March 02 2013 09:06AM
There's not an Oiler fan alive who isn't wishing the best for Ryan Whitney. It was heartening to see him play a solid game and score a goal last night for the blue and orange. Is this a preview of coming attractions?
It's kind of funny, but not really. Ask NHL observers what the Oilers need and you get a description that matches Ryan Whitney's skill set.
Whitney healty is a helluva player, especially with the puck. His goal last night showed his offensive instincts remain true, and as a passer he is top drawer.
It's been a trying season for Whitney, he's been a healthy scratch a lot lately and for a guy making that kind of coin not playing is beyond frustrating. However, Whitney has held his tongue (showing frustration but not lashing out) and last night's game surely means we'll see him as a regular as long as the performance level is sustainable.
ABOUT THAT TRADE....
If the Oilers do decide to send him away, performances like last night's will only improve his value and make him more attractive to prospective teams. I don't think the Oilers would have considered dealing him if Whitney was performing at previous levels, but if their plan is go in another direction they are best served by getting it done sooner than later.
Last night makes that easier and should bring back more value. If Whitney can repeat that performance tomorrow, then the value increases--although I still don't have a good reason for the Oilers to trade an effective Ryan Whitney.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
CAN Ryan Whitney play NHL defense? If he can, then he's pretty much what the Oilers are looking for. Last night, in St. Louis, the Edmonton Oilers and their fans "saw him good."
Can he repeat that performance?
The Radio show hits the airwaves today at noon Edmonton time on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. Tyler has been delivering outstanding work for years now, and this season has written items on the Gagner-Hemsky mystery, powerplay zone entries, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Whitney and more. We'll talk about those things and more, while attempting to reassure each other about Hall.
- Jim Byers, pbp man for the OKC Barons. I've been dying to talk to Jim about this season. The NHLers were flying early, giving the Baron faithful a taste of young talent at the top levels of the game. Now, the AHLers are back (Cheechoo is killing it) and some of the prospects are getting traction. We'll talk to Jim about it.
- Corey Graham, pbp man for the Edmonton Oil Kings. There's a buzz going on about Curtis Lazar (now has 35 goals) and we'll talk to Corey about improvements in his game during the year. Also, Martin Gernat is back and the very talented Oilers draft pick is beginning to post numbers offensively. Moroz and more, we'll also talk about the OK chances in the playoffs.
- Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus. It's all about the 2013 draft, with the Jones-MacKinnon-Drouin at the top and some of the guys pushing into the top 5. We'll talk about overall draft quality and then discuss some Oiler prospects Corey's seen recently.
- Tom Lynn from Veritas Hockey. We'll talk about the difficulty of figuring out the new CBA (perhaps Jay Feaster can tune in), how much impact the lockout had on players in Europe and the draft and preparing kids for that big day.
Comments and questions welcome, best way to reach me with comments and questions is lowetide_ on twitter or in the comments section. Looking forward to it!