Mike Ribeiro has become the latest veteran to take a heavy discount, signing a one-year, $1.05 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
The news was first Tweeted out by Sportsnet’s Hockey Central team.
The signing gives Mike Ribeiro another chance in the NHL. The 34-year-old was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes last month because of “behavioural issues” with three years and $16.5 million left on his contract.
Though he was the most productive centre on the market (47 points in a down season), teams wouldn’t touch him because of his perceived character issues until now.
“Mike is a talented veteran center who has produced offensively everywhere he has played,” said Predators general manager David Poile in a press release. “We have done our due diligence and believe Mike has a lot to offer to our team, improves us at our center ice position and will fit in with our group and contribute.”
Nashville signing Mike Ribeiro is a move I thought needed to happen, and here’s why.After losing Mike Fisher to a ruptured Achilles tendon, Nashville needed to fill a void at centre. To be competitive in the Western Conference, you need to have depth down the middle, and a unit led by new signing Olli Jokinen wasn’t going to cut it.
So, they bring in a playmaking pivot in Mike Ribeiro, whose creativity should help new acquisition James Neal to really excel. Once Fisher returns, the Predators will have solid centre depth, particularly if Calle Jarnkrok isn’t ready for full-time duty.
It’s not the first time the Predators have had players with behaviour issues (what’s up, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov?), but this time, it gave Poile the leverage to low-ball Mike Ribeiro and get him into the fold, as he’s worth a lot more than $1.05 million for his skills.
Overall, bringing in Mike Ribeiro could be a master stroke by David Poile. He gets a quality offensive player at a bottom-dollar price, and that player will be motivated to play hard to earn more money next offseason as long as he stays out of trouble.
UPDATE: The Predators have also signed free agent Derek Roy to a one-year, $1 million deal.
Yet another veteran signing by the Predators, and another cost-efficient move. Though the 31-year-old centre has been a shell of his former self the last two seasons, Roy was a point-per-game player when he was at his best, so it can’t hurt to try.
If Nashville wants to keep being patient with Calle Jarnkrok, this isn’t a bad signing.