NHL

Numbers Game: Capitals get Ribero from Dallas

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Scott Cullen
6/22/2012 9:09:59 PM
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The Washington Capitals have had a glaring need at second-line centre and addressed it in a trade with the Dallas Stars.

Numbers Game looks at the addition of Mike Ribeiro.

Capitals Get: C Mike Ribeiro.

Ribeiro, 32, has been a very productive player, scoring 348 points over the last five seasons, good enough for 20th overall in the league over that time frame. He scored 63 points last season, playing 20:07, the second-highest average time on ice of his career.

Ribeiro started the season a little slow, with two goals and 15 points in his first 24 games, but finished the season particularly strong, scoring 48 points in his last 50 games as he formed a potent scoring line with Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson for much of the year.

Going into the final season of his contract, Ribeiro comes at a cap hit of $5-million and addresses Washington's most glaring need, for a point-producing second-line centre behind Nicklas Backstrom.

At this point of his career, Ribeiro figures to be more successful if he doesn't have to face the toughest defensive matchups night after night, as he tended to with Dallas.

Stars Get: C/LW Cody Eakin and a second-round pick (54th overall).

Eakin is a 21-year-old forward who split his first pro season between the AHL and NHL. In Hershey, Eakin had 13 goals and 27 points with a plus-4 rating in 43 games, contributing four goals and eight points with a plus-2 rating in 30 games with the Capitals.

He's not expected to be a big scorer, even though he had some productive years in the WHL (174 points in 126 games his last two seasons), but Eakin is a solid two-way player who should have a good shot to earn a spot with the Stars next season. It's worth noting that Eakin finished his junior career on a Kootenay team with Stars prospect Matt Fraser.

The second-round pick, (54th overall) gives Dallas about a 26% chance of landing an NHL-calibre player. There's value, but slightly better than one-in-four isn't necessarily a huge difference.

What the Stars get is younger, cheaper and at least one asset that they know will be around for years to come. In the short-term, there are offensive needs to be addressed, because Ribeiro was their third-leading scorer but, given Ribeiro's contract status, it is understandable that Dallas took a long-term view.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Mike Ribeiro (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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