Mike Ribeiro rubs our faces in it

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I’m not the world’s biggest Mike Ribeiro fan. What I’ve seen of his personality is hardly endearing. He is cheeky with gusts up to full-on obnoxious. If you don’t believe me, check out his celebration Tuesday night after being voted first star following the Dallas Stars 3-0 spanking of the Canadiens. He seemed to be pretty clearly playing it all up to mock the Habs.

But I’m happy to see Mickey Ribs back for the first time since he was traded to the Stars in the fall of 2006 because it’s useful reminder of what a crap trade that was, a bad trade amongst so many bad trades made during the Gainey/Gauthier era. I think it’s good that us Habs fans be reminded of this. So we don’t forget just how these two managers have decimated our hockey club.

Ribeiro was dealt to the Stars in return for – drum roll please – Janne Niinimaa. (Ed. note: Who dat?) The Finnish Flash lit up the scorebaord with 0 goals, 3 assists and a Minus-13 +/- rating that year for the Habs, his last year in the NHL, before he was exiled to Europe. Ribs? He has scored 118 goals and notched 268 assists over six seasons with the Stars. Yes he has done a little better than Mr. Niinimaa.

When he was dumped, the word was Habs management wanted rid of him ’cause he was a bad apple, an out-of-control party animal. But he’s hardly the only NHL player who ever partied and by all accounts, a number of the current Habs are just as fond of wine, women and song as Ribs is.

So Ribeiro returns to the Bell Centre for the first time since he was shipped out and – don’t ya know it! – he pots a goal and is voted first star by the Habs fans. That’s what I mean about rubbing our faces in it. In the meantime, the defeat against a lacklustre Habs squad effectively rams one more nail into the rotting coffin that is this season. Moi bitter? No!

So who made that bone-headed trade? We must’ve got rid of that lame GM by now right? Well yes and no. The sad-sack deal was orchestrated by Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey and he is, I hear, no longer general manager of the Habs. He stepped down in the middle of the 2009-2010 season but, in one of the odder moves in the history of professional sports, he continues to work for the team and most everyone believes he is deeply involved in all major managerial decisions.

It’s like the CEO of the bank makes one terrible decision after another, bringing the bank near collapse and, under pressure, he resigns. But when you show up at the bank a year later, there’s the controversial CEO still in his office, right next door to the new boss. ‘Weird’ doesn’t even begin to describe the concept.

Anyhow….where were we? Oh yeah Mr. Ribeiro. Well he apparently told the reporters in the morning Tuesday that they should boo the Habs rather than boo him, when he was asked if he expected to hear the boo-birds Tuesday night. And it turned out the disgruntled fans followed his advice, deservedly raining down the boos on Nos Canadiens for their empty effort.

It’s funny. Tuesday during the day, I was thinking Ribs would come up short given that he’d been partying the night before here, as reported by noted hockey gossip source @25Stanley on Twitter.  But apparently he’s able to do both – score on the dancefloor and on the ice!

Meanwhile ESPN is reporting that Ribeiro is on the trading block – wouldn’t it be hilarious if Ghost Gauthier picked him up between now and Monday? But I wouldn’t hold my breath…..

He wasn’t exactly buttering up Habs management with his pre-game comments, telling Dave Stubbs from the Gazette that the Canadiens don’t know how to develolp players.

“A lot of times, you get better as you grow and learn the game,” he told Stubbs. “A lot of times here, you have to win now. Young kids aren’t (always) ready to win now, (management) gets impatient and trades them.”

Much as it pains me to say, it’s hard to argue with him.

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