Although Mike Ribeiro retired from hockey in 2017, his former agent Bob Perno is still in contact with him.
He gave news about his former client on the TVA Sports podcast “La Dose”, hosted by Jean-Philippe Bertrand, as well as recounting in great detail how he convinced Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux to represent them. Listen here:
“I still help him and advise him, but I don’t get paid for it. I don’t mind, I do it because I love him. I try to help her as much as I can. It’s easy to criticize everyone, but when you’re so closely involved with someone who has substance abuse problems, that’s a story.” It’s a disease that’s hard to beat. I think Mike can do a lot to get past this, but he’s trying.”
Perno plays kind of as a father figure to someone who has, incidentally, played 1,074 NHL games and collected 793 points.
“I get angry with him sometimes because I treat him as if he were my child, in a way. I want him to recover from his illness. I will never let him down.”
Pernod said that during his time with the Canadians, Ribeiro was widely talked about for his off-ice antics, but his problems didn’t begin until he left Montreal for Dallas in 2006.
“When he was playing in Quebec, I was trying to be his father and get him back on the right track. I could have better control of him. When he left for Dallas, I was away from him and his parents too. He met people he shouldn’t meet. It’s easy to influence him, that’s What happened. That’s when he started having big problems.”
During his years with CH, Ribeiro became friends with Pierre Dagenais and José Théodore, nicknamed “The Three Amigos”, who are known for their drunken outings in the city’s bars.
Berno admits that the three players gave him “a lot of white hair”, but claims that their behaviors have been exaggerated in the media.
“We talked a lot about the three friends in Montreal, but the other players came out more than them at the time and weren’t in the headlines because they weren’t from Quebec. The media always follows the Quebec players more, which is totally normal, but it was a lot exaggerated. Yes, They did things they shouldn’t have done, but were young and rich and famous and beautiful and tried to enjoy life.”
Perno points out that Ribeiro has always been a rebel at heart.
“Mike, he’s a funny specimen. He’s always been kind of a rebel. He always does his own thing. There were events in his life when he was young. He grew up in a neighborhood harsh, it was not easy. He picked up lifestyle habits at a young age that wouldn’t be recommended.”
If Ribeiro has been able to shine at the highest level despite his difficult childhood, it is thanks to his “amazing natural talent”.
“When I first saw him play, he reminded me of Mario Lemio for seeing the game. I fell in love with him instantly.
“The only thing was his off-ice demeanor. He was still able to perform on the ice despite breaking the curfew, not taking care of his body and getting allergies from the gym. Still amazing! Thanks to his talent, he’s a huge success.”
Perno believes Ribeiro will still be active if he takes over.
“We always hear bad things about him, but he’s one of the few Quebecers to have played 1,000 games in the NHL. It’s quite an achievement. I think Mike would still play in the NHL if he took care of himself. It wasn’t his skateboarding that made him a living. , nor throwing it, it was his wits. That style of player could play for a long time in the NHL. You can lose your skate with age, but he never had anything, so he had nothing to lose!”
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