Caps’ Ribeiro: “I believe that by Dec. 1 we’ll have a season going”

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Back in late September, Mike Ribeiro told CSN Washington he believed the NHL season would be up and running by December.

On Thursday, he reiterated that prediction — and said it was the big reason why he didn’t sign in Europe.

“That’s why I didn’t go overseas,” he explained to CSN’s Chuck Gormley. “I believed we would have a lockout that would not last more than a month and a half and we would start a season at the start of December.

“These are smart businessmen and both parties are smart enough to not miss a full year. It looks like both sides have taken a step forward and I’m hoping we get a deal done soon.”

Ribeiro not going to Europe was noteworthy. He has experience in that department, having played for Finnish club Espoo during the 2004-05 work stoppage, where he joined current and former NHLers Ryan Malone, Bryan Muir, Krys Kolanos and Donald MacLean.

For this lockout, though, he’s sticking in North America.

Ribeiro is skating regularly in Washington with a number of Caps players, keeping fit for the a start date he hopes will come soon — he’s been keeping tabs on negotiations and prepping accordingly.

“I have no idea when they’ll settle,” he said. “But I hope and I believe that by Dec. 1 we’ll have a season going.”