It became official on Friday when the team announced that it will be buying out the remaining three years of his contract.
In his one year with the team Ribeiro scored 16 goals in 80 games, but he never seemed to fully gain the trust of Dave Tippett and the coaching staff. He was a healthy scratch toward the end of the season and played some of the softest minutes on the team, starting 71 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone (the highest mark among forwards that played in at least 40 games) and he still had his share of struggles at even-strength.
Along with that, there also seemed to be some off-ice issues as general manager Don Maloney explained.
Maloney said this move was purely about behavioral issues and not cost-saving move. Ribeiro has been seeking help this summer, Maloney said.— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) June 27, 2014
Maloney: "Mike had some real behavioral issues we felt we could not tolerate going forward."— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) June 27, 2014
Maloney said this decision doesn't necessarily make #Coyotes better team next season but better organization in long run.— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) June 27, 2014
He signed a four-year, $22 million deal as a free agent last summer.
Because his contract was signed after the new CBA was put into place it is not eligible for a compliance buy out, so the Coyotes will still have to count a portion of it against the salary cap.
Ribeiro will turn 35 this season. When it comes to his on-ice performance he should still have some value as a power play specialist, but his even-strength performance has steadily declined over the years.