We continue our series of grading each player that played a role for the Stars in the 2009-2010 season. At the end of each feature, you get to select 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.
#63 / Center / Dallas Stars
Feb 10, 1980
All stats used in this post courtesy of BehindTheNet.ca and NHL.com
Key Stat: Finished fourth on the team in points, the first time Ribeiro did not lead the team since becoming a Star before the '06-'07 season.
The Good: Ribeiro tallied more than 50 points for the sixth consecutive season, the last four of which have been with Dallas. Ribeiro continued his penchant for dazzling playmaking abilities, making more than a few highlight-reel passes and goals. For most of the season, Ribeiro anchored the second line with Brenden Morrow and occasionally Jamie Benn on his wings. Ribs also had the third most power play minutes per game, just like the previous season, and scored 8 goals on the power play. He also spent a good amount of time on the penalty kill.
The Bad: It was a very frustrating year for Mike Ribeiro, who struggled to adapt to Mark Crawford's new high-octane system. Ribeiro likes to slow down the pace of the game in the offensive zone and allow his playmaking abilities to take over naturally. But in Crawford's system, the pace of the game must be quick, with immediate passes and a frenetic energy from the forwards. The system and player identity clearly clashed this season, as Ribeiro and his linemates got off to a slow start. Then, the injury. Ribeiro was speared in the throat in February against the Rangers and was sidelined for a month. The struggle to adapt and the injury led to a season where Ribeiro's stats dropped across the board. And while well-known around the league as a shootout master, Ribeiro only tallied one goal in 12 shootout attempts.
The Bottom Line: While he finished off the season strong, Ribeiro clearly felt uncomfortable playing in Mark Crawford's new system most of the year, and it showed on the ice. While a 53 point season is nothing to be ashamed of, you get the feeling it could've been so much more. Add in the fact that Ribeiro has set high expectations with his performances in past years, and the output seems a bit disappointing. There is no doubt Ribeiro is still a great player. His playmaking skills are unmatched, and there is always the chance that all he needs is an offseason of working on adapting to the new system to bounce back. But the question is whether or not the Stars will be patient or trade Ribeiro's contract at the deadline.
The Vote: Rate Ribeiro 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.