Mike Ribeiro wants a long-term deal if he’s going to re-sign with the Washington Capitals. He made that perfectly clear over the weekend, defining long term as four or five years.
So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Ribeiro’s camp turned down a three-year, $14 million offer, according Renaud Lavoie of RDS in Canada. Ribeiro brushed off concern about his contract situation.
“I can put things in different places at the right time,” Ribeiro said Thursday. “I don’t think about it before the game or during the next few days or so. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. So we’ll see what this week brings us and then we’ll go from there.”
The trading deadline at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, seems to serve as something of a deadline. Ribeiro is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 5.
Ribeiro’s uncertain status is the biggest off-ice issue for the Caps, who are four points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 15 games to go. The 33-year-old isn’t clamoring to be traded but would like something to happen.
“I believe in the team that [it] can make damage,” Ribeiro said. “Obviously, it’s a short season and we had a bad start. If you look at the talent and the team we have here I’m pretty comfortable staying here.”
Ribeiro said “decisions are always to be made,” and that’s up to general manager George McPhee. The Caps could extend Ribeiro, trade him at the deadline, hang onto him and trade his rights before he becomes a UFA or let him walk.
Ribeiro is Washington’s leading scorer with 34 points.
“I think Mike has been around the game a long time and he’s been through this before. If he is having any problems with is he hasn’t shown it to us,” forward Brooks Laich said. “His commitment is in this locker room, I think he wants to stay here and he’s been one of our best players and we’d sure like to have him. But he’s a veteran guy and I don’t know if he’s in control of his situation, I have no idea what’s going on with his situation, but as a teammate we’d certainly like to have him around.”