The latest on Mike Ribeiro, Mark Streit, Evgeni Nabokov and more.
WASHINGTON POST: Thomas Boswell wondered where the Capitals can get better, pointing out the club has already committed ”a combined $4.35 million per season through 2014-15″ in goalies Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth, Nicklas Backstrom hasn’t been the same since suffering his concussion, Mike Ribeiro might not return, and they have some players unlikely to improve but getting a year older. Neil Greenberg wondered who their second line center will be if Ribeiro departs via free agency. Mark Giannotto reported Ribeiro and Matt Hendricks hope to return next season, but Ribeiro seeks a five-year contract.
WASHINGTON TIMES: Stephen Whyno reports Ribeiro still seeks a four-five year contract, which could prove too much for the Capitals to absorb.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals currently have over $58.6 million invested in 20 players for next season, and Ribeiro is reportedly seeking $5 million per season. If they want to re-sign him, they’ll have to shed some salary via compliance buyout or trade.
NEW YORK POST: Zach Braziller reports Islanders UFAs Evgeni Nabokov, Mark Streit and Brad Boyes face uncertain off-seasons. All have expressed hope to re-sign and return. Nabokov said his agent last spoke with GM Garth Snow about a month ago.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports Mark Streit hopes to re-sign, and his agent and Snow are set to resume talks which were postponed by the trade deadline after Streit sought a three-year, $16 million deal. Staple reports Snow is now talking with the agents for Nabokov and Boyes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow recently claimed his intent was to re-sign his free agents, and with over $29 million in cap space for next season, has the room to do so, though that depends on just how much owner Charles Wang is willing to spend. It’s assumed the Isles won’t re-sign Streit, but more often than not Snow tends to get his key players re-signed. Don’t be surprised if he and Streit work something out.