NHL Trade Rumors: Why Acquiring Ray Whitney Would Make Sense for Rangers

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IFebruary 10, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 06:  Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes awaits a face off against the Detroit Red Wings during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on February 6, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. Whitney is playing in his 1,200th career NHL game. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The trade deadline is slowly approaching, and with an apparent injury to forward Ruslan Fedotenko, the Rangers may make a move. It could be for Ray Whitney.

ESPN Insider Pierre LeBrun posted this update.

Ray Whitney is on the radar of a few contenders and with good reason. The Wizard is amazingly leading the Phoenix Coyotes in scoring at 39 years old. 

An unrestricted free agent July 1, he could be on the move if the Coyotes fall out of the playoff race over the next two weeks. 

Sources have told ESPN.com that Boston, San Jose and the New York Rangers covet the slick playmaker. 

The tricky part is that Whitney has a no-move clause that calls for him to list eight teams to which he’d be willing to be traded. A source told ESPN.com on Thursday that that conversation had yet to happen, which makes sense since the Coyotes remain very much in the playoff race at this point. 

Still, a name worth keeping an eye on.


In this situation, the Rangers have the upper hand.

The Sharks are the most unlikely to acquire Whitney because they are a divisional rival of the Coyotes. Why would Phoenix do them a favor? The Bruins have a better chance than the Sharks, but the Rangers' trade history and the rapport between Don Maloney and Glen Sather gives the Blueshirts an edge.

The teams have exchanged many players over the past few years, with Wojtek Wolski and Michal Rozsival being the most recent players to swap cities. If Whitney was acquired, it would be a great move because he is a player who can help the Rangers in a multitude of ways.

Whitney is 39 years old and is pushing 40, but he would be a great fit for the Rangers. Why? He has 16 goals and 33 assists for a total of 49 points. If he were a Ranger, he would be leading the team in points. He could easily hit 70 points or more at his age.

Whitney would add scoring, power-play experience and veteran leadership to a relatively young hockey club. Whitney was a vital part of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 when they won the Stanley Cup, and he could have a similar impact for the Rangers.

Given the Rangers' current team makeup, adding a complimentary piece like Whitney would not set back the youth movement and wouldn't jeopardize the future. 

At the end of the day, if the price is right, Whitney would be the perfect piece to help Brad Richards on the second line and on the Rangers' ever-struggling power-play unit.


Tom Urtz Jr. is an NHL Featured Columnist. For more NHL free-agent news, updates and alerts about players:

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