Pat Ribble played his junior hockey for the Oshawa Generals of the OHA from 1972 to 1975. It was there that he established himself as a big, crease-clearing rearguard who could move the puck although rarely as far as the opposition's net.
He was picked up by the Atlanta Flames in 1974 and joined the club for a handful of games the following year. He spent the majority of his time, however, skating for the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL. His second year of professional hockey, like the first, involved picking up a small batch of games with the Flames while continuing to develop his skills with the Oilers.
In 1977-78, Ribble enjoyed one of his most successful campaigns, appearing in 80 NHL games and joining Team Canada in Prague for the world championships. With Ron Greschner and Carol Vadnais unable to perform, Ribble got his shot and came home with a bronze medal.
In 1979, he was traded to Chicago along with a host of other Flames including Tom Lysiak. With the Hawks, Ribble had hardly unpacked his bags when he broke his toe. The following year was even worse as he suffered a broken thumb, two twisted knees, and a broken nose. His wounds had hardly healed by the time the Hawks dispatched him to the Leafs who held him for 13 games before sending him on to the Washington Capitals in 1980.
Ribble lasted with the Caps for a season and a half before rejoining the Flames organization in Calgary for 31 games. He then jumped down to the minors for good
Over the five years that followed, he tended bluelines in Colorado, Indianapolis and Salt Lake City, retiring in 1987.