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Mike Ribeiro: Should Capitals keep or move him?

Wednesday, 03.20.2013 / 7:06 PM / 2013 Trade Deadline

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Mike Ribeiro: Should Capitals keep or move him?
With the Capitals struggling in the standings, could Mike Ribeiro's stay in Washington end after less than one season?

The Washington Capitals brought in Mike Ribeiro with the hope he could center a second scoring line and lighten the load on the team's top line, led by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

Instead, Ribeiro has emerged as the Capitals' most dependable forward and leading scorer.

But will he continue contributing offense to the Capitals?

NHL.com takes examines the pros and cons to the Capitals making Ribeiro available to move at the April 3, 2013 NHL Trade Deadline:

MIKE RIBEIRO

Position: Center

Age: 33

Statistics: 29 games, 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points

Salary status: Ribeiro is in the final season of a five-year, $25 million contract and can be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Keep him: Ribeiro arguably has been the Capitals' most valuable player and has led the team in scoring almost all season. He's thrived in coach Adam Oates' system, and in an 82-game season, he would be on pace for a career-best 90 points. If the Capitals have any hope of resurrecting their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes, they'll need Ribeiro to continue at the high level he's played at to this point.

Move him: The Capitals appear to be a team that's less than the sum of its individual parts, and has the look of a team that will be watching the playoffs from home. With Ribeiro in the last year of his contract, the team's struggles could mean he will look elsewhere in the summer. Rather than risk losing him for nothing, it could be time to start looking around for a team that would be interested in a short-term rental who could provide a strong secondary scoring option.

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure