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Arizona Coyotes buy out the contract of forward Mike Ribeiro

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The newly-coined Arizona Coyotes began to reshape their roster on Friday, announcing that they would be buying out the remaining years on the contract of forward Mike Ribeiro.

"We wish Mike the best of luck in the future and thank him for his contributions with the Coyotes," said general manager Don Maloney.

Signed by the Coyotes last summer, Ribeiro’s time in the desert lasted only a single season. In 80 games last season, the 34-year-old Ribeiro accumulated 16 goals and 31 assists, for 47 points. He was however, a career low minus-13.

Ribeiro signed a four-year contract with the Coyotes worth $22 million last July. The deal carried a cap hit of $5.5 million. According to Cap Geek, Ribeiro will be paid $1,944,444 in each of the next six years (although the cap hit will decrease to $1,444,444 in years two and three) under the terms of the buyout.

Ribeiro now becomes an unrestricted free agent, and is free to sign with any NHL team other than the Coyotes.

A native of Montreal, Ribeiro was selected by his hometown Canadiens in the second round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. In his 14-year career, he has played with the Canadiens, Dallas Starts, Washington Capitals and the Coyotes. In 865 NHL games, Ribeiro has amassed 202 goals and 454, for 656 points.

With the buyout, Ribeiro joins a market of unrestricted free agent, playmaking centers that also includes Brad Richards (who was bought out by the New York Rangers) and Paul Stastny (assuming he doesn’t re-sign with the Colorado Avalanche before July 1).