Division. He finished tied for 11th in NHL scoring (with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk) and finished just seven points back of teammate Alex Ovechkin, who captured the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

The former Canadien and Star will see his five-year, $25 million deal expire on July 5.

It became evident in early June that talks between Washington and Ribeiro were stalling — coming off one of the finest seasons of his 12-year career, he was likely looking for a payday.

The Caps, meanwhile, are about $5.5 million away from the salary cap ceiling, and still need to get deals done with RFAs Marcus Johansson and Karl Alzner.

  1. stakex - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Not a total shock given Washington’s cap situation, but one does have to wonder how good the Caps will be next season with even less firepower on their lower lines. When Ovechkin wasn’t carrying the Caps on his back, they really struggled. Even then the team can’t be a one man show if they every expect to win the Cup… and losing Ribeiro creates a massive hole on the second line and in their depth scoring.

    I would say they might make a splash in the offseason (Lecavalier perhaps?), but they probably don’t have the cap space. That could change with some trades or buyouts but at this moment don’t expect too much from the Caps next season.

    • zetaone - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      Not to mention their powerplay. He was tied with Ovechkin for the league lead in powerplay points.

      I can see many teams clamoring for his services next Friday.

    • blackfoot11 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      The issue with resigning Ribeiro was always the amount of years, not dollars. Ribby wanted 4 or 5 years and the Caps stayed at 3 years. Furthermore, the Caps have been looking for a 2nd line centerman for several seasons, even when they were having stellar regular seasons. They will have to put Laich or MoJo at 2nd Center or look to FA to fill the hole. I think they are waiting on Kuznetsov to join the team to truely fill the 2nd line center hole long-term, but they will have to find a solid short-term guy that wants a reasonable money.

  2. devilsarethebest - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    We need someone to replace Parise. Come on down!

    • barkar942 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up in NJ.

  3. hallsy86 - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Well atleast they have Erat.

  4. 19to77 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Let’s see.. NYI’s probably looking for a #2, and Toronto would like someone for the Kessel line who actually belongs there. No disrespect for Bozak, he’s a great player, but a first-line centre he is not. Wings seem like a long shot. He doesn’t quite fit the profile of guys they go for.

    And of course, obligatory mentions of Paul Holmgren and Jay Feaster cooking up five-year $30 million dollar deals because they’re insane.

  5. operwapitsai - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    damn… caps, you let me down….yet again….

  6. washingcaps - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    As a Capitals fan since 1979 I’ve never seen a team with such promise get destroyed by GM George McPhee! We finally find the missing 2nd line center that the Caps needed to be competitive and a great coach Adam Oates. Looking at the moves McPhee did with this team I just shake my head and now the Caps are going to be playing in a tougher division!!! Let the ASS WHOPPING BEGIN!!

    • deefan - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      We all should go to games with signs and say “FIRE McPhee now!!!!!”

  7. thedavesiknowiknow - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    Too bad. If the Caps had a few more guys that came to work like he does… know the rest.

  8. govtminion - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Very disappointing. Since he was the only guy who seemed to bother playing decent hockey on that roster for the first month and a half of the season, you’d think that might have played a part in the Caps’ thinking, beyond the dollar signs. They’ve needed a legit centerman for years- and when they finally get him, they keep him for one (short) season and let him walk?

    I know there’s cap issues, but there’s also buyouts to get rid of overhead if you need it that bad. This would be one of the few guys I wouldn’t let walk from the Caps. It’s like McPhee LIKES shooting this team in the foot.

    …Ah well. He’s in for a rude surprise- no more cheap division championships to sneak into the playoffs next season. The Caps’ days of coasting to get into the postseason are over, and moves like this ensure that the struggle is going to be a lot harder than it has to be.

  9. fivetozeroingame7 - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    Good idea. Why don’t they just give up?

  10. gunnyhighway88 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Hate to see him go because he was a nice addition to the team. But it’s not surprising. He was looking for a long term deal and the Caps weren’t going to give it to him.

  11. deefan - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    It’s time to get a manager that can build a team for the cup. McPhee and crew are worried only about filling seats. Isn’t it time to demand more? There are definitely others that should go before this, and we give away top prospects and reward under reformers. We need a campaign to oust this guy!

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