The team vaulted themselves straight into the playoffs before laying yet another egg. As the offseason gets into full swing for the team, a decision on free agent Mike Ribeiro is needed. He isn’t going to come cheap but unless Washington is planning a major rebuild, they need to bring him back.
Ribeiro scored 49 points in 48 games this season with 36 assists. He may have been terrible in the playoffs with just two points in seven games, but he is still a very productive player. The Capitals can’t allow a player who has the scoring ability of Ribeiro to get away. He did a ton for Alex Ovechkin on the wing in allowing him to start scoring like crazy in the second half of the season. I don’t see the Capitals deciding to trade Ovechkin away this offseason, so they might as well try again to make a playoff push.
He just finished a five-year, $25 million contract, and wants a long-term deal over money at this point of his career. I think Washington could find a way to give Ribeiro $35 million over six years to keep him around. He is going to be the most sought-after free agent this summer, and Washington should be hoping that they can get this figured out before free agency starts.
The short-term and long-term futures of the team are going to depend a lot on what happens with Ribeiro.