Bob Gainey did not return to the Dallas Stars as some senior advisor who would scout a little, help sell some tickets, and talk to GM Joe Nieuwendyk every few weeks. Bob hasn't been with the Stars very long, but he was here long enough to want Mike Ribeiro off of his roster.
The Stars dealt center Mike Ribeiro to the Washington Capitals for a second round draft pick and center Cody Eakin on Friday. The Stars have been trying for years to unload Ribeiro, and Gainey obviously forced the issue by suggesting, "Just get anything you can."
Don't be surprised if Cody Eakin is the second coming of Janne Niinimaa, and Gainey will be fine with that.
Bob has never liked Ribeiro. When Gainey was the GM of the Canadiens he dealt Ribeiro to the Stars just before the start of the 2006-'07 season for Niinimaa, who never did anything for the Stars, or Canadiens.
People around the Stars laughed at Gainey for this deal, but as one coach told me, "Do you really think Bob Gainey would just give this guy away if he didn't know what he was doing?"
In Bob's thinking in Montreal, moving Ribeiro was addition by substraction. It had to be done.
It is the case with the Stars: Mike Ribeiro had to be moved. He had become a giant box of empty stats.
He drove coaches nuts because he wasn't regularly committed to a two-way game, wasn't a big fan of going to the hard places on the ice, relied more on his God-given skill than work and every now and then you would hear stories about off-ice stuff that wasn't ideal. It should be noted that when you miss the playoffs the way the Stars have recently, a lot of stories are going to be floated about certain players.
Yet in each of Ribeiro's first two seasons with the Stars the team made the playoffs, including the Conference Finals in 2008. That season he scored 83 points in 76 games. In his time with the Stars, Ribeiro was nearly a point-a-game player.
The statistics said this was a quality producer. And numbers wise, he was.
All of his numbers helped produce a team that for four consecutive years has missed the playoffs.
Ribeiro may not have been the type of problem he was for Gainey in Montreal, but Bob knew Ribeiro was not going to be part of the solution in Dallas.
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