Whitney: “Looking back, having a letter on my sweater, it really was unacceptable."
Great article in the Journal written by Jason Gregor. Really gives lots of insight into Whitney's mindset last season, coming off his injury, and on the influence of coach Krueger.
“He made it pretty clear that he was a little disappointed in me. How when I came back from injury, I thought I should be on the first power play and I did a little bit of sulking."
“Ralph is such a positive guy that even when he is disappointed or pissed off at someone, he’s going to word it in a way that doesn’t necessarily make you feel good, but he just does it in a way that you are interested in talking to him and being interested in what he has to say."
"I want to reward Ralph for challenging me and reminding me that I can be a better player.”
Very interesting read. Good on Whitney for taking responsibility. Paging Mr Horcoff.
To be fair, Horcoff did say in an interview after the season ended that it was difficult for him to come to terms with being the 3rd line center on the team and that he needed to accept his new role. We'll see how he does this season.
Man I get chills thinking about how a motivated and healthy Whitney could up-lift this team. It's like getting a #2 defenseman instantly injected onto your blue-line.
At his best, he was capable of taking an average partner and making the pairing look like a solid NHL top-pairing. If he could show some chemistry with one of the Schultz's, that gives a solid couple of pairings (Smid-Petry being the other) to make up our top 4.
Came here to post this as well. Great article, good to hear.
Was excited about having a healthy Whitney back but after reading this article I am even more so. I think people are going to be surprised by us, especially in this shortened season. Krueger at the helm might change a lot more than people think. Everyone seems to respect him so much and that will make it easier for them to buy into his system. He will also hold players accountable as we have seen before and just read about, this will keep everyone on top of their game and constantly looking to improve. No doubt in my mind we are poised to make a run at the playoffs, just a question of how soon.
Also, we have a good situation this year where we can improve in the standings and still be in a great position to grab an awesome depth player like Curtis Lazar (only one of many examples in a deep draft).
Gregor has been doing some great*writing in the past couple of weeks. No BS, no vendetta, just good journalism. Kudos to him.
As for Whitney... color me skeptical. Not sure if he's humble enough to play a support role properly. Guy is a pylon in his own zone, injured or not.
Not to turn this into a Gregor love fest, but when he doesn't let his ego get the best of him, he really is a pretty solid journalist. This was another good read from him.
I'd love it if Whitney could rebound to the form we saw when he first got here. He was dynamite for the Oilers at first. We sure could use a legit top pairing d-man, which he is, when he's at the top of his game.
Big area Whitney needs to improve on is in his turnover plus-minus.
He went from a -1.42 turnover plus-minus per 60 min to a -2.13, which was by far the lowest of his career.
its not about 'needing to improve' its more about bouncing back... The had a horrible year last year but the 2 before it were good. Turnovers were part of the problem, his plus\minus took a big hit as well.. He just needs to get back to his pre-injury self.
guys like Peckham need to improve.. Hemsky and Whitney just need to bounce back
Whitney has always been big on accountability and his rhetoric has been a guiding light at times. He should mesh well with Krueger based on reports of Kruegers methods. He has always been the furthest thing from an Ethan Moreau, but he may never return fully to form in terms of pure on-ice ability. Hard to fault the guy for that if he is honest, he will be at least as disappointed as we are.
Whitney will likely be a third pairing d-man spending minutes with the Smyth line ,hitting them with long bombs and saving them a lot of extra skating.
We will see a 40 point d-man but his name is J Schultz.Whitney will be good for 18 points maybe,I see more points out of Petry than Whitney.
I believe Rolly will use a fast transition game supported by upspeed penetration,meaning we will need fast versatile puck movers who initiate quickly and accuratly on a consistant basis.
Whitney is not a skating d-man he is one of the top 3 first pass d-men in the NHL,he is capable of defeating an elite forecheck and running the offense on nearly any team in the NHL but not here.Not anymore.The stumble last year was a direct result of trying to insert Whitneys traditional skillset and strengths back into a lineup that had adjusted into a fast three transition team while he was gone,when he retook the helm the system fell apart,and the harder he tried the worse it got,till near the end when we backed him off again.Whitney did his job well enough but it wasnt the job the team required at that point.Now we want to use all three zones as transition areas on every possesion whenever we can manage it.
We have to many sets of sticky hands now who need the puck to initiate their skillsets,the days of hitting the long stretch pass are over because we dont really want that except on the seniors line where they need the break and can create well from that pass.
Whitney is an elite d-man but his strengths do not fit here anymore not if we want to give him a chance to maximise his skillset and strengths.Unless he can suddenly begin to rush the puck into the red areas in his own zone in the face of the forecheck he wont break into our top 4 d-men.At his salary and with what he could give to another team where he can utilise his full skillset he is sure to be traded soon.
Whitney will only get 2nd PP time as well.I think he is a franchise type of d-man who can catalyse a very fast break offense based on pure speed.There are teams out there building exactly like that who need a player like Whitney right now.
I dont think any trades are happening for us in the foreseeable future that will include Whitney--so I expect him to play well as he always does when healthy,he has the ability to make a difference every time he is on the ice,although I dont like the long pass I think for some reason he will connect with Yakupov on some level and work his way to the second pairing by midseason.We definately have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup with Ryan Whitney on our squad.It is Ryan who has to make a sacrifice and take a huge hit for the team to play where he best fits now,that is leadership ability and veteran presence like Smyth displays.
There wont be any adjustment time and Rolly is a proactive.reactive mentality who will make immediate adjustments for 60 mins whenever and wherever he sees a need.I expect this coach to really press the men to stay on task and focused each and every night.
The Irony is this,when you get to the playoffs and you are Mac T and you need to adjust for a specific team and series it is a dream to own an elite passer like Whitney and he can be the difference in winning a Stanley Cup without a doubt because he gives you the knuckleball when you need to change it up from a 3 transition game and he is one of the best at his trade in the NHL.
I think this season will make things clearer,if Ryans pedigree is accurate and he is 100% healthy then we need him to take control and evolve into a top four role ASAP this means any adjustment he needs to make to be able to fill that role systemwise needs to happen immediatly in GM#1,remember no cushion this year.
If Ryan is not 100% healthy we need to sit him down for as long as it takes to get better,no more best trys.
Everyone better forget about the Letters right now and get ready to rock and roll,Ryan Whitney has the ability to lead an NHL team and carry any letter asked of him,so lets bury that one till next year.Until otherwise presented Shawn Horcoff is our Captain and we need to let that issue go until it is altered by managment,there is a season at hand and we need everyones full attention.
Whitney is top end talent and we need him to play that way,letter or no letter.This is a potential Stanley Cup year here,we need the best in the NHL at every position.
Last edited by BadMedicine*: 01-14-2013 at 09:27 PM.
Yes Rolly is Ralph Krueger ,sorry just a nickname like moma2 is.
I am excited to see how Ralph plans on initiating offense from the first transition upice,Ryan Whitney is an elite first pass d-man who can make us a top notch break-out team,but if Ralph chooses to utilise a three transition more controlled breakout tactic then we will need Ryan to skate the puck into areas he is less comfortable in and ask him to take challenging risks to attack the forecheck with his footspeed and immediate upice pressure.