Mike Ribeiro clears waivers, sent to minors

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/1933/" data-ylk="slk:Mike Ribeiro">Mike Ribeiro</a> talks with P.K. Subban of the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/nas/" data-ylk="slk:Nashville Predators">Nashville Predators</a> after a whistle against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/buf/" data-ylk="slk:Buffalo Sabres">Buffalo Sabres</a> during an NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on January 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Getty Images)
Mike Ribeiro talks with P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators after a whistle against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on January 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Getty Images)

Nashville Predators forward Mike Ribeiro has cleared waivers and been sent to the team’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. 

It’s unclear how Ribeiro will take a demotion since he also requested a trade from the Predators earlier this week. The last time Ribeiro played in the minors was a three-game stint with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2002-03 season.

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Nashville signed Ribeiro to a two-year, $7 million contract in the summer of 2015 and by sending him to the AHL, his salary cap hit will be lessened to $2.55 million according to Cap Friendly. His contract carries a $3.5 million cap hit. Moving Ribeiro to the AHL should give the Predators more salary flexibility if they want to make a run at a forward, such as Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene.

The 36-year-old Ribeiro had lost his top-six role with the Predators this year and had 25 points in 46 games played. Ribeiro has been a healthy scratch at points this season and was also scratched by the team last year in the second-round of the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks.

After last season’s struggles Predators general manager David Poile put Ribeiro on notice saying that the player needed to have the “summer of his life” heading into 2016-17. Ribeiro has played 1,074 games in his career and notched 793 points.

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“It’s never an ideal situation for anybody,” Poile told The Tennessean about Ribeiro last Wednesday. “It’s obviously worse for a top player, a player that has played as long as Mike has. I think that he needs to get back into the lineup at some point. If he’s not going to be playing on a regular basis, it’d probably be reason to have a talk or a meeting about it. But I have not talked to him about it yet. … I think I’m just going to have to respond to the situation based on if he’s not playing on a regular basis.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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