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04-29-2013, 02:25 PM
harpoon's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Originally Posted by Tarus View Post
I understand Whitney's frustration, and in many some respects he's right, others could have been scratched. But he wasn't good enough this year, it was a rotating cast of defensemen that couldn't get the job done, and Whitney was a major part of that.
I agree with this. Someone posted earlier that Whitney is the new Souray, and while Souray was and is the better player, the similarities between their tenures in Edmonton are eerie.

Both players have larger personality types, kind of like the attention of being a star and are seen as maybe a bit high on themselves. But they also have reputations as up front, straight-shooting sort of guys. Good team mates and good players in this league.

Both guys are vociferously praised on this board for their refreshing honesty during their first seasons here. When Souray was putting up a monster year for this team in 08/09 and walking the talk about the level of commitment required in the NHL there were calls on this board for him to be captain. When Whitney came in and had 27 points in 35 games after the Visnovsky trade posters here couldn't get enough of how great this guy was. Pretty sure there was one interview in particular soon after he got to Edmonton where he kind of said that some guys on the team needed to start working a little harder and be a little less accepting of losing by one goal every night. Rapturous calls on hfoil for more guys like Whitney please.

Both guys get named Assistant captains and the city loves them. Then all the love disintegrates as the very next season both players are injured and their outspoken ways start to become less attractive when they have five points, double digit minus and can't play the game they need to play to be effective.

Friction with team officials (Souray with Tamby and his injury status, and Whitney with Krueger and the lame "system" he employs) cause the player to lose favor among those calling the shots. Player is then healthy scratched and media hacks are dispatched to trash their reputations on air, in print and on the net.

Based on all that, look for Whitney to go somewhere else and flourish, much like Souray has been excellent for the Stars and Ducks, and Visnovsky who tried desperately to avoid going to Long Island, yet somehow was able to reach an adult compromise (after a public spat with the team) to resign there.

And while I don't disagree that Whitney wasn't near good enough this year and he has to own that, it does seem puzzling that this team can continue to wreck or fail to utilize perfectly good NHL defensemen like Whitney and Souray. Yet they have us on a steady rotation of Barkers and Fosters and Potters and Vandermeers and Suttons who for various reasons are barely holding onto NHL careers when they come to town.

Next will be N Schultz who was by all accounts a good NHLer yet he comes to Edmonton and in six months turns into a guy who is minus fifteen and most posters already have him on the discard pile.

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