Dutch Reibel played only one season of junior hockey with the Winsdor Spitfires of the OHA in 1949-50. It was all he needed to make his mark in the minds of the NHL's managing ranks. During that lone campaign, Reibel became the first player in the Ontario league's history to surpass the 100-point mark in a single season.
On the strength of such a scoring flourish, he turned pro in the Red Wings chain, putting in a stint with Omaha of the USHL. He then stepped up the ladder with the Indianapolis Capitals of the AHL where he won rookie-of-the-year honours in 1952.
Next, he put in a season with the Edmonton Flyers of the WHL where he led the league in scoring with 102 points in 82 games. The Red Wings could no longer ignore the exploits of their right wing prospect. In 1953-54, Reibel finally joined the Wings lineup where he was placed on a line with Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. As a talented playmaker, Reibel scored at a very steady clip, helping his club to two Stanley Cup victories during his four and a half seasons with the team. In 1956, his Red Wing success was topped off with a Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play.
But in 1957, the Wings traded Reibel to the Chicago Blackhawks?a move that marked a dramatic decline in his hockey career. He had thrived on sense of fidelity and consistency of skating for the Wings. Once the ties were cut, he no longer played with his usual zeal. He lasted only 40 games with the Hawks and was then sold to the Bruins where he played one full season before being dispatched to the minors.
Reibel played out his pro career with the Provicence Reds of the AHL. When the club announced plans to ship him to San Francisco in 1961, he decided to pre-empt their move by retiring.