Ray Whitney explains what’s wrong with the NHL today


A conversation with Ray Whitney is always a treat because he’s honest – brutally honest.  The Dallas Stars’ forward has appeared on MayorsManor numerous times through the years and he never fails to disappoint, the guy brings it each and every time.   After the perennial Kings Killer scored the second goal of last night’s game at Staples Center, he was still raring to go back in the locker room.

As the night wound to a close, we had a chance to catch up with him.  And per the norm, the 40-year old veteran came up big once again. Take a look…

– On if he worries about stats at this point in his career: “No, not at my age. The importance is on winning; and if you’re contributing to winning, that’s all that matters. The problem that I see with players nowadays is they think their individual stats are what’s going to get them their next best contract. I find that if you continue to play on a winning hockey team, and do your part, your contract will come regardless. I signed with the Red Wings (after being in) Columbus. They didn’t expect me to get 75 points anymore. They said, ‘If you get 50 to 60, that’s kind of what we’re in the market for. Just buy into our system.’ If it’s the one thing that I could say is the difference in our league, it’s the teams that believe in winning. Teams that don’t believe in it tend to struggle.”

– On how much time he has available to mentor younger players given the crazy schedule: “Well you don’t get a lot of time to do anything. You ice down, you hydrate, you get ready for the next day. There’s not really a chance to get to go out and get to know your teammates as well as you’d like to. You know, the young guys, there’s certain aspects of the game you can always try to tell them, help them out. But you don’t want to overload them with stuff, because I’m sure they’re getting it non-stop from the coaching staff. So, you just try to be helpful when you can, with little things that they may do. In my day, if you were to walk around with your headset on and ride the bike with a cell phone in your hand – stuff like that pisses me off. It’s the one thing I can relate to the young guys. I say, ‘Listen, when you’re at the rink it’s work time. You can put your stuff away, and you can worry about your girlfriend’s text messaging and stuff later. It’s time to get down to business. So there’s differences in the game now with how people are, how people act, and how they think they should be treated. I’m still a little bit old school, where you get treated how you work and how you perform.”

– On if those differences result in cliques in the locker room: “Not really. We try to make sure it’s…And I’ve always been big on that – try to make sure you spread yourself around. Don’t always go to dinner with the same people. Make sure you invite young guys if you’re gonna go out. If your wife allows you. If they’re going to go out for a couple beers after the game. Go out there once in a while with them. (If your wife allows you?) Yeah, if your wife allows you. Mine’s pretty good about allowing me to – not on a gamely basis, but to go out every now and then and have a couple beers with them. Bow out before they get after it too hard, but show that you’re still a part of the team. Try and get the message out that it’s alright to go out and have a good time and enjoy the game. As long as you treat it like it’s a job the next day.”

Later this afternoon we’ll have an in depth conversation with Stars’ captain Brenden Morrow to share – where he talks openly about his future in Dallas. Until then, check out what Whitney told us a few weeks ago…

MORE GREAT STUFF FROM WHITNEY:

Former Coyote saw a lack of focus and composure in their playoff loss to LA

Whitney weighs in on the dirtiness of Dustin Brown

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.

Comments

  1. Those comments are why Ray Whitney is such a good player, and has played so long, so effectively.
    He always seems to get the key goal or assist against the Kings. He’s in the right place at the right time to influence the game.

    Hope he coaches after his career. He’d be great…

  2. NCCaniac42 says:

    AND THIS IS WHY I ADORE RAY WHITNEY. He was INSTRUMENTAL in the Hurricanes win in 2006 of The Stanley Cup. I miss both he and Brijet very much. He was smart, good in the room, good with the rookies (Cam Ward and Eric Staal) and great with the Fans.

  3. Very astute understanding of balance between work, play and a team first attitude.

    There’s a reason he’s still playing in the NHL…

  4. Great interview. Nice work Mayor

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