Niinimaa'd in Montreal
I liked this line from Sisu Hockey earlier in the week:
What do you do with an 8th string defenseman who's making $2.5M? If you're Dallas, you trade him for Mike Ribeiro. If you're Montreal, you have second thoughts about the price you paid for defensive depth and pine for the days of Karl Dykhuis.It's true — although to me the surprising part of the Niinimaa-Ribeiro deal isn't that Niinimaa has continued to play poorly (he has just one point and is a team-worst -7 in 18 games) but how well Ribeiro has fit in with the Stars.
He's playing the point on the first power-play unit of one of the best teams in the West, and looks far more comfortable in a suboordinate role where he rarely sees the ice at even strength (he plays fewer 5-on-5 minutes than every other regular on the team). The Stars are perennially a little lean on offensive players and given his modest price tag $1.9-million, he's been a bargain so far.
Pupil (Doug Armstrong) 1, mentor (Bob Gainey) 0