On paper, the Mike Ribeiro of 2013 is worth a $5.5 million cap hit: 49 points in 48 games, with 27 of them coming on the power play with the Washington Capitals.
But Mike Ribeiro is not a $5.5 million cap hit player, and especially not for four years.
He wanted a long-term deal with the Capitals, who passed on him. Someone was going to give him what he was searching for, and the Phoenix Coyotes are that team. They signed Ribeiro to a 4-year, $22-million contract with an eye on him being their No. 1 center.
Ribeiro can be a good No. 2 center in the right situation. Based on the available evidence, that situation is when he’s on a team with Alex Ovechkin and has a power play run by Adam Oates during a contract year.
Again: We're talking about a player who saw his power play points per game average rise from 0.20 with Dallas in 2011-12 to 0.56(!) in 2012-13 with the Capitals.
Why is this important? Via Japers’ Rink:
Put bluntly, Ribeiro was nothing special at even-strength, despite sharing plenty of ice with the League's MVP (which didn't quite work out as well as everyone might have thought). The Caps gave up more goals than they scored when he was on the ice at five-on-five, and his possession stats were fairly atrocious, with the team hemorrhaging shots-against when he was on the ice. (Put another way, he had a negative goal differential, despite a high PDO... not easy to do unless you're getting killed in possession.)
He was also just 44.8 percent in the dot, which is probably something a team that just lost Boyd Gordon doesn’t want to hear.
If expectations are in check, Ribeiro can be a nice player. His reunion with Dave Tippett with the Coyotes can only be a good thing. But the last “No. 1 center” the Coyotes brought in with high expectations ended up in Calgary the next year.
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