The Nashville Predators will be bringing back embattled center Mike Ribeiro according to multiple reports.
The news first came from TVA’s Louie Jean.
Contract extension between Mike Ribeiro and #Predators is imminent.
— Louis Jean (@LouisJeanTVAS) July 1, 2015
TSN’s Bob McKenzie and USA Today’s Kevin Allen also expect the signing to be imminent.
The term is rumored to be two years and $7 million as reported by TSN’s Aaron Ward.
Mike Ribeiro headed back to Nashville on a 2 year deal with an AAV 3.5M #TSN
— Aaron Ward (@NHL_AaronWard) July 1, 2015
The cap hit will be $3.5 million per season and is similar to the deal that veteran forward Mike Fisher received. Fisher’s deal was also two years, but for $4 million per season.
Ribeiro did recently reject a contract offer last week according to The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan.
Ribeiro resurrected his career with 15 goals and 47 assists for 62 points after getting a one-year, $1 million deal in July 2014. Not bad for a player that was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes and some feared played his way out of the league.
He fills the need of keeping together the combo of Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg and James Neal on the top line. The Predators would’ve had a gaping hole in the middle of their lineup had Ribeiro gone elsewhere.
In a thin free agent market, a proven playmaker like Ribeiro might have been able cash in on what could be his final NHL contract.
However, the signing is being met with some negative press due to the recent civil suit by Ribeiro’s former nanny. General Manager David Poile defended his top-line center to the media in recent days. The impending issues from that suit might have been a sticking point to other teams.
Follow all of Wednesday’s free agent signings with The Hockey Writers’ Free Agent Tracker.
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