I see Ribeiro as a poor man's Adam Oates (read 2/3 of what A.O. is). Ribeiro's main skill (and some will argue that it's is only one) is his playmaking ability. He's weak on the puck, he's not particulary fast and doesn't play a sound defensive game. In my mind, he would top as a second line center and could fetch from 40 to 60 points a season in that role. 40 points being the minimum he should get given a regular spot on the roster and 60 points the max I think he will ever get in a single season over his career.
Ribeiro will definately start the season in the NHL, and due to Koivu's injury, will probably centre the second line. After Koivu gets back it's anyone's guess. It will be a competition between Ribs and Perrault for the second line spot.
Ribeiro can be both great and awful in the same night. He has hands softer than velvet that arguably beat Koivu's and is a nice playmaker. The main problem (s) with him is that he tends to vary in intensity from game to game, which can either be attributed to a lack of maturity or a lack of commitment. The former can be resolved with experience, the later means big trouble for any team that tries to change that.
He's also slow, although I have to give him credit he worked on his leg strenght during the summer and it shows as he's faster than before, which brings him at the average skater level. He's not big enough. He's 6' tall but there's not enough meat around that frame, although, again, he bulked up (a bit) during the summer and again, it shows during camp as he's stronger along the boards.
My take on him is that if he gains around 10 extra pounds during the next year and learns to make more of a commitment to defense, while not forgeting to play every shift, he has easily 2nd line center written on him. The only problem with Ribs is that he never showed he belonged or wanted it enough. Of course he often played on the 4th line with goons but never to this day added a sense of urgency to his game and an extra effort to impress the coaches and earn upgraded ice time during regular season. He'll likely get his chance this year, as our 1st two lines are shaping as follow:
Bulis - Koivu - Audette
Hossa - Ribeiro - Zednik
I won't deny that fact the he, along with Ryder, Komisarek and a few others is the best looking player out there since the camp started and he does look more determined than ever to win and keep the 2nd line center job as for the 1st time there's a real opening, but he really needs to put it all together this year or his career with the Canadiens will likely be over. If he does however, his upside is 50-60pts playmaking 2nd line center with PP time.
Let me start be saying I am not a Ribs fan as so many on this board seem to be. He does have talent, but his weaknesses overshadow his talent IMHO.
This talent, nice puck skills, when he is alone with the puck. Good aim. Imaginative playmaker. He doesn't do exactly what all the others players might do in an offensive situation, that makes him exciting to watch.
Bad side, skating, defensive play (although of he scored 35 goals, no one would care), puck protection, no physical game, attitude, and that mumbling that passes as talking.
If he would pick up his speed and scoring, he could have a role as a 2nd center for another team. If not....he is Sergei Zholtock. If you don't believe me,check the stats. Both are unpredictable with the puck, that makes them occassionally dangerous-shooting or passing from strange angles.
I hope he plays well for the Habs, but given that we already have one small center....he is better suited on another team.
Ribeiro's main skill is his passing, which he does very well. However, he plays on the perimeter and makes his passes from there, trying to thread the needle. He doesn't often get to the crease and thus will never be a big goal scorer. His play without the puck is less than average. He doesn't forecheck or backcheck with authority and he certainly doesn't punish anybody with his bodychecks. I think some of the posters here are giving him extra points for style, like someone in an ice show, but they don't appear on the scoreboard.
What potential does he have???
Is he in the NHL or AHL this season??
What line if he makes the big club???
To Answer your questions:
1: He has all he potential you can imagine. This guy is one of the most talented guy I have seen i a long time. He could be the best player in hockey. He has a very acurate shot, and can make a pass like you've never seen. The only problem is that he must find a way to pass 5 players of the other team to have a chance to score. He can pass 3 easily, but the 2 other are just to strong for him. But I'm not giving up on him, because when you look at him he still have a baby face, and if he becomes a man one day, he'll be a hell of a player.
2: NHL, if we want to put him in the AHL, he'll have to be put on the waiver list, and for sure some one will pick him.
3: He his gonna be on the 2 line until saku is ready to come back and then, its gonna be a battle between him and Perreault for the second spot a center.
As much as you like him, have you seen Kovalev, Federov, Sakic, Jagr or Lemieux? Are you saying that if the sun shines on Ribiero the right way, he will be better then these guys?
You sound like a parent who thinks their kid is smart even though he has failed grade 3.
As for the Go Habs Go....I am on your side 110%.
Its you opinion, but I stick to mine. There are not alot of players that can put me out of my seats and rebierro is one of them. But I was just talking about the talent. But he his no were close to the star player phisically. If he could beat the phisical aspect of the game, he could become a star in this league.
Mikey has tons of potential but he lacks just a tiny bit in a few important areas. He has great hands, great smarts, fantastic vision, but he is cursed with less an average strength muscle. Say want you want about Mike, but this guy is a classy guy in my book.
I remember attending his first NHL game. It was the season opener when he was 18 years old and he played against the Leafs. I was there with my dad during the pre-game warmup and for some reason my dad was really happy that this kid made the team. Anyway, during the warmup my dad kept shouting "MIKEY! MIKEY!" and Ribeiro took notice. Later on during the warmup he shot a puck against the boards and caught it and then threw it to my dad. There will always be a special place in my heart for Mike (and he's my dad's favourite player)...I really hope he shows us what he is capable of.