The Nashville Predators have been the NHL’s surprise team. Theyare poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12, where they reached the conference semifinals. One of the big reasons the team has been able tomaintain this torrid pace has been the play of MikeRibeiro, whom is having one of the best seasons of his NHL career.Ribeiro was expected to be a key piece to the Arizona–then Phoenix–Coyotes during the 2013-14 season. He signed a four-year $22 million deal with the team during July of 2013. However, things didn’t go as planned for Ribeiro, and the season wound up being a disastrous one.

During his stay in Arizona, Ribeiro only amassed 47 points in 80 games. This was a far cry from the 36 points in 48 games he put up with the Washington Capitals during the 2012-13 season. The Coyotes weren’t thrilled with Ribeiro’s performance and severed ties with him at the end of the 2014 season.

After the team bought out Ribeiro’s contract, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney spoke on the circumstances regarding the situation.

“Mike had some behavioral issues last year and looking at everything that occurred I just felt like there were certain levels of behavior that we could not accept.”

In an attempt to resurrect himself Ribeiro signed a one-year deal with Nashville over the off-season. So far, the gamble has payed off for Nashville, as Ribeiro has scored 45 points in only 53 games, which included his 700th point on February 7th.

As a result of his phenomenal play, Ribeiro is not only making himself better,  but is also helping his linemates succeed. Filip Forsberg is the leading candidate for the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of The Year) and Roman Josi is among the top choices for the Norris trophy (top defenseman). Both owe a lot of credit to the inspired play of Ribeiro, whom has once again become one of the more consistent centers in the NHL.

It’s a comeback story that many teams didn’t want to believe in. After being cut by Arizona, Ribeiro was left for dead. However, he has proven this year there was plenty more hockey to be played in his career.

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