Hradek Expects Mike Ribeiro to be Moved This Weekend

ESPN Dallas points out that ESPN "Insider" EJ Hradek has Mike Ribeiro on his short list of trades likely to happen this weekend. The content is part of the ESPN Insider and you can check it out here, so I will only post a small snippet:

GM Joe Nieuwendyk likely would want to upgrade his defense by moving Ribeiro, who'll have some value on the market because there just aren't enough top-six-type centers to go around. I expect him to move over the weekend.

It's not exactly a big surprise, and we've been talking about it around Dallas for a long time, but it's starting to move closer and closer to reality as we approach July 1st.

This is just another extension of our discussion about the Center position earlier this week. Can Joe Nieuwendyk afford to lose Ribeiro when he's unable to get anywhere with the Brad Richards contract negotiations? Can Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell center lines that other teams must respect defensively? If not, the stretch of season when Mike Ribeiro was injured last year could repeat itself for 82 games. He was injured in the road heavy month of January, and with other teams getting the last change and only having to worry about the Richards line, the offensive ground to a near halt.

Shoring up the defense is a necessity, but losing a balanced offensive attack in the process may be too high a price to pay. These are the problems of a team that will spend $14 million LESS than the salary cap next year.

And what will Brenden Morrow's game be like without his partner in crime?

Stay tuned to DBD this weekend in case the exit of Mike Ribeiro should become a reality. Janne Niinimaa for Mike Ribeiro will be a hard trade to top.

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