Through the first three days of free agency, the Phoenix Coyotes’ biggest move remains the signing of veteran center Mike Ribeiro to a four-year deal worth $22 million.
Ribeiro, who has played in parts of 14 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals, brings to the Valley a heavy dose of experience, creativity with the puck and playmaking abilities on the power play.
Take a look at Don Maloney and Co.’s big summer signing by the numbers:
At age 18, Ribeiro was drafted by the Canadiens in the second round (45th overall) of the 1998 NHL Draft.
The Coyotes’ new center has made one career All-Star Game appearance (2007-08).
Ribeiro is one of three active players on the Coyotes’ roster to play in parts of three different decades. Shane Doan and Derek Morris are the other two.
The Canadian-born Ribeiro has made five postseason appearances with the Canadiens, Capitals and Stars. In 49 career playoff games, he has 27 points.
Ribeiro’s career really took off in 2003-04. Including that season with the Canadiens, he has recorded at least 10 goals and 30 assists in each of the last nine campaigns.
Over the last five seasons, Ribeiro has been somewhat of a Coyotes killer. In 22 games between 2008-09 and 2013, he recorded 19 points against his current club.
The Coyotes were No. 25 overall in power play percentage last season — a number that should drastically improve with the addition of Ribeiro. Phoenix’s big free agent signing led the NHL with 21 power play assists in 2013.
Ribeiro finished fifth in the NHL with 36 assists overall in 2013. By comparison, the Coyotes’ top four centers combined for just 39 assists.
One of the few knocks on Ribeiro is his ability, or lack there of, when it comes to winning faceoffs. He won just 44.8 percent of his 505 faceoff attempts last season. Three of the Coyotes’ top four centers finished with a better percentage than Ribeiro.
Three of Ribeiro’s 14 seasons came under Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett when the two were in Dallas from 2006-07 to 2008-09. In those three seasons, the 33-year-old averaged 71.3 points and recorded a career-high 83 in 2007-08.