The Arizona Coyotes announced they have bought out the remaining three years of forward Mike Ribeiro's contract. Since the veteran forward was signed last offseason under the new collective bargaining agreement, this is not like the compliance buyouts that have been all the rage this week. The Coyotes will retain a $1.944 million cap hit each season until 2019-20 according to CapGeek.com.
Ribeiro was signed to a four-year, $22 million deal last summer as an unrestricted free agent. That came with a $5.5 million cap hit. He will receive $11.66 million, two-thirds of the remaining value on his contract as required by the CBA, over the next six years.
In his first year with the Coyotes, Ribeiro posted 47 points, the lowest total of his career since a 52-game campaign in 2002-03. He didn't even match his half-season total from the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season during which he put up 49 points in 48 games for the Capitals.
On top of that, general manager Don Maloney explained that there were some extenuating circumstances that led to this buyout.
Maloney: "Mike had some real behavioral issues we felt we could not tolerate going forward."— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) June 27, 2014
#Coyotes weren't naive when they acquired Ribeiro last summer, but Maloney thought they could manage. Called it "mistake" now.— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) June 27, 2014
That doesn't sound like a good situation at all.
Perhaps Maloney is lucky that the Coyotes new ownership was receptive to fixing such an expensive "mistake." With nearly 12 million due to Ribeiro to not play for the Coyotes, that's quite an expense for an organization that probably can't afford to waste money. That just goes to show you how tenuous a situation it was between Ribeiro and the team.
The 34-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but considering these new details coming to light about the buyout, it could be a thin market for Ribeiro.
In the end, this divorce sounds like it will benefit both parties, even if it comes at rather significant expense.