If the Washington Capitals have any hopes of making the playoffs in what has been a roller-coaster ride of a season in 2013, they are going to need their leading point producer.
From my blog: Mike Ribeiro rejected a 3 year offer from the Capitals. But he wants to stay there.
— Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) March 28, 2013
Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reported that Ribeiro does want to stay in Washington, but would prefer "a five-year deal that would offer stability for him and his family."
For the 33-year-old Montreal native, a five-year contract might be a bit risky for a Washington Capitals team that may soon be in rebuilding mode if it fails to reach the playoffs this season.
If the Capitals and Ribeiro fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension, the center may very well be on the move.
In 33 games in 2013, Ribeiro has tallied 11 goals and 24 assists, ranking him 11th in the league in total points and first on the Capitals.
Washington received Ribeiro in a deal from the Dallas Stars during the 2012 NHL draft. It had been the second time Ribeiro had been traded in his career, as he had previously played with the Montreal Canadiens before being moved to Dallas.
For Ribeiro, it's all about finding a stable place for his three children to grow up in. "I don’t want to move them. I want to stay in a city for at least the next 10 years, until they’re done with high school and go to college," Ribeiro told Carrera.
Keeping Ribeiro on board for the long term may be a risky move for the Capitals, but they have struggled to find stability at the center position in recent years. Though Ribeiro's faceoff numbers aren't great (just above 40 percent), his playmaking abilities and leadership on the ice make the idea of a long-term contract extension sound much more attractive.
Ribeiro is serving the final year of a five-year, $25 million contract. Carrera suggests that "Ribeiro could demand upwards of $6 million per season on the open market" assuming he does get traded before the deadline.
In the end, I think the two will come to an agreement on a settlement that works out favorably for both sides. If they can't agree on something, Capitals general manager George McPhee has a tough decision to make.
Either way, there are plenty of teams looking to make a playoff push that would love to have Ribeiro's services.
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