- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Capitals acquire Mike Ribeiro, finally find second-line center
Washington sends Eakin, 2012 second-rounder to Stars
PITTSBURGH — The Washington Capitals have lacked a second-line center since the departure of Sergei Fedorov three long years ago. Mathieu Perreault, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, Jason Arnott, Tomas Fleischmann and Brendan Morrison were part of the rotating tryout process.
“We think he’s a 1 or 2 center in this league,” McPhee said. “I just felt like at some point this summer we wanted to add a skill guy, and if it was at center ice, that would be ideal.”
Ribeiro undoubtedly brings questions given his off-ice issues, which included an arrest for public intoxication in 2010, but he should slide perfectly into the second-line center role, just behind Nicklas Backstrom on the depth chart. The 32-year-old is a playmaker who put up 18 goals and 45 assists with Dallas last season and has topped the 50-point mark in each of the past eight seasons.
“We wanted to add a bit of skill to our lineup. I just didn’t like the way we played in the playoffs,” McPhee said. “We got some big, gritty forwards and we just wanted to put another skill guy in the middle of it to see if it helps, and I think it makes our team immediately better.”
With Ribeiro in the fold, Laich should be able to enjoy a more comfortable role as a wing or third-line center. Another top-six wing is likely needed, but Ribeiro’s presence makes pieces fit into place better.
“It’s nice to have options. We know that these two guys, Nicky Backstrom and Ribeiro, can play center. And then we’re lucky that we have guys that we can move all over the place: Brooks Laich can play center or wing, Marcus can play center or wing and [Matt] Hendricks can play center or wing and [Jay] Beagle can play center or wing,” McPhee said. “It’s nice to have that flexibility so you have a different flavor of lineup for whoever you might be playing on a given night or in a playoff series. You have options and if you have injuries you can move people around.”
McPhee made it clear that he was glad to get his second-line center via trade rather than free agency because of the pitfalls of excess term and salary that often come with that process.
This is a nice first step in what could be a lengthy retooling process this summer, but McPhee wasn’t showing his hand about plans for the start of unrestricted free agency July 1.
“In free agency, we’ll just explore things like everybody else. There’s no urgency to have to do anything,” he said. “We have some young goalies and good young D and the forward group now that played really well last year and we just added Ribeiro. I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
“To find that kind of skill, I’m looking forward to watching,” McPhee said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- NYC alarms with notice: Immediately surrender your rifle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow