Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated)


The lawyer representing Nashville center Mike Ribeiro — who’s currently being sued by a former nanny — said his client will “vigorously fight” the lawsuit, which is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

“In consideration of the people involved, especially the Ribeiro family, the National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators, I don’t plan to discuss the facts surrounding these allegations in public,” Brian Lauten said in a statement, per the Tennessean. “I can say that the Ribeiro’s plan to vigorously fight this lawsuit.

“At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”

The lawsuit, first brought to light on Wednesday by TMZ Sports, includes claims of assault by Ribeiro on the plaintiff, resulting in unspecified injuries. The plaintiff reportedly worked as a nanny for Ribeiro and his family while he played for Dallas in 2012 (Ribeiro’s wife was accused of verbal attacks in the lawsuit, per TMZ.)

More, from the AP:

In the lawsuit obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the plaintiff alleges Ribeiro caused “bodily injury” and asks for more than $1 million in damages along with other relief.

The lawsuit was filed the lawsuit July 24 in Collin County District Court in Texas.

UPDATE: Additional information from AP

The lawsuit contains no specific details except alleging Ribeiro caused “body injury” when he acted “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly.” Her attorney Larry Friedman told The Associated Press on Thursday that his client was sexually assaulted by Ribeiro soon after she had graduated from high school, though she did not immediately go to authorities because she was “terrified.”

“My client was and is a young girl, and no young girl should be subjected to that kind of behaviour, the kind of conduct by an adult that she’s complaining about,” Friedman said.

Ribeiro addressed the situation on Thursday, but wouldn’t comment on the situation, forwarding all inquiries to Lauten.

“It’s not new news for me,” Ribeiro said. “For a lot of people it is, but it’s been for a while now. So it’s not a concern for me to try to get focused. I didn’t have a bad game the last game because of it.

“I’m really trying to get focused for tonight and helping the team get out of this slump. It’s a big game for us and that’s where my focus is.”

The Predators issued the following statement, per the Tennessean:

“We have been made aware of a complaint against Mike Ribeiro, dating back to his playing time while he was in Dallas.

“Mike has indicated that the charge is without merit and is prepared to vigorously defend himself. We will allow the legal process to move forward without further comment.”

Ribeiro is in his first year with Nashville, having signed last summer after Arizona bought him out of his contract due to “behavioral issues.” In a recent Sports Illustrated piece, the 35-year-old admitted to using drugs and alcohol during his time with the Coyotes.

Preds ‘out for a little revenge’ versus Isles

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Losers of four straight, the slumping Nashville Predators are hoping to get back on track tonight versus the New York Islanders.

The last time these two teams met, Feb. 19 on Long Island, the Preds fell behind 3-0 in the first period and went on to lose 5-2. They’ve won just two games since.

“They outplayed us in New York that game,” defenseman Roman Josi said, per “They won that game, so we’re obviously out for a little revenge. We know they have a fast team. They’ve got a lot of skill up front, they play an up-tempo game. We’ve got to be ready and our start’s got to be better than it was the last couple games.”

In the last two weeks, Nashville has seen its lead atop the Central Division go from six points to four, plus the St. Louis Blues have added two games in hand.

The Isles, meanwhile, enter tonight’s game with just two wins in their last six.

Goalie nods: Blues go with Elliott after odd incident in Vancouver


All the latest from the blue paint…

Elliott, not Allen, starts in Philly

Worth keeping an eye on the Blues tonight as they take on the Flyers at Wells Fargo — Brian Elliott will get the nod in goal, just four days after a wild Sunday night in Vancouver.

Jake Allen started the eventual 6-5 shootout loss to the Canucks, but was hooked after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Elliott replaced Allen to start the third, but was then yanked after allowing one goal early in the frame, giving way for Allen to re-enter the game.

Following the contest, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock explained his reason for the move and noted the decision didn’t sit well with Elliott.

From the Post-Dispatch:

“When (Elliott) came out, it was 5-2,” Hitchcock said. “I was thinking, ‘Now all I need to do is get him hurt.’ I put him in because I thought we had great spirit going into the third and had a chance to win the hockey game. That was me. That’s my call.”

Elliott had a brief exchange with Hitchcock, then disappeared.

“He was mad he was coming out,” Hitchcock said. “I told him just relax. He’s fine.”

Elliott was not available for comment after the game.

Not much has been said about the incident since, but it was clear both Elliott and Allen were rattled by the series of events. Afteward, Allen said he was “mentally drained” by the situation.

As for the Flyers, Steve Mason will get the start in goal this evening.


Flames at Bruins: Karri Ramo vs. (no Boston starter yet)

Wild at Caps: Devan Dubnyk vs. Braden Holtby

Leafs at Bolts: Jonathan Bernier vs. Ben Bishop (probable)

Stars at Panthers: Kari Lehtonen (probable) vs. Dan Ellis

Isles at Preds: Jaroslav Halak vs. Pekka Rinne

Canucks at Coyotes: Eddie Lack vs. Mike Smith (probable)

Habs at Kings: (no Montreal starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick (probable)

Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving


Toronto forward Richard Panik has become the seventh player to be fined for diving this season, the NHL announced on Thursday:

Panik was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 824 at Montreal on Feb. 14. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 936 at Washington on Mar. 1.

Capitals defenseman Mike Green received a minor penalty for holding on the play, at 10:57 of the second period.

Here’s video of the incident against the Caps:

With that, Panik joins Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), Montreal’s P.K. Subban, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal as the seven players to be publicly outed as divers, under new rules put forth by the league this season.

Anyone notice the Preds are slumping?


So consistently good all season, the Nashville Predators suddenly find themselves in a little slump.

The Preds lost their fourth straight in regulation last night, falling 3-1 to the Devils in New Jersey. In their last eight, they’ve only won twice.

“We’re playing catch-up every night,” forward Mike Fisher said, per The Tennessean. “Some nights we’re able to come back and some nights we can’t. In the second and third, we carried the play and looked great. But the first periods are killing us.”

Now, granted, no team gets through an entire 82-game schedule without, at minimum, one spell of indifferent play. Before this four-game losing streak, the Preds hadn’t gone two games without getting at least a point. They’ve still only lost 17 times in regulation all season.

Still, with the playoffs just over a month away, this little slump should at least serve as a wake-up call.

Nashville returns home to face the Islanders on Thursday.