HabsWorld.net -- 

Position: C
Shoots: Left
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175
Birth Date: 2/10/1980
Birth Country: Canada (Montréal)
Year Drafted: 1998
Round Drafted: 2
Overall Choice: 45
Salary 2003/04: $847,000.00

HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report

It’s his make or break year with the Habs and he’s playing it just that way: one shift it’s make, the next it’s break. He’s got all the skills and has most of the sense necessary to make it at the NHL level, but what he doesn’t have is speed, size, and desire. Those three might be his killers.

There are times when Ribs seems to know how to play defensively, times when he takes his man, ties up his stick and wins plays. There are other times when he might as well hold up at the blueline and wait for the breakout pass. The same can be said for his handling of the puck. Sometimes he does the right thing, not trying to beat someone who has him well covered and instead making a deft pass to someone in the open, yet there are other times when he takes someone on for no good reason and ends up losing the puck. This is sorely evident in the offensive zone when he tries to do too much and loses it more often than not. If he would just stop trying to be the hero and try to be a team player, he’d be much more of a success.

There was a time in junior when he dropped his pants during a game to fix his equipment; such was his attitude. While it’s improved, it’s still not where it should be. Ribs is not a team player, he’s out to prove himself as much as he can. Despite all the points he’s accumulated, he’s still not doing everything he could and should in order to be the best player possible. There are nights when his effort is sadly lacking and he’s painful to watch. When Gainey said he was a pleasant surprise, don’t take that necessarily to mean that he’s been a revelation and is a point of wonderment for the GM, just that he’s been a pleasant surprise in that he’s performing above expectations. And before you say, “Well, above expectations, see!” let me say that expectations must have been pretty low for him.

I find it interesting that when I talk about him that there’s so much reaction. Certainly, the French press has created a bit of a storm around him, building the guy up so much that it’s almost impossible to live up to his hype. And many out there accuse me of unfairly criticizing him – possibly in response to said press. My response is thus: do you not take a harder line with your more talented players to bring out the best in them? If you let Ribs get away with all the stupid stuff he pulls, like the long shifts (they’re creeping back into his game again) and the lack of intensity, will he be that second line centre that we need?

A system player he is not. Oh, there are nights that are better than others, but he needs to be consistent, close that gap to the defenders, play the two way game *all* night and not just when he feels like it. A team player? I have my doubts. I feel he’s a guy with a chip on his shoulder more interested in proving that he can do it and not that he can be part of the group who can do it. And his future?

I’d trade him for that right handed centre Gainey says we need, assuming he’s got some value on the market, which he does at his price. I don’t think he’ll ever be the solid number two centre Montreal needs, certainly not with his size deficiency, and if he can be used as bait to bring in someone else, brilliant. Will he be traded? Good question. He’s a media darling and Gainey would take some heat, but it’s more possible than many might imagine. If he’s not traded though, he’s going to have to double that intensity of his and buy in to the system.

Mike Ribeiro was drafted 45th overall in the 1998 Entry Draft by the Montréal Canadiens. In 1999-2000, he played his first 19 games at the NHL level and scored two points. In 2000-01, he played two games with the Canadiens.

Source: The National Hockey League Players Association