Coyotes make a big splash in free agency, sign C Mike Ribeiro to 4-year, $22 million deal

  • Article by: JOHN MARSHALL , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 5, 2013 - 5:15 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Phoenix Coyotes spent the past four years searching for impact players, but didn't have the money to land many due to the restraints of being run by the NHL.

Now that an owner is all but in place, the Coyotes were able to make the kind of big-splash signing that should give them a big boost on and off the ice.

Landing one of the most coveted offensive players at the start of the free agency period, the Coyotes signed forward Mike Ribeiro to a four-year, $22 million contract on Friday.

"Since I came here six years ago, we've been searching for a playmaking center iceman, someone who could make his wingers better," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. "Certainly, Mike's skill set, his ability to pass the puck, vision on the ice was an area we had ideally been looking for, so to be able to bring him to the desert is a really good day for us."

The Coyotes took a big step toward stability this week when the Glendale City Council approved an arena lease agreement with prospective owner Renaissance Sports and Entertainment.

Headed by George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones, RSE still needs to complete the lease agreement with Glendale and its purchase of the Coyotes (by Aug. 5), but has already loosened the purse strings for the front office.

In addition to Ribeiro, the Coyotes signed free agent goalie Thomas Greiss to serve as a backup to Mike Smith and re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Kyle Chipchura to a multi-year deal. They also signed multi-year deals with forward Lauri Korpikoski and defensemen Michael Stone, both restricted free agents, and signed defenseman Chris Summers to a one-year deal.

On top of that, Phoenix was working on locking up a few more players within in the organization and still has the flexibility to sign or trade for others.

It added up to a new free agency experience for Maloney and assistant GM Brad Treliving.

"What was interesting was that there wasn't a pending free agent in the marketplace that didn't call us and want to talk about coming to Arizona to play hockey," Maloney said. "That's the one thing I was really encouraged by. Normally, Brad and I are banging at the phones, 'will you please call us' ... and that gets a little old after a while, so this was such a totally different experience for Brad and I."

Their big move was landing the kind of front-line center they had been seeking almost since moving to the desert in 1996.

The 33-year-old Ribeiro has been a consistent scorer during his 14-year career, topping 50 points in a season eight times. He had 49 points, including 36 assists, in 48 games with Washington last season.

Ribeiro played three seasons under Coyotes coach Dave Tippett in Dallas and spent six seasons with Montreal after the Canadiens picked him in the second round of the 1998 NHL draft.

He could play on the first line with captain Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker or could allow Tippett to mix things up with his top lines.

"Obviously, his relationship with Dave Tippett was a huge factor in this decision," Maloney said. "They developed a very strong relationship when they were together in Dallas and we've monitored his status and feel like he has lots of life left in him."

Landing Ribeiro was the biggest move, but locking up some of the team's own players also was key, particularly since the team had struggled to do that in the past with the NHL running things.

The 27-year-old Chipchura gave the Coyotes toughness and skill on the fourth line, with five goals and nine assists last season.

Korpikoski, 26, has developed into a solid playmaker on the left wing, scoring 40 and 37 points the previous two seasons before dropping to 11 during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season while battling injuries.

The 23-year-old Stone spent most of the 2011-12 season in the AHL, but developed into one of Phoenix's best defensemen the last half of the 2012-13 season, finishing with five goals and four assists.

The Coyotes also are hoping to re-sign Boedker, a restricted free agent.

The Coyotes weren't able to retain forward Boyd Gordon, one of their top offseason priorities, when he signed a three-year deal with Edmonton. Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera also signed with the Oilers.

"Boyd was a great player for us and I'm happy for him to get his contract," Maloney said. "That's the business and they (the Oilers) certainly value him and had enough in their payroll budget that they could spend what they wanted to spend. We liked Boyd with us, we would have liked to keep him, it just got to a point where we decided we're going to have to go another direction."

Losing Gordon was tough, but unlike previous seasons when key players left, the Coyotes have the support from an owner to get someone else to take his place.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close