Ray Whitney’s always flown under the radar. Pat Falloon was the one garnering the attention during their junior days in Spokane, even though Whitney was putting up the same numbers. Falloon ended up going second overall in 1991 to the San Jose Sharks, while Whitney waited 21 more picks to be taken by the Sharks in the second round. Falloon played his last NHL game for the Penguins in 1999-00, and Whitney is still going strong – playing in 654 more games while racking up 681 more points than Falloon in the process.
He’s produced no matter where he’s played throughout his NHL career and remarkably has been his team’s points leader seven times, yet the Dallas Stars are his eighth stop in his 20 years. Despite his remarkable achievement, he’s only been involved in two NHL All-Star contests – 2000 and 2003.
Barely pushing 5-10, his lack of size has likely made him seem expendable at times. But it’s the seven teams who let him go that were missing out – whether it was after his 372 game tour of duty in Carolina where he won a Stanley Cup in 2006, or his nine game cup of coffee in Edmonton in 1997.
With his 365 goals and 1,003 points in 1,229 games, he brings experience in running an offense. Although he turned 40 almost two months ago, the one they call “The Wizard” can still produce. He’s coming off a season where he led the Phoenix Coyotes in scoring with 77 points in 82 games, and was named to the NHL’s second All-Star Team at left wing – finally receiving proper recognition.
This year it’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter leading the way as the big fish in the small pond of free agents, with a few other notables. Ray Whitney went in to today as an after thought yet again, but that’s nothing new to him. Should he happen to find himself atop the Stars list of point getters by the end of next season, well that would be nothing new to him either.
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