Caps’ Ribeiro wants ‘long-term’ contract

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One of the most talked about potential trade targets wants to stay put — assuming he can stay put for a while.

Per the Washington Times, Capitals center Mike Ribeiro has expressed his desire to remain with the club.

“If we can agree to a long-term [contract], then I’ll be more than happy to stay here,” Ribeiro said.

“Five years for me is long term. Two, three years I don’t think it’s long term. It’s short-term. Two, three is short term. Four, five, six [is] long-term.”

Ribeiro, 33, leads the Caps with 34 points in 32 games. He’s also a pending unrestricted free agent. Given the dearth of centers in the NHL, he’d be a hot commodity at the trade deadline if he were made available.

Of course, Washington’s recent surge to within two points of the eighth-place Rangers may make it less likely he’s traded. The Caps have four games before the April 3 deadline.

“I think it will be a big week for decisions to be made,” said Ribeiro. “We’ll see what’s going to happen.”