The Oilers have some big decisions to make, too. Ryan Whitney is getting traded for sure. What's interesting is it doesn't seem like there's been much conversation with UFA-to-be Ladislav Smid. The defenceman is just 27. The only other free agent who will be younger than him and really plays is teammate Mark Fistric. I'm a little surprised they haven't talked much, because that position is a weakness for Edmonton.
If he continues his decent play, he'll have interest closer to the deadline for sure. I don't think its surprising that there has been little interest so far, he only recently started to play well. But IF that continues, I could see a contender who wants an insurance policy on the blueline offering a 2nd rounder, or maybe, MAYBE a late 1st if the value for defensemen really skyrockets. Probably a 2nd. Right now though, because of his inconsistencies, probably a 4th at most.
Maybe heading back to Pittsburgh? He had some success there.
I don't think he's a big enough upgrade over what the Pens already have to be worth pursuing but Ray Shero does love the guy. He said trading Whitney was the hardest thing he's ever had to do as GM. The Staal deal may have since surpassed that move in Shero's mind but the interview I heard was before that happened.
I'm sure Whitney would love to comeback here with the way Sid's playing. Sid could bounce a bunch of pucks in off him on those old backdoor plays they used to do all the time and then Whitney could take that production and get paid again in UFA. I think he joked once about how Sid made him a rich man with that play.
N0 team interested in making the play0ffs is interested in Ryan Whitney.
He plays bad hockey and is plagued by injuries that hamper his play.
Speculation around Ryan Whitney is driven by Oiler/Canadian media for readership/viewership reasons, as well as latent value-building measure.
This kind of idea has always seemed really weird to me. Depending on the team, player, and situation, I can buy some kind of deliberate spin angle (for fans), but do fans actually think that opinions of general managers around the league are influenced by trade rumors? The great majority of them talk a lot throughout the season and get a feeling as to what guys are available and what teams are asking. There is no way that third-party speculation influences a much greater awareness of the pulse of player performance and availability that general managers have.