Pat Ribble played 12 seasons of professional hockey, including eight in the National Hockey League with the Atlanta Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Calgary Flames. A big, bruising defenceman, he won a bronze medal at the 1978 World Championships in Prague with Team Canada.
Ribble was born on April 26, 1954 in Leamington. He is a product of Leamington Minor Hockey.
At the Junior C level, Ribble starred for the Leamington Flyers alongside future NHL player Kris Manery. Ribble’s Flyers captured the 1971-71 Ontario Hockey Association Championship, attracting the eyes of Ontario Major Junior Hockey League scouts. Ribble was eventually drafted by the Oshawa Generals, with which he spent the ’72-73, ’73-74, and ’74-75 seasons.
In 1974, Ribble was a fourth round draft choice (number 58 overall) of the NHL’s Atlanta Flames and a seventh round pick (number 91 overall) of the World Hockey Association’s Indianapolis Racers. He opted for the Flames and made the club’s NHL roster for three games in the ’75-76 season.
Ribble spent the majority of his first two years in the Flames system with the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers. He graduated to the full Atlanta roster in 1977 and played 80 NHL games in ’77-78.
Ribble was selected to represent Team Canada at the 1978 World Championships, which were contested in Prague in what was then Czechoslovakia. The team captured a bronze medal.
Atlanta traded Ribble to Chicago during the 1978-79 season. The following year, he was moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he played 13 games before a further trade brought him to the Washington Capitals. Ribble played parts of three seasons with the Capitals before being moved to the Calgary Flames in ’81.
Ribble played his final NHL game during the 1982-83 season. At the end of his career at hockey’s highest level, Ribble had scored 19 goals and added 60 assists and 365 penalty minutes over 349 regular season games. He contributed one assist and 12 penalty minutes in eight playoff contests.
Ribble spent the final five seasons of his professional career playing at a lower level. He spent time with the Oklahoma City Stars and Colorado Flames in the CHL and the Indianapolis Checkers and Salt Lake Golden Eagles in the International Hockey League. In his final professional season, 1986-87, his Golden Eagles won the Turner Cup. Ribble received the “Unsung Hero” Award.