Phoenix Coyotes: What To Expect From Mike Ribeiro In First Year With Team

By Randy Holt
Mike Ribeiro
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a terrific summer to this point for the Phoenix Coyotes. Though they still have one pressing matter to take care of, in getting restricted free agent Mikkel Boedker locked up on a new contract, they’ve managed to secure new ownership and sign a marquee free agent in Mike Ribeiro.

While you can question what Ribeiro is making with the Coyotes, there’s little doubt that he can be an impact player for the Coyotes. He’ll immediately slot in as a top line center, and is probably the most creative pivot that the organization has seen in their history.

Ribeiro is coming off of a fantastic season with Washington, in which he finished with over a point per game. He notched 49 points in 48 games, 36 of which came on assists. Of those 36 helpers, 21 of them came when Washington was on the man advantage. So he’ll help from a power play perspective as well.

The question is what the Coyotes should expect from Ribeiro. Though some have claimed that his fantastic season in 2013 was primarily motivated by the fact that he was in a contract year, that’s not the case, when looking at his career numbers.

He’s a guy that is going to be a tremendous asset on that top line. His playmaking ability is almost unrivaled in this league. He’s typically a guy that is good for at least 40 assists in a season, and could toss in 15-20 goals of his own, making him an immediate upgrade for a Coyotes team in desperate need of some help on the offensive end.

It’s tough to project exactly what Ribeiro will post in 2013-14, given that the depth chart in Phoenix isn’t completely settled yet. It’s tough to expect him to put up point-per-game numbers like he did last season, but he’ll help to improve a Coyotes offensive attack, that has struggled mightily in the last few years, mightily.


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