The makeover of the Washington Capitals gathered speed with the addition of a quality No. 2 center, veteran Mike Ribeiro.
The Capitals sent Cody Eakin and a second-round (54th overall) pick for Ribeiro, who scored 18 goals and added 45 assists last season in Dallas. Washington have tried a number of players in that role during the past few years, including Brooks Laich, Mathieu Perreault, Marcus Johansson, Tomas Fleischmann, Brendan Morrison and Jason Arnott.
The playing Ribeiro, 32, has scored more than 70 points in three of his NHL season.
“We wanted to add a little bit of skill to our lineup; I just didn’t like the way we played in the playoffs,” Washington GM George McPhee said of the trade. “We’ve got some big gritty forwards and we just wanted to put another skilled guy in the middle of it to see if it helps. I think it makes our team immediately better.
“(The Stars) wanted to make a change this summer. I had been after this player for a while, so we got it done. We gave up a real good kid in Cody. He’s going to play a real long time in this league, but Ribeiro will come in and play much higher in the lineup right away.”
As for the Stars, they cleared $5 million in cap space with the move and got younger.