Earlier this week Mike Ribeiro told local reporters he is in search of a long-term contract that will provide stability for himself and his family, preferably a four- or five-year deal.
So it wasn’t all that surprising when RDS’s Renaud Lavoie reported Wednesday night that the veteran center had turned down Washington’s first offer of a three-year, $14 million contract. Ribeiro said previously that he considers a three-year deal short term.
Following Thursday’s practice, Ribeiro reiterated that he would like to stay in Washington if the two sides can reach a deal.
“I think I’ve said that from the get-go. I don’t want to move all the time,” Ribeiro said. “If I get traded before the end of this year and then move again at the beginning of the next year — So we’ll see. It’s part of the business and we’ll see where that goes.”
How the Capitals fare in three games over four days this weekend may impact how active General Manager George McPhee is or isn’t prior to the April 3 trade deadline. Regardless of the immediate results the Capitals are making a long-term decision when it comes to Ribeiro, though, and whether they see him as a No. 2 center over the next several seasons despite his age.
“I’m comfortable here with the guys. Obviously we have a great team here. I believe in the team that can make damage,” Ribeiro said. “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, 33, knows a decision about his future is looming but at this stage of his career having already been traded twice he’s able to compartmentalize.
“I can put things in different places at the right time. I don’t think about it before the game or during the next few days or so,” Ribeiro said. “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. So we’ll see what this week brings us and then we’ll go from there.”
While numerous players have said they would like to see the veteran center stay in Washington, the uncertainty around Ribeiro’s status and where he might be playing a week from today isn’t a distraction.
“I think Mike bas 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,” 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.”