Mike Ribeiro’s agent Bob Perno told La Presse’s Richard Labbé (via Puck Daddy) that the veteran forward suffered an alcohol relapse during the 2016-17 season, sometime before he was waived by the Nashville Predators in February.
Ribeiro, 37, had made a trade request around that time.
Perno’s interview with La Presse reveals that Ribeiro is uncertain about his future with hockey. There’s an implication that, if he were to play the sport next season, it would probably not be in the NHL (and maybe not even in North America).
For what it’s worth, Ribeiro did report to the Milwaukee Admirals (the Predators’ AHL affiliate) amid these issues. He played 28 games for the team, scoring 26 points.
Nashville made the controversial decision to hand Ribeiro a two-year, $7 million contract on July 1, 2015, even as he was facing a civil suit for sexual assault; that lawsuit was settled about two weeks later.
That contract is set to expire this summer, and again, it seems plausible that Ribeiro’s NHL days are over. His agent’s comments indicate that he must deal with his alcohol issues before determining his hockey future.
Neither Ribeiro nor the Predators have made a statement regarding this report.