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Should The Washington Capitals Trade Or Extend Mike Ribeiro?

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals have had a disappointing season in 2013. That’s an understatement. They may just be the league’s most disappointing club. With each contest, they get closer and closer to falling out of playoff contention completely.

Which raises the question of what will happen to Mike Ribeiro before April’s trade deadline?

Ribeiro was brought in to be a no. 2 center behind Nicklas Backstrom. As far as his individual performance goes, he’s been really good. Even if it hasn’t quite rubbed off on the rest of his team.

He currently stands as the Caps’ leader in points for the year, averaging over a point per game. He has 31 points in 28 games, including 10 goals and 21 assists. Half of his goals have come with the Capitals on the man advantage. He’s been one of the better additions from last summer, overall.

But that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to return for next season. He’s an unrestricted free agent. And a season like he’s having now likely means that he’ll cost a pretty penny out on the free agent market. The Capitals are in a good market and could probably afford him. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will try to bring him back, though.

The question is what’s better for the Capitals? Should they try and extend Mike Ribeiro to a longer term contract and keep in in D.C. for the next several years? Or should they trade him now and save themselves the salary cap headache that he could potentially create this summer?

The guess here is that they will try for one and settle for the other. The approach they could take could see them try and re-sign him on a long term deal. If they’re unable to come to an agreement before the trade deadline, then he’s probably gone. If they can agree to a deal and lock him up, then they go that route.

Either way, Mike Ribeiro’s future could be decided within the next couple of weeks.

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