In other words, the Caps find themselves right back in the market for a second-line center after having just a one-year reprieve from the search that has gone on for several years now.
But the hits keep on coming.
To make matters worse, one of the best free-agent centers available—and a man who could have been an excellent replacement for Ribeiro—Tyler Bozak re-signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for five years and $21 million.
As for other viable second-line center options, another former Caps rival took away one of the better options when the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Valtteri Filppula to a five-year, $25 million contract.
It has not been a good day to be a Caps fan. Free agents are flying off of the shelves quicker than canned goods did in the early scenes of World War Z. As far as the Caps are concerned, though, they are only losing key people and not gaining any back.
With Ribeiro leaving, Bozak staying in Toronto and Filppula going to Tampa, the temptation will now be to panic and to sign someone—anyone—who can make up for what the team has lost.
Despite the frenzy of activity already, there are still some free agents out there who will look very tempting to a Caps team that has to be reeling a bit today. Despite the temptation, though, the Caps would be wise to avoid some of them.
Here are three free agents the Caps should probably avoid as free-agency moves.