The Washington Capitals traded Cody Eakin and a second-round draft pick to the Dallas Stars for Mike Ribeiro.
The Capitals add one of the best playmakers in the game today. Ribeiro has average just under a point a game for the last four seasons and he has twice as many assists as goals. He set career high in points in 2007-08 with 83 points and has put up 52 or more assists in three of the last five seasons.
The addition of Ribeiro will hurt Mathieu Perreault, as the second line center spot is now Ribeiro and Perreault needs scoring line minutes to break out. I expect Perreault to be moved to give him a shot with a new team to get a crack at a second line spot.
Watch for Marcus Johansson to be moved to the wing permanently now. With Alexander Semin on the way out there is a spot on the second line and Johansson is ready to explode. If he lines up with Ribeiro on the second line count on a breakout season 25 goals is not out of the questions for Johansson.
Brooks Laich is better suited as a third line center as he can produce points and shutdown opposing teams top lines. He is an excellent two-way player but the past few years he has had to play as second line center. The addition of Ribeiro will give the Caps a great 1-2-3 center group now, with players better suited for those spots.
Ribeiro will be a great addition to the Caps power play. He averaged just less than three minutes in power play ice time with the Stars last season and lead the team with 13 power play assists. Watch that number increase now that he will be feeding sniper Alex Ovechkin and power play quarterback Mike Green on the power play now.
Ribeiro should take some pressure off of Nicklas Backstrom as he can help take on the offensive load from the center position and push him to be better or he might slip down to the second line.
I love this tweet by Brenden Morrow (@Minimo1zero). "Goal scoring for @ovi8 just got easier with @ribz63 passing the puck. Enjoy the tap ins.... I did!"
This deal will instantly help Ovechkin, Green, Backstrom and Johansson. Laich and Perreault are the players that are affect the most negatively.
Coach Aaron Brouwer
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