Seven weeks, 49 days, remain until the Phoenix Coyotes hit the ice for a sanctioned NHL game for the first time since April. Of the list of players fans are eager to see, recently signed forward Mike Ribeiro is at the top of that list. He is also the focus of today's preseason countdown.
The number 49 relates to Ribeiro to two separate ways. First, it is the number of points he scored for the Washington Capitals during the shortened 2012-2013 season. In comparison, the highest point total by a Coyote last season was defensemen Keith Yandle's 30 points. As a matter of fact, the Montreal, Quebec native has had a higher point total than whomever the Coyotes point total leader was, in five of the past seven seasons.
Today’s number also represents the left handed forward's career NHL playoff games played. A little over half of Ribeiro's 49 postseason contests were played under the direction of head coach Dave Tippett, when the NHL veteran bench boss was head coach of the Dallas Stars. Of the current players on the Phoenix roster, only Antoine Vermette (58) and Shane Doan (55) have played in more playoff games than the new Coyotes' forward.