|Where’s Whitney…going? (photo: D. Sheehan)|
This season, #WheresWhitney has become a popular hashtag on twitter among Coyotes fans, as they keep an eye on popular winger Ray Whitney. With the trade deadline approaching though, it’s getting harder and harder to figure out where he just might be next.
“I haven’t been rumored to go to some of the teams at the bottom of the league yet, like Edmonton.” he said, when asked if there was a team out there he hasn’t seen his name attached to. “It’s been like that the last couple of years now – including my last season in Carolina and then with the rumors again this year.”
Talks have cooled of late though, as the Coyotes have gone 5-0-1 in their last six games and enter tonight in the eighth playoff spot.
“Certainly if we would have kept going the way we were going, spiraling, it probably would have happened by now or the talks would have been even more. But, us being in a playoff spot changes that. As long as we’re in it by the deadline, it will make things a little more interesting. in terms of what they’re going to do. If somebody gives (Coyotes management) a good deal, you still have to think about life beyond this year. If there’s a right deal, I’m sure they would do it.”
Uprooting and moving his family was a major concern the last time he entered the trade deadline as a pending free agent (2010). And while his wife and three children are still a high priority, if he changes teams again, he has a plan this time around – at least for the short term.
“They’ll stay in Phoenix, regardless of what happens, and that would be the tough part. If I do get traded, right to the end would be the best time to do it, on the last day. That would minimize the amount of time I have to be away. It would be hard on my wife and kids, but they also realize there’s a looming lockout next year. If there is one, that would probably be the end of my career. So, I realize this could be the last chance for me to go get one.”
Nicknamed the Wizard, for the amazing things he can do on the ice, Whitney says he’ll eventually end up living back in Carolina once his playing days are over. But, he’s far from being ready to become a homebody just yet.
In fact, Whitney would be so perfect for LA, it’s probably too good to be true. He plays left wing – the position they need the most help with. His 16 goals so far this season would place him second on the Kings, one behind Anze Kopitar. And his 51 points would have him leading the team.
Oh, and how’s this – what was he doing last night?
“I (met) my good friend Justin Williams and his beautiful wife for dinner in Manhattan Beach to shoot the bull a little bit and reminisce about the old days.”
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves with a Whitney and Williams reunion though, there’s still a game to be played tonight.
“It’s a ‘muck fest’ when the two teams get together,” he joked. “We’re both defensive oriented teams. However, we realize they have the potential to be a big offensive team. For some reason, it just hasn’t clicked this year.”
No, it hasn’t. But, a scoring left wing sure would go a long way towards solving some of the Kings’ problems.