Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro will face his former Coyote mates for the first time tonight since getting bought out — and while he said all the right things prior to the game, he did make reference to his strained relationship with Arizona GM Don Maloney.
“Dave [Tippett] was always supportive of me — even when they went to get me, I thought it was more Dave than Maloney,” Ribeiro said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “You know, I don’t think Maloney was ever a big fan. I think Dave was.”
These comments shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Maloney didn’t pull any punches after buying Ribeiro out of his four-year, $22 million deal at the Draft; he called the signing “a mistake,” made reference to Ribeiro’s “behavioral issues” and delivered this parting shot:
Maloney on being out a 1st-line center again: “Let’s be honest. We were out a top-line center for the last 40 games anyway. We all saw it.”
— Craig Morgan (@cmorganfoxaz) June 27, 2014
Ribeiro — who inked a one-year, $1.05 million deal with Nashville in July — has been a nice fit with the Preds thus far, notching three points in his first five games while averaging over 18 minutes per night.