DALLAS, Texas - Bravo to the Dallas Stars and forward Jamie Benn for agreeing to a five-year, $26 million contract on Thursday. If the Stars have any chance of making the playoffs they need their best player playing, and preferably on the power play (yes, that's a shot at head coach Glen Gulutzan).
The Stars lost in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday evening, but they are already in better shape than last season's team simply because the mood is considerably better without the presence of one particular player.
Trading center Mike Ribeiro to the Washington Capitals was the best move GM Joe Nieuwendyk made last offseason. It may be the best move he has made as the team's GM. Ribeiro was absolute poison on that team. So talented, and so indifferent.
Already coaches and players are talking about how much this team's chemistry has improved from last season, and all fingers point to Ribeiro's absence.
Few players in the history of the Stars' franchise have been blessed with so much natural hockey skills and manage to care less about them than Ribeiro. The guy could fall out of bed and average a point of game. Imagine what he could do if he cared.
He scored 63 points in 74 games last season with the Stars, and so far this season has three points in three games for the Capitals.
As much offense as Ribeiro can bring to a team, the Stars are better off without him.