Imagine you are an NHL general manager. You've got some money to spend and you need a top-six center. You already missed out on Paul Stastny, Brad Richards and Mikhail Grabovski, but there's still that hole that needs to be filled and it's a rather important one.

Now imagine that there is a veteran center who has averaged 0.75 points per game and is guaranteed at least 30-plus assists per season. Additionally, over the last seven seasons only nine centers in the entire NHL have more points. Heck, this guy even averaged over a point-per-game just a year ago and was a top UFA target. If that was the only information you had, what do you do?

Well, this exercise is flawed in that something of this nature requires a title and picture that already tell you who this mystery center is. Mike Ribeiro's surprise buyout from the Arizona Coyotes could have really shuffled the center market. It quite obviously didn't as others signed big-money deals while Ribeiro still awaits his next contract. There's obviously plenty of time, but the longer Ribeiro remains unsigned the more limited his options will become.

The circumstances of Ribeiro's ouster were made public without much detail by general manager Don Maloney when he explained the buyout in a news conference immediately following the announcement. Citing behavioral issues as the primary reason for cutting ties with Ribeiro, Maloney said the team had made a mistake in handing Ribeiro the contract they did last summer. The budget-conscious team thought it was bad enough to use an ordinary-course buyout on the 34-year-old center.

"Mike had some behavioral issues last year and after looking at everything that occurred I just felt there were certain levels of behavior that we could not accept," Maloney said (via foxsports.com) "This has nothing to do with finances. Our goal is to become a successful, winning franchise. For us to move forward, we felt we had to make this change."