With nine days remaining before the NHL trade deadline, no question looms larger for the Washington Capitals’ top brass than how to proceed with Mike Ribeiro.
Ribeiro, 33, is Washington’s leading scorer with 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) and has filled what was a crucial need on the roster for a highly skilled second-line center this season. But he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Ribeiro could demand upwards of $6 million per season on the open market.
That backdrop makes for a strong case as to why the Capitals might try to re-sign Ribeiro, if they believe he’s the right fit for the organization going forward. If Washington can’t agree to a new deal with the Montreal native, though, the team could always opt to move him before the April 3 trade deadline.
Ribeiro, who is in the final year of a five-year, $25 million contract, knows that the next several days could have a significant impact on his future. He is open to the idea of re-signing in Washington, but he’s looking for a five-year deal that would offer stability for him and his family.
“I don’t want to move too much. If you can agree to a long term then I’ll be more than happy to stay here. I don’t know if I’m looking for two years and then change place then another two years. I don’t think I want that,” Ribeiro said. “Five years for me is long term. Two, three years I don’t think is long term. I think two, three short term. Four, five, six [is] long term and 10 years like Ovi, that’s a marriage thing.”