Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Predators Sign Roy, Ribeiro to One Year Deals

The Nashville Predators have added to their depth at center by signing Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro to one year contracts. Roy was signed for $1 million and Ribeiro was signed for $1.05 million.

Here is the Predators press release on the signing of Roy:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed free-agent forward Derek Roy to a one-year, $1 million contract.
“Derek brings us added depth, playmaking ability and experience at center, helping complement our young, developing wingers,” Poile said. “He has played in a number of roles, averaging about 19 minutes of ice time throughout his career, and is effective on the power play. He provides our coaching staff with some added skill and maturity down the middle when putting together our lineup for the coming season.”
            Roy, 31 (5/4/83), has recorded 492 points (177g-315a) in 666 career NHL regular-season games with Buffalo, Dallas, Vancouver and St. Louis since 2003-04. The Ottawa native is a four-time 60-point, 20-goal scorer including a 32-goal, 81-point campaign in 2007-08 and a 28-goal, 70-point season in 2008-09, both with the Buffalo Sabres. In 2013-14, the 5-9, 184-pound center posted 37 points (9g-28a) in 75 games with the Blues.
            An alternate captain for three seasons playing alongside current Predator Paul Gaustad in Buffalo from 2007-09, Roy captained the Kitchener Rangers to Memorial Cup and OHL titles in 2003, earning both Stafford Smythe Trophy and Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as MVP of both tournaments. Buffalo's second selection, 32nd overall (second round), in the 2001 Entry Draft is a three-time silver medalist for Canada, representing his country at the 2003 World Junior Championship, and both the 2008 and 2009 World Championship.
And here is what they had to say about Ribeiro:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed free-agent forward Mike Ribeiro to a one-year, $1.05 million contract.
Mike is a talented veteran center who has produced offensively everywhere he has played,” Poile said. “We have done our due diligence and believe Mike has a lot to offer to our team, improves us at our center ice position and will fit in with our group and contribute.”
            Ribeiro, 34 (2/10/80), has amassed 656 points (202g-454a) in 865 career NHL games since the 1999-2000 season with Montreal, Dallas (with James Neal and Eric Nystrom), Washington and Phoenix. In 2013-14, the 6-0, 179-pound center registered 47 points (16g-31a) and he is just one season removed from producing at a point-per-game clip with Washington, posting 49 points (13g-36a) in 48 games in 2012-13.
            Since the 2003-04 campaign – his first full NHL season – Ribeiro has played the 10th-most games of any NHL forward, averaging 62 points a season and posting the eighth-highest assist total (431). An NHL All-Star in 2007-08 when he set career highs in goals (27), assists (56) and points (83), Ribeiro has missed just 10 games his last four seasons.
            Montreal’s second selection, 45th overall (second round), in the 1998 Entry Draft, Ribeiro enjoyed a decorated QMJHL career with Rouyn Noranda and Quebec from 1997-2000, being named league rookie of the year and recipient of the Paul Dumont Trophy as personality of the year in 1998, and winning the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the league's top point producer the following campaign after amassing 167 points (67g-100a) in 69 games. He also helped Canada to a bronze medal at the 2000 World Junior Championship.
The Predators now have a glut of players that can play center. Mike Fisher is injured and will be out of the line up for 4-6 months. Even so, Calle Jarnkrok, Colin Wilson, Olli Jokinen, Paul Gaustad, Matt Cullen, and Craig Smith can play the center position. Colton Sissons and Austin Watson are also at Milwaukee, with Sissons seeing the most playing time with the Predators.
The addition of Roy and Ribeiro mean that Wilson and Smith will play on the wings and will only be pressed into duty as centers in an emergency. This could also mean that Jarnkrok and Sissons will probably be assigned to Milwaukee.
Frankly, I hope Jarnkrok can impress enough that he can stick with the Predators, who desperately need his play making skills.
Roy is a steady player that can produce. He should be able to step in and immediately help the Predators down the middle. He should see his ice time increase in Nashville, and hopefully that will allow him to increase his production. Last season, with the St. Louis Blues, 37 points (9G-28A) in 75 games while averaging around 13 minutes TOI.
Roy will also be a good locker room presence and will be helpful in mentoring some of the younger players on the roster. His transition to Nashville will be assisted by former team mate Paul Gaustad, both of whom were alternate captains for Buffalo.
Ribeiro comes to the Predators as damaged goods, having been bought out by the Arizona Coyotes because of off ice issues. Ribeiro has had domestic problems as well as missing team meetings and the team bus for a game.
Ribeiro had 47 points (16G-31A) for the Coyotes last season in 80 games. He has shown that he can be a consistent producer, his off ice issues notwithstanding. If- and this is a big if- he can be more stable in his off ice life, he could wind up being a steal for the Predators.
Ribeiro will have a fresh start here on the one year deal and will be presented with every opportunity to prove he can be a quality team mate and continue to produce. I believe that Ribeiro will look at the Predators as his last chance to stick on a roster at the NHL level and that he will respond.
Frankly, Ribeiro is a low risk signing by the Predators that could yield good results. Given his past history, I believe that he will be given a short leash by Head Coach Peter Laviolette, and if he is a disruption to the team, he will no longer be on the roster.
If however, he returns to form, he could be a great add for the Predators. I would look for him to paired on a line with Neal to begin the season.
These additions give the Predators some veteran depth with some upside as well as options once Fisher returns.
Now it is up to these guys to show they can still produce and be integral parts of this team.

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