So, as it turns out, Mike Ribeiro is headed to the desert on a 4-year contract.
I think it’s a good move for the Phoenix (Arizona?) Coyotes, who are starved for a play-making center, as well as a great move for Washington.
As intoxicating as Ribeiro’s offensive year was last year, I doubt that he’ll reach those same heights again. I’ve talked about this before, and I don’t think Ribeiro’s age, attitude, and defensive liability are a good fit for Washington in a multi-year deal. I think D.C. made the wise choice in letting him walk, even if there is a temporary drop-off in second-line center production.
The Caps have been hunting for a long-term second-line center for years now, which, I think, makes it even more important that they passed on this temptation. I’d like to see them fill that roll with a younger, more physical player. One that doesn’t draw numerous unsportsmanlike penalties from screaming at the refs.
It was an interesting year with Ribeiro. Obviously, his offensive talent was on display in a situation that best suits his playmaking game. But overall, his image as a hockey player is not something I like for what this Caps team is trying to become. Ribeiro and his slick hands, bad defense, and questionable attitude is exactly what this organization needs to get away from.
As per espn.com’s Craig Custance, the Caps are going after Mikhail Grabovski to fill Ribeiro’s void. Nothing to do but wait and see where GMGM takes this roster from here.