Au Revoir Ribeiro, Slippery Road Runner

Posted July 5, 2013

Photo by Caps Outsider

A little more than a year ago, a blockbuster trade brought long-awaited number-two center Mike Ribeiro to Washington D.C.

The deal meant the end of the red-on-red era that was Cody Eakin and eventual 2012 54th overall draft pick, Mike Winther, going to the Dallas Stars. Ribeiro’s $5-million cap hit proved the most costly price of the transaction, as the CBA that forced him to play half a season in Washington is now pushing him out of George McPhee’s reach, increasing to $5.5 million for four years in his move to the Phoenix Arizona Coyotes.

Through those 48 games, Ribeiro was not always the flashy player that some expected, but with 49 points (13g, 36a) in the regular season, his will not be an easy void to fill.

The storyline was never established, but Ribeiro not only added depth offensively, but culturally. Specifically, French.

Fun fact: According to Bob Sirois’ Discrimination in the NHL: Quebec Hockey Players Sidelined, the Washington Capitals ranked ninth, league-wide, in terms of use of French-speaking Quebec hockey players between 1974 and 2009. Of the 450 roster players in that span, 52 or 11.56% were Quebecois. Only 13 of those 52 played more than one season with the team.

Now this absolutely isn’t advocating that the Capitals unnecessarily pick up French players, mais the Montreal Canadiens have been doing it for years and they have 24 Stanley Cups.

While Ribeiro’s time with the Capitals had points of controversy—when he couldn’t quite temper his temper with officials, lack of production in the playoffs (which could be said for a few others)—in the end, he was as good as expected during a very weird year in Washington.

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