The Arizona Coyotes bought out Mike Ribeiro’s contract, but the decision had nothing to do with his performance or salary.
Behavioural issues led general manager Don Maloney to say sayonara to the 34-year-old centre.
“Mike had some real behaviour issues last year with us I felt we could not tolerate going forward,” Maloney told The Arizona Republic. “To his credit, he has been getting help this offseason and obviously would hope he continues. But at the end of the year and all the background checking and what happened, we felt that for us to move forward, we couldn’t have him a part of this team.”
The team was aware of his issues before signing him last summer, but the GM said was a “mistake” to think it could be manageable.
Ribeiro signed a four-year, $22 million deal with the club July 2013. The buyout means he will collect just under $2 million every year for the next six seasons.
He scored 16 goals and 47 points in his only year with the Coyotes.
The salary cap for next NHL season has been set at $69 million.
The cap boost was lower than some anticipated. Last season’s salary cap was $64.3 million.
The league and the union set the minimum for team payrolls at $51 million and established an adjusted midpoint of $60 million.
The salary cap is based on revenue and the league set a record last season in that regard. Commissioner Gary Bettman did not disclose exact numbers.
“That’s actually one of the things we’re continuing to crunch, but it is a record number, which is a testament to the strength of the game and our fans and how competitive things are,” Bettman said Thursday.
According to CapGeek figures, the teams with the two highest payrolls last season — the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers — would be over the $69 million ceiling.
HAVLAT CUT LOOSE
Martin Havlat’s days with the San Jose Sharks appear to be over.
The club will use a compliance buyout on the veteran forward, according to CSN Bay Area. General manager Doug Wilson had earlier said Havlat wouldn’t be back next season, but his preference was to make a trade rather than amnesty the 33-year-old.
Havlat has one year left on a six-year, $30 million contract.
Since being acquired from the Minnesota Wild three years ago in a one-for-one swap with Dany Heatley, Havlat hasn’t played in more than 48 games a season for the Sharks. His best season with the California NHL club was in 2011-12 when he scored 27 points in 39 games.
The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms with forward Ben Smith, goaltender Antti Raanta and forward Jeremy Morin on two-year contract extensions Friday.
The deals run through the 2015-16 season.
Smith, 25, had 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists in 75 regular-season games. A sixth-round draft pick in 2008, Smith added four goals and two assists in 19 playoff games.
Raanta, 25, went 13-5-4 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage in 25 games during his first NHL season.
Morin, 23, tallied 11 points on 5 goals and 6 assists) in 24 regular-season games last year with the Blackhawks and appeared in two Stanley Cup playoff games with the club.
The Detroit Red Wings re-signed backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract Friday.
No additional details of the deal were released by the team.
Gustavsson played in 27 games last season for the Red Wings while backing up starter Jimmy Howard, posting a 16-5-4 record with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
The 29-year-old Swede also started two games in the Red Wings’ first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins. The Red Wings lost both games, with Gustavsson giving up a combined six goals.
Gustavsson also was with the Red Wings during the 2012-13 season after three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His career record is 57-52-20 with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
The Washington Capitals hired Lane Lambert as an assistant coach Friday.
Lambert previously served as an assistant under Capitals head coach Barry Trotz when he was with the Nashville Predators.
Before joining the Predators, Lambert coach the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
The Predators earlier gave the Capitals permission to interview Lambert.
“We appreciate all of Lane’s contributions to our organization, from his time helping the development of our prospects and leading the Milwaukee Admirals to six consecutive playoff berths from 2006-11, to this three seasons in Nashville from 2011-14,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “We wish him and his family all the best as they move onto the next chapter in their lives.”
Lambert joins Trotz, who was named coach of the Capitals in May. Former Predators goaltending coach Mitch Korn took the same position with the Capitals on Tuesday