One year ahead of becoming an unrestricted free agent, Mike Ribeiro has been traded by the Dallas Stars to the Washington Capitals for Cody Eakin and a 2nd round draft pick. This is not a move that will make Dallas a better team next season, as Ribeiro has an elite offensive skill set not easily replaced. The best case scenario for Eakin is a 3rd line type of player statistically comparable to Boyd Gordon, Dan Paille, or Peter Schaefer. The probability that he evolves into a player with the offensive productivity of Ribeiro is slim to none.
Dallas seems to be selling the rental early, before the season has even begun. Far be it from me to accuse them of deliberately trying to lose games next season in a strong draft year, but that might be what they have in mind. Trading Ribeiro, or even a Steve Ott, is a clear signal that the team is not trying to win next season. With the 54th pick in the draft acquired from the Caps, the Stars took Mike Winther, a forward out of the CHL. Forwards drafted out of the CHL between picks 20-90 with a comparable point output in their teenage draft year; have a 28% chance to play at least 160 games in the NHL (and even if he does, he's likely 4-5 years away). The probability that he can be a 70 point player like Ribeiro is slim to none.