Ray Whitney Is the Mark Recchi of the Phoenix Coyotes

Keegan McNallyCorrespondent IIMay 9, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07:  Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates up to a face off against the Nashville Predators in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Last season Mark Recchi was an integral part of the Boston Bruins and their Stanley Cup-winning team. He filled in his role of the veteran third-liner with flying colors, recording 48 regular-season points and a crucial 14 playoff points.

Recchi, at the age of 43, actually became the oldest player ever to score a goal in the Stanley Cup finals during Game 2. 

He skated off into the sunset with his third and final Stanley Cup, announcing his retirement during the postgame celebration.

This year another veteran is looking to lead his team to a Stanley Cup victory. 

Ray Whitney just went "over the hill" as they say, turning 40 on May 8, 2012. He was reluctant in accepting his birthday gifts (which included a walker, denture cream and a magnifying glass). 

Whitney, the oldest member of the Coyotes, may just be the missing piece that the Coyotes need to make it to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. 

Leading the Coyotes in points during the regular season with 77, Whitney is already proving that he is ready to capture his second Stanley Cup. He's recorded six points in 11 playoff games this season and shows no sign of his age. 

After winning an unprecedented two playoff series, the Coyotes will face their biggest challenge yet in Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings

The winner will have a one-way ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The Coyotes are going to need Whitney to be at his absolute best in order to cut through the stifling Los Angeles defense and score on Quick. 

So while his teammates make jokes about crutches and walkers, look for Whitney to be the crutch that the Coyotes need in order to capture the first ever Stanley Cup in the desert.