In a surprising move the New York Rangers just acquired Center Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars. "We have been targeting him for a while as the new playmaker for our high scoring wingers Evander Kane and Radim Vrbata", explained GM Matt Kaminski.
It was some movement lately in the Rangers lineup despite the success this season. "We always have to take the future into account, not only the here and now. Ribs will be helpful for next season a lot too", added Kaminski.
Just a day before Kaminski hammered out another surprising transaction when he waived D-man Kris Russell. "Rusty was ok for us. He played bottom pair minutes and chipped in special team minutes too, but his 2 Mill salary wasnt allowing much cap flexibility." That was the main reason why the Rangers replaced Russell by veteran Andrew Ference.
"Sure, we cant deny the standings. So we have to refine our main goal we had before the season. We want home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs." Before the season the Rangers were not considered as a playoff-team by many experts. "Who is an expert?", asked Kaminski during the summer and now again. "Some of the main speakers with a lot of headlines dont know much about the reality of forming a successful hockey team."
Back to Ribeiro: His passing and puckhandling skills shall help the Rangers first line to become even better for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Surprisingly the 2nd line centered by Matt Cullen showed already great chemistry. Cullen, A. Kostitsyn and PA Parenteau also have great +/- stats.
On a sidenote the acquisition of Ribeiro allows the Rangers to move Rich Peverley to right wing. "Pevs will improve our 3rd line with Jim Slater and Drew Miller and gives our bottom-6 a lot of experience." Rookie Jimmy Hayes will be send down to Hartford but can be recalled up soon.