Mike Ribeiro‘s days with the Nashville Predators may be over.
The Preds put the 36-year-old forward on waivers today. He’s been a healthy scratch the past three games, after finishing minus-2 in a 5-4 OT loss to Buffalo on Jan. 24.
“It’s never an ideal situation for anybody,” Preds GM David Poile said Wednesday, per The Tennessean. “It’s obviously worse for a top player, a player that has played as long as Mike has. I think that he needs to get back into the lineup at some point. If he’s not going to be playing on a regular basis, it’d probably be reason to have a talk or a meeting about it. But I have not talked to him about it yet. … I think I’m just going to have to respond to the situation based on if he’s not playing on a regular basis.”
It’s since been reported that Ribeiro has requested a trade.
Ribeiro is in the final year of his contract, which has an annual salary and cap hit of $3.5 million. He has four goals and 21 assists in 46 games this season.
It’s not clear what the Preds intend to do if Ribeiro clears waivers. They may assign him to the AHL. Or, this may simply be an attempt to get him to another team without having to trade him and retain salary.
Ribeiro entered the season already on thin ice, after his GM said he’d need to have the “summer of his life” in order to regain a top-six spot in the lineup.
“Mike Ribeiro is a big reason why we’ve made the playoffs the last two years, but he did struggle down the stretch, and in the playoffs, he was a healthy scratch a couple games,” Poile told reporters after the Preds were eliminated by the Sharks. “Mike really needs to have the summer of his life to regain his position back on the top two lines.”