Today we start a new feature on Defending Big D. Over the next few months, we'll be grading each player that played a significant number of games for the Dallas Stars in the 2008-2009 season. What's different about this feature is that you, the reader, determine the overall grade for each individual player. This is something we'll continue doing each season, and is a tool we can use to determine a player's progress year by year.
We will also continue our features on potential Stars free agents later this week.
Big thanks to Japers' Rink for the idea and the template.
#63 / Center / Dallas Stars
Feb 10, 1980
$5,000,000 cap hit in 2009-10; UFA after 2012-13
|2008 - Mike Ribeiro||82||22||56||78||-4||52||7||0||1||1||163||13.5|
Interesting stat: While 163 shots were by far the most he's taken in his career, it was still just fifth on the team behind Modano, Richards, Eriksson and Neal
The Good: For the third straight season, Ribeiro led the Stars in points. He also led the team in assists for the second year in a row. He was also one of only two players on the team to play in all 82 games. Once again Ribeiro showed that he is one of the most gifted playmakers in the NHL, exhibiting extraordinary touch and vision while centering the Stars top line. He has the ability to make any teammate that plays on his line an explosive offensive scorer. While he is mostly known for his incredible passes, Ribeiro scored several goals of the awe-inspiring variety. He is by far the team's most gifted offensive player and again proved that the the Stars basically stole Ribeiro in a trade from the Canadians.
The Bad: With several injuries to key players throughout the season, Ribeiro was forced into much more ice time that he has been used earlier in his career. While he has always shown a penchant for disappearing for stretches on the scoresheet, this past season it became clear that like the rest of the team, Ribeiro was fading as the season wore on. He played much stronger the final few weeks, but by that point it was too late. His -4 rating was the worst it has been as a Dallas Star, and he saw his shot percentage plummet to 13.5%, down from 25.2 a season ago, despite taking over 160 shots on the year. It was clear that like every other player on the Stars, Ribeiro struggled at times without Brenden Morrow on the ice.
Bottom line: A lot of pressure was placed on Ribeiro this season after the injuries to Brenden Morrow and Brad Richards. Some would say that despite his team-leading statistics, he still failed to step up and lead the team on a consistent basis. There are times when he tries to do to much with the puck and does more harm than good, and this past season showed that Ribeiro struggles in the defensive zone without Morrow and Lehtinen on his wings. Despite all the disappointments, Ribiero still had a solid year and provided fans with several highlight plays and goals. He still remains as the top offensive threat on the team, and should return to his dominant play of 07-08 when Morrow returns next season.
The Vote: Rate Ribeiro below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.