More than six years have passed since the Montreal Canadiens traded Mike Ribeiro to the Dallas Stars, yet, thanks largely to NHL scheduling quirks, Ribeiro has returned to his hometown as a visiting player only once.

Barring injury or suspension over the next 11 days, Ribeiro will return to Montreal twice more as a Washington Capital. The Capitals visit Montreal’s Bell Centre on Tuesday and again for a Hockey Night in Canada matchup on Saturday Apr. 20.

“I wouldn’t have minded to stay in Montreal,” Ribeiro recently told CSNWashington.com, “but there’s a lot of attention on you, a lot of negative attention and if you don’t win it’s probably worse there than anywhere else in the league.”

Ribeiro was drafted by Montreal in the second-round of the 1998 NHL Draft and spent the first eight years of his professional career with the Canadiens organization. Ribeiro made his NHL debut with Montreal as a scrawny 19-year-old with the weight of a hockey-mad city on his shoulders in Oct. 1999.

“It was nice obviously to play for them and to be drafted by them, but to be honest, I would have liked to have had a bigger role when I was there,” said Ribeiro who eventually led the Canadiens in scoring with 65 points in 81 games in 2003-04.

“In Montreal you have to win right away, especially back when I started, Montreal was interested in older free agents and trying to win right away and not playing their kids very much. In my first two or three years I was playing mostly on the fourth line or not playing very much and it was hard to produce, as a guy who was expected to produce, but only seeing [limited] minutes. So the first few years were hard.”