Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mike Ribeiro Autographed Postcard

Part 5 of 7 of my trade with Kyle, after Georges Laraque, Marcel Dionne, Simon Gagné and Jeremy Roenick... here's another one of Mike Ribeiro!

Long-time readers know I usually classify him in my top-5 passing NHL centers because, like Sidney Crosby and Jason Spezza, he can make a tape-to-tape pass to a moving player diagonally in the offensive zone between six pairs of skates - and does so on a nightly basis.

He still does, despite now being with the Phoenix Coyotes, with whom he is not only in a four-way tie in points lead at 34 in 50 games as of today, but also third-most in goals with 12, behind only fellow centermen Antoine Vermette (15), Martin Hanzal (14) and center-winger Shane Doan (14)... which means he is setting up pretty much nobody who can score in an empty net.

In my fantasy team, he would be the powerplay center, paired with an equally adept passer on defense (Andrei Markov comes to mind), a top-level sniper (such as Alexander Ovechkin or Steven Stamkos would be ideal but James Neal and Mike Cammalleri would also work) and a booming shot from the point (like P.K. Subban or Zdeno Chara). With those four, it wouldn't matter who else was with them, but a big physical presence who can score garbage goals would be ideal (think Milan Lucic, Alexandre Burrows or even Ryan Smyth).

In the real world, though, Kyle sent me this team-issued postcard of his days with the Dallas Stars:
It does show him making one of his magical passes (and his smug face about to self-congratulate with a smug and arrogant smile) right through Jassen Cullimore of the Chicago Blackhawks and is from the team's 2006-07 Postcard set. It's creased on one side, probably because it's traveled through the mail more than we have in our lives from one collector to the next, and now it's in my hands.

Though he's been replaced by the almost-equally magical Tomas Plekanec (who adds a near-perfect defensive acumen to his resume that Ribeiro lacks), we still miss him in Montréal, as can be attested by the cheers every time he comes and destroys the Montréal Canadiens at the Bell Centre and is presented as one of the game's three stars...

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