Feb 4, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro (63) warms up before facing the Minnesota Wild at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Wild 2-1 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Buy Or Sell: Is Mike Ribeiro Headed Out Of Dallas?

Jumping back into the ‘Buy Or Sell’ series that we have had running here on BlackoutDallas, today we will be bringing our 4th player specific article. With the NHL trade deadline less than a week away and things starting to really heat up, is their smoke to the rumors surrounding Mike Ribeiro?

While the Dallas Stars are still hoping to make a run at the playoffs, things don’t look great for them right now. With the team still just treading water in the playoff race while other teams are starting to show their true colors, the team’s chances are starting to slim down. Realistically the Stars have 23 games left in the season (about a fourth of their games) and could make a run or find a way into one of the bottom spots. But as we have been discussing, should GM Joe Nieuwendyk trade just to try and force this team into the playoffs this year and take a shot at it, or should they stay the course that Joe has been preaching over the last two years?

After moving Nicklas Grossman for draft picks and the team befalling to more injuries, it really appears as if the Stars just aren’t destined for the postseason again. Now rumors are starting to kick up again surrounding the team. Ribeiro is not a stranger when it comes to deadline rumors either. There are been a few this season alone, including teams like the Chicago Blackhawks apparently looking into him. So how serious are these rumors and should the Stars consider moving him before the deadline?

The 32-year old center could be attractive to the right teams. He is only three points away from 500 career points at the NHL level, and he is considered by many to be one of the better puck-handlers in the NHL. He isn’t known for being a big shooter, but he has scored 20 goals three times in his career and for seven seasons in a row he has pocketed at least 16 goals. Plus we all know what he can do on the  powerplay at times. He could really help a team looking for 2nd line offensive firepower and powerplay help, especially if he is moved to a team already with some strong shooters. But at the same time, Ribeiro’s work ethic in his own end has been question at times, and it is commonly known that he is not a good face-off man. So teams looking at him will definitely be taking that into consideration.

In the big picture, I just don’t see Ribeiro fitting into the picture. While he has many fans in Dallas and he has been one of their best forwards over the last 5-6 years, he might serve the franchise the most as a trade chip. With the team in a transition to a new regime and roster likely to see a lot of changes over the next year or two, the Stars could benefit from moving him. While his salary of $5 million for next season is a little pricey, a contending team looking to add a 2nd liner could be willing to move a prospect or two and/or picks for a legitimate playmaker. Especially if the team is strong defensively, thus meaning they wouldn’t really have to worry about Ribs in the defensive zone.

While the Stars shouldn’t just dump him and moving him could effectively end their attempt at making the playoffs this season, I think Joe and new owner Tom Gaglardi should consider it. Team like Chicago, the Florida Panthers, the Boston Bruins, and Nashville Predators, and maybe even the Toronto Maple Leafs could be looking for someone like him. The Stars are already weak at center, and moving him would only add to that, but right now he seems a part of the old Stars more than he does what this team could be in the future. If the team could add a strong youngster/prospect and a pick or another piece, then they have to strongly consider it. Because at this point the Stars are sellers more than they are buyers, and they need to plan for the next few years, not this one.

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Tags: Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Dallas Stars Florida Panthers Joe Nieuwendyk Mike Ribeiro NHL Trade Deadline Nicklas Grossman Tom Gaglardi Toronto Maple Leafs

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