Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mike Ribeiro Autograph Card

I guess I cold have mentioned when I featured the Teemu Hartikainen card that I got it when I was barely half-way through my box which ''guaranteed'' 6 hits. Well, at my very last pack, I got hit #7, this terrific Mike Ribeiro card:
Like the Hartikainen and my very first hit card of Andrei Markov, it's a sticker autograph, signed in blue sharpie, from the 1999 Skybox insert sub-set (card #99-MR), found approximately in every 20 packs of Upper Deck's 2012-13 Fleer Retro. Notice how the signature ends with '63' - it was his number with the Dallas Stars, meaning he likely signed it before getting traded to the Washington Capitals last summer.

And this summer, as the Free Agent Frenzy got underway, he signed a 4-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes, where he'll be their no-contest #1 center - though he won't have a James Neal, Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder or Alex Ovechkin to dump his perfect passes into empty nets. I see him flanked with Shane Doan and Mikkel Bodker, while Radim Vrbata will likely play with Antoine Vermette. Lucky for them they play in the West, where it'll be 19% easier to make the playoffs than in the East...

Ribeiro is one of my favourite centers in the NHL. He ranks as one of the best play-makers out there, right after the likes of Jason Spezza and Sidney Crosby. He doesn't really stand a chance of playing for Team Canada at the Olympics, though, because he ranks behind them and Jonathan Toews on the offensive side, doesn't have Ryan Getzlaf's size, and doesn't play a two-way game like Patrice Bergeron or Mike Richards. But I'm still shocked that he's yet to play at the World Championships or Spengler Cup. He is a world-class player. If there was a Team Québec - and he'd be a shoe-in for that! -  I think he could help them to a medal.

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