Source: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports
By now, everyone is pretty familiar of the baggage Mike Ribeiro packed with him when he was signed by the Nashville Predators in the off-season last year. Personal issues off-ice finally began to affect his on-ice performance, eventually cutting ties with the Arizona Coyotes. Yes, the signing of Mike Ribeiro was definitely a bold move by David Poile, but that risk turned quickly to reward, with Ribeiro ending the 2014-15 season 15-47-62. He also played in all 82 games.
Ribeiro left the Coyotes in search of a new start with a new organization willing to give him a chance. Nashville was that answer, and – as far as we know and from what we saw on ice – his off-ice issues all but were left in the desert. Unfortunately, the past has continued to creep up behind Ribeiro everywhere he goes and the Music City was no exception.
In March, TMZ reported that a former nanny of the Ribeiros was suing Mike for sexual assault and his wife, Tamara, for verbal abuse. The Predators were quick to make a very basic statement, which was about all they could honestly do at the time with such little information of the accusation:
“We have been made aware of a complaint against Mike Ribeiro, dating back to his playing time while he was in Dallas,” the Predators said in a statement. “Mike has indicated that the charge is without merit and is prepared to vigorously defend himself. We will allow the legal process to move forward without further comment.”
After a week or two, the hype over this accusation died down and, to be honest, most of us completely forgot about it altogether. On The Forecheck, however, did not forget about it and made the initial update earlier this afternoon.
Because OTF has all the latest on this subject, I will direct you to their site for the full story. Be warned, however, some of the details are very graphic and may be disturbing to many readers.
Now that you are back (hopefully) from reading that, yeah… yikes, y’all. Of course, along with this new update and information, a lot of people are questioning that initial statement from the Predators organization and just how much they did know about this incident before signing in back in the off-season. Of course, you have to also account for the following facts:
- The victim had not come forward before David Poile and the organization signed Ribeiro.
- Mike and his wife may not have gone into detail as to what exactly those “off-ice personal issues” were.
- David Poile is not a newbie at this; there is no doubt he did his due-diligence before signing Ribeiro.
Seriously, I stand firm in saying that the Predators and David Poile did not know of the details of the accusations until the victim took action. Here’s an article excerpt from Dan Rosen regarding Poile’s due diligence back when Ribeiro was first signed:
Poile said the Predators did their due diligence on Ribeiro. He said they talked to former teammates, coaches, general managers and more people inside and outside Ribeiro’s circle, including Predators forward James Neal, who played with Ribeiro in Dallas from 2008-11.
“It’s well known that Ribeiro had some off-ice situations that he had to take care of. He has done that,” Poile said. “He and his family were separated and now they’re back together. He and his wife [Tammy] and three kids [Mikael, Noah and Viktoria] are trying to make a new life, want to make a new life for themselves here in Nashville.”
Poile wouldn’t divulge any details as to what Ribeiro has done to address the issues he was dealing with off the ice, saying it was personal information. He did say any further off-ice issues would not be tolerated.
“We can’t have a distraction on our team. We can’t have something that’s affecting our franchise,” Poile said. “Mike and his wife realize that. There is no tolerance for off-ice issues. This clearly is really his last chance.“
I mean, has everyone really forgotten that whole curfew-gate from the 2012 Playoffs when Andre Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov frolicked around Scottsdale and were suspended by Poile – no the league – for Game 3 for their violation. And, as we all know the outcome now, Radulov and A. Kostitsyn were not re-signed the next season. Needless to say, David Poile does not take off-ice shenanigans lightly and, as I stated, you know he did his digging before finally okaying the Ribeiro contract.
As mentioned by On The Forecheck, the next hearing is set with a July 27th deadline. It will be interesting, since Ribeiro will be seeking a contract extension this year, as he was only signed to a one-year deal last July. Unfortunately, due to his past coming back to haunt him (whether guilty or not), his future in Nashville may be on the chopping block, despite having one of the best seasons of his career.