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A defenceman, Ribble was selected in 1974 by both the Atlanta Flames of the National Hockey League and the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. He also played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Calgary Flames. In addition, in 1978 Pat Ribble went to the world championships in Prague with Team Canada and came home with a bronze medal.
He played junior for the Oshawa Generals as a tough defensive defenceman.
Ribble finally made it as an NHL regular with the Flames in 1977-78. He has shirt stints with the Blackhawks and the Maple Leafs and then spent most of three seasons (1980-82) with the Capitals. After a trade to Calgary in 1982, he then spent his career in the minors.
He retired in 1987, having played in 349 NHL games withe 19 goals, 60 assists, and 365 penalty minutes.