Ryan Whitney: No roses for Randy

Ryan Whitney might find his way to the visitors dressing room when the Anaheim Ducks come calling at Rexall Place Friday to have a chat with old friends and teammates, but don’t expect coach Randy Carlyle to be part of the conversation.

Whitney and Carlyle, it’s clear, won’t be reminiscing about their time together when the Ducks face the Oilers for the first time since GM Bob Murray sent Whitney packing to Edmonton for Lubomir Visnovsky at the March 3 trade deadline.

Suffice to say, Whitney and Carlyle won’t be toddling down memory lane together hand in hand. I’m guessing they won’t even take time to wave at each other — at least not using all their fingers.

Sometimes, that’s how it goes.

NO FIT IN DUCK COUNTRY

"Not that he necessarily didn’t like me as a guy, but I don’t know if he liked me as a player that much," Whitney said of Carlyle this morning. "I kind of got that vibe."

"I was playing a lot. There was never any issue with ice time or anything, but I just didn’t really seem to fit his mould. Because of that, I kind of felt like something . . . then, you hear rumours and stuff like that."

While a lot of Oilers fans initially lamented the move that brought the 27-year-old Whitney and a sixth-round draft pick here for Visnovsky, the lanky blueliner has found a fit in Edmonton alongside Tom Gilbert.

Whitney’s won over a lot of those fans, not to mention coach Pat Quinn, associate Tom Renney, the rest of the bench staff and his teammates in the 10 games he’s played since the trade

That’s a page Whitney and Carlyle never got on together in parts of two seasons after Whitney was dealt to the Ducks by the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2008-09 season.

"I enjoyed my time there," Whitney said. "I became friends with a lot of guys and really liked playing there. Bob Murray said it when he called me — it just wasn’t working."

After tallying 4-24-28 in 62 games with Anaheim, Whitney has 1-2-3 in his 10 games here, logging a load of ice time and playing with a more physical edge than most expected. More important, Whitney’s happy to be here.

"Obviously, it’s tough not to be in the playoffs this year, but I think that next year we can, at least at this point in the year, be still battling for a spot," Whitney said.

"With rebuilding, you never expect to jump from worst to first, but at the same time, you get some good, young guys in here and you get a new start and I think that we’ll be a much better team next year. That’s what is exciting."

WRONG CALL, RANDY

When it comes to Quinn and Renney, Whitney feels there’s a fit.

"I honestly haven’t really spoken to Pat that much, but Tom runs the D and I think we’ve got along pretty well," Whitney said.

"I appreciated when I got here that he said, ‘I think you’re a really good player and you’ll be a good player for us.’ He’s shown a lot of confidence in me. Any player will tell you, when you have confidence, it’s everything."

As for facing the Ducks, Whitney isn’t offering the usual, "It’s just another game" pablum. Far from it.

"It definitely is. No question," said Whitney when asked if facing Carlyle and the Ducks provides motivation. "I really want to prove them wrong. "There’s a big difference between getting traded from Anaheim and when I got traded from Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, they had Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang. They were younger defenceman and they were cheaper and they needed a winger (Chris Kunitz), so that was an understandable trade.

"This one was because they didn’t like me there. Because of that, I have a lot to prove, to prove that they were wrong."

— Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    One thing is for sure from a hockey standpoint Johnson has been either equal of better then Staios, so I guess Jonesy was wrong on that article.

  • The worse we seem to get, the better we get? Bring on more injuries and more downgrades for next season and we may end up with Stanley Cup , as early as next season . Plan the parade . Already/finally we are beating the top clubs, and not just by fluke i might add . Has the corner been turned , and even downturns are an upgrade for squad ? Is being a serious contender next season any more plausible than current and impressive win streak against so called superior opposition going for Cup this season ? Has the linkage been fixed and we are finally out of reverse gear ? "Tongue in cheek with fingers crossed " ,it's finally over ?

  • Ender

    Crackenbury wrote:

    There is no else on the Oilers defence roster that is even close to this guy in skill level. He's a major building block for the future in Edmonton. You couldn't have said the same about Visnovsky.

    Actually, hundreds of people have said exactly that about Visnovsky. Heck, you don't have to go very far. Search his name on this site and have fun reading.

    I'm not saying Whitney is bad, but he's not Visnovsky. Ask the Ducks if they want to trade back. Philosophical differences with the coaches aside, I think you might be surprised at the intensity of the laughing you hear.

    • Crackenbury

      Just exactly what team would ever want to or admit to wanting to undo a trade.

      The Oilers defence is significantly better than it was before the trades took place. That's all that matters.

      Whitney is a 27 year old coming into his prime. Visnovsky's best days are behind him. Some of the comments on here remind me of when Pronger first got here. All the supposed Oiler Nation experts couldn't see what the big deal was with him either (hindsight's 20-20). And no, Whitney is not a Pronger, but he's got the potential to be something a lot closer to him than Visnovsky ever was. If Whitney continues to develop a bit of an edge, like he has shown since coming here, this trade is not only good straight up, it becomes lopsided. That's my last comment. Only time will tell now.

    • Ender

      Hip injury. Mmmmmm.

      Memo to Katz:

      List of things to stock for next season:
      Titanium Shoulders
      Titanium Spines
      Flu Vaccine
      Titanium Hips

      The list keeps getting longer . . .

      Maybe we should just look into signing some androids. It's starting to look far cheaper keeping those in good repair.

      • I'm a Scientist!

        Hip injury. Mmmmmm. Memo to Katz: List of things to stock for next season:

        Titanium Shoulders

        Titanium Spines

        Flu Vaccine

        Titanium Pubis

        Titanium Hips

        The list keeps getting longer . . . Maybe we should just look into signing some androids. It's starting to look far cheaper keeping those in good repair.

        Fixed… you're welcome.

    • Rob...

      I've been wondering the same thing.

      ~You'd think that the guy with the title of Head Medical Trainer might have something to do with it, but my guess is that it's a pretty safe position on this team, given the guy's surname.~

      I still think it has to do with undersized players, and the lack of those with a mean-streak on this team.

  • SkinnyD

    Comparing Whitney to Visnovsky is comparing apples to oranges. Visnovsky is tantalizing because of the points he puts up. But what this team and its young goaltending core needs are defencemen that can play DEFENCE. Whitney actually does that.

    There was some comparing to Pronger earlier in the comments and that's an apt comparison on some levels. Whitney's skill set is quite similar, although he plays a bit less physically (and is not the completely dominating force Pronger is). He even moves out of our zone the same way, then puts one right on the tape of a forward in full flight.

    I was shocked at the trade – obviously there's an element of salary being dumped and getting younger. And although we may not have received the more purely-skilled player in the deal, I think we got the one with more hockey sense and less prone to injury. Hopefully our new guy stays healthy and has the same refreshing attitude if we're still in the tank halfway through next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @ Skinny D
    Comparing Whitney to Visnovsky is comparing apples to oranges. Visnovsky is tantalizing because of the points he puts up. But what this team and its young goaltending core needs are defencemen that can play DEFENCE. Whitney actually does that.

    I dont know what games you were watching, but Visnovsky was our best D man defensively too. His only weakness is when it was in the corners of our zone he would make an error once every 5-10 times. His speed allowed him to break up multiple plays on the back-check no matter how far deep he went into offensive zone. Im sure Willis has stats to back all this up too. Also, how much better he made Smid when he partnered with him made him invaluable.

    I am fairly certain he requested a trade and kept it out of the media. This is the only reason why I see this deal being done. Little things like Smids comments \"Now he is happy\", the fact we dealt him back to So Cal, and how sh*tastic our team is, make me believe this.

  • Bucknuck

    @Crackenbury
    Whitney is a 27 year old coming into his prime. Visnovsky\'s best days are behind him. Some of the comments on here remind me of when Pronger first got here. All the supposed Oiler Nation experts couldn\'t see what the big deal was with him either (hindsight\'s 20-20). And no, Whitney is not a Pronger, but he\'s got the potential to be something a lot closer to him than Visnovsky ever was. If Whitney continues to develop a bit of an edge, like he has shown since coming here, this trade is not only good straight up, it becomes lopsided. That\'s my last comment. Only time will tell now.

    First, I do not believe ON was around prior to the deal, so dont know where the ON experts were – unless you mean Wanye screaming on a streetcorner, but Im pretty sure that homeless dude I saw was in favor of the deal.

    Secondly, Pronger was heralded as the second coming of Christ to Edmonton. Everyone knew how good he was, and how much better we were with him, hell he was arguably the best D man in the league prior to lockout (sure he slipped some in new rules because he couldnt be as much of a prick in front of the net with his elbows – but that was minimal).

    Also, if Visnovsky was 20-30 pounds heavier he would be regarded as a top 5 D man in the league, as is, he is still top 10-15. That might slip when hes on his next contract but for remainder of this one, or at least until his final year of it, we have lost the deal. The only way we win this deal is if Whitney re-signs here and gets better than he currently is. Or at least puts up Pittsburgh type points, which will only happen if Hall is like Crosby and Whitney gets PP time with him.

    I like looking on the brightside of trades too, but the peoples opinions of Vis after the trade have gotten heavily skewed, he is an ELITE defenseman – you would think half of you guys doing PR for Tambo

    • Bucknuck

      Agreed.

      People have been talking about: "yeah but in three seasons when the Oilers are better we win this deal." I would be surprised if Whitney is here in three years so who cares. For the next three years the oilers are a worse team because of that trade, so I figure it is a bad one.

      I am glad we are getting younger, but of all the oldies to unload Visnovsky was LAST on my list.

  • @Barry S

    How is ANA worse when Vis has 7 pts in 10 games? Thats double what Whitney was putting up. Hes their replacement for Neidermayer when he retires.

    Grebeshkov doesnt count due to shot in junk and is injured.

    Staios – well… everyone here knew that he was crappy nowadays. So I will concede that point

    • BarryS

      also – 2.

      team last 10, 4-5-1

      whitney + 2

      team last 10, 5-4-1

      Seems to me, from these stats, whitney has been better short term.

      I know, I know, everybody only counts points scored, but being on the ice for more goals scored by the oposition than scored by your team when you are on the ice is not a way to be said to to be helping win games.

  • @Barry S

    How is ANA worse when Vis has 7 pts in 10 games? Thats double what Whitney was putting up. Hes their replacement for Neidermayer when he retires.

    Grebeshkov doesnt count due to shot in junk and is injured.

    Staios – well… everyone here knew that he was crappy nowadays. So I will concede that point

  • Bob Cobb

    Erg, I hit refresh and it reposted. Didnt mean to, What I meant to post was…

    +/- for them sure looks better for Whitney. Though one player doesnt usually win you games, especially a D man.

    My opinion saying Whitney and Vis are equal defensively is a compliment to Whitney.

    So even if they were equal the pt production Vis brings to table is so much better. Sure, people bring up the fact Whitneys PPG is identical to Vis over career, but Whitney scored all his on a Pitts team with talent, while Vis did it during the sh*t years in LA.

    • BarryS

      And Anaheim is a sh*t team? Overall Standings don't say so. Last ten, You could say so, I suppose.

      As well. Vis has better team mates and supposedly better goaltending so his – 2 is even worse.

    • 10 games after the trade deadline and people are going to take the 5-4-1 record over a 4-5-1 record to mean that the Oil won the trade. They will completely ignore the fact that 1 player has more than doubled the output of another in games that actually mattered only to justify in their minds something that cannot make sense otherwise.

      It's something that people need to believe in order to justify their beliefs. Without believing that Whitney is better than Visnovsky some people are faced with the reality that the team has less talent than it did before. This fact is apperently too much to handle.

      • Bucknuck

        Something not to lose in this discussion is that Whitney is a good player. I am happy the Oilers got him. I just think they sent the wrong package going the other way.

      • SkinnyD

        So points are the only measure of a solid defenceman? And the fact that he plays on a team that includes Scott Niedermayer, Jonas Hiller, Cory Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan…doesn't count for any of that? Give me a break.

        Talent for D-men is not necessarily measured in points, is it? Aren'd defenders supposed to DEFEND? Personally, I think our team needs Ryan Whitney more than it needs Lubomir Visnovsky at this point in time, regardless of who's more 'talented'. They're different types of players filling different kinds of roles.

        So far, Whitney has been a pleasant surprise to replace an elite offensively-minded defenceman. The rest will come out in the wash, and don't push your bullsh&t psycho-babble on me. I don't need to justify any 'beliefs'…and I don't think anyone's disagreeing that it looks rosy in the short term, but the long term could well be another story for both teams involved in the trade.

          • SkinnyD

            What I'm saying is that Whitney may be a better defence-first guy, which is what we need more. Sure, our team has a bit of the post-trade-deadline high going on (if that exists) and we seem to be playing well. But it could also be seen the other way…that perhaps some of the players we shipped out were indeed part of the problem, including Lubo and not just the easy targets of Grebeshkov and Staios.

            I also think that Deslauriers and Dubnyk's better record since the deadline cannot be flukes. Perhaps Lubo wasn't quite as good in our end as many of us thought, and believe me I was a huge fan of his. Maybe Whitney's simpler game suits the team better…maybe he has a way of getting shots taken from weird spots that are easier to see and stop. He seems to have made Tom Gilbert 'better'…I don't recall Lubo making anyone better, and there were many of us ready to cruficy Gilbert before the deadline.

            I'll take Whitney's seeing-eye wrister from the offensive point any day. He's a smart player…smartest D-man we've seen here since Pronger, if not the most offensively gifted. Let the forwards do the scoring.

          • Bucknuck

            Lubo was injury prone and small and overpaid and I don't think he really wanted to be in Edmonton. Whitney is bigger and plays with more Sandpaper and seem to want to be here. Excellent trade even the Soft Gilbert plays tougher beside Whitney. Great Trade Tambo!

      • I'm a Scientist!

        People can believe what they want to believe, even you. What's with the need to make them see it your way?

        The "reality" that the team has less talent than before? Says you.

        I liked the trade, as I wrote here, from the minute it was made. Am I delusional because I disagree with your assessment and I need to justify my beliefs?

        Statements like that reek of "I'm smarter than you." I'm curious to know what makes you think you qualify as that?

        Ten games don't define this trade either way, but I'm betting Oilers fans who are starting to like the trade now will like it a whole lot more by the end of Whitney's contract. I'll put that assessment and that longer-term bottom line up against anything you've got to say.

        So, is this where you tell me I'm wrong?

        • Crackenbury

          "Ten games don't define this trade either way, but I'm betting Oilers fans who are starting to like the trade now will like it a whole lot more by the end of Whitney's contract. I'll put that assessment and that longer-term bottom line up against anything you've got to say."

          I agree with your comments. They are both good defenceman. I think what some of us are trying to say is we like the trade because it fits well with what Edmonton needs right now. That's why it was a good trade.

          There is hardly ever a trade that takes place where one team completely fleeces another. Teams swap players for the missing parts in their organization, yet it always seems to come down to who is better than who when the analysis is done. I'm assuming the reason for the Ducks to trade for Visnovsky is to replace Niedermeyer when he retires next year. So for them, the trade makes sense. There are some fairly strong insinuations going around that Visnovsky requested the trade. If there is any truth to that, then the deal looks even better for the Oilers.

        • What's the point of arguing if not to make people see things your way? I'm not doing anything if I'm not doing that. If you dont want me to argue at all, that can be attempted.

          I could just post things like "Whooo Oilers" or "I think Visnovsky was the worst defender on the team but I wont back that up with any kind of evidence and dont bother arguing with me because everyone can have an opinion."

          But I wont. I like to argue with people, if that's not evident.

          Like the trade for all the reasons you want. I dont for the reasons I listed. I dont think anyone can convince me that Whitney is better than Visnovsky, especially not over the course of 10 games. And definitely not over 10 games where Visnovsky has been better than Whitney.

          • SkinnyD

            One more time:

            Ten games don't define this trade either way, but I'm betting Oilers fans who are starting to like the trade now will like it a whole lot more by the end of Whitney's contract. I'll put that assessment and that longer-term bottom line up against anything you've got to say.

            You didn't address that.

          • Crackenbury

            The reason the Oiler fans are starting to like the trade more now is they've heard Whitney speak. He's a player that not only does the right things on the ice, the right things come out of his mouth. He seems to be a quality guy all around.

          • Whitney's contract ends in 3 seasons and he will hit free agency. Over those 3 seasons, if he is as effective as Visnovsky was then the trade was essentially a wash, but the Oil saved money. So that's a positive. Will he be leaving right when this team is ready to compete though? I have no idea. I cant really do anything but guess with Whitney because he has so many question marks.

            I'm sure the Ducks also thought that by the end of Whitney's contract they would be happy. They decided they couldnt wait that long to find out though. Until I see more of him I wont know if he became a scapegoat for their under-performing season or if there really are some glaring warts to his game.

          • — If Whitney is as effective as Visnovsky over the next three seasons and he manages that at a cap hit of $4 million rather than Visnovsky's $5.6 million, it isn't just "a positive," it means the Oilers flat out won the trade.

            — The Oilers get Whitney at age 27-28 (February birthday) in 2010-11, 28-29 in 2011-12 and 29-30 in 2012-13. In those same seasons, Visnovsky (August birthday) is 34, 35 and 36.
            Barring either player missing huges stretches over the next three seasons through injury, do you see Visnovsky outscoring Whitney? I don't.

            — Even if Whitney walks after three seasons, what's the downside compared to if the Oilers had kept Visnovsky? Undo the deal and let's imagine Visnovsky stays through this contract and is keen to re-sign here just as the Oilers are becoming contenders. He's 37 then.

            — I'm not giving Whitney as free pass for his performance in Anaheim, but I will tell you he wasn't helped by a frosty relationship with Carlyle. Not an excuse, but a factor — we saw the same thing with Penner and MacTavish.

            Whitney has a lot of respect for Renney and Quinn and when he says he's happy here, he's not talking through his ass. You leaarn a lot more from talking to a player casually than you do in an interview situation, and I've talked plenty with Whitney since he got here. He's not blowing smoke about looking forward to being a go-to guy as part of a rebuild here.
            Once Whitney gets his foot surgery out of the way — he'll be getting the right one done as soon as the season is over — he'll be good to go at training camp. Every instinct I have tells me fans can expect a bounce-back season from Whitney in 2010-11.

          • I think it's a big IF when I say "if he is as effective as Visnovsky was then the trade was essentially a wash". You are right of course, that the Oilers win in that scenario.

            I absolutely think that Visnovsky will outscore Whitney over three years.

            I trust your instinct and access to players, I'm glad that Whitney's attitude doesnt seem like lip-service. More than anything I think it's that desire to be a leader that could be the biggest X-factor in the future assessment of the trade.

          • Bucknuck

            "Even if Whitney walks after three seasons, what's the downside compared to if the Oilers had kept Visnovsky? Undo the deal and let's imagine Visnovsky stays through this contract and is keen to re-sign here just as the Oilers are becoming contenders. He's 37 then."

            That is a very big intangible. After the contract Vis is old, wheras Whitney is still in his prime. If he re-signed here then the trade looks like a good move.

            I dunno. I just hope you are right because that means my team is winning which would make me happy.

          • Bucknuck

            "You leaarn a lot more from talking to a player casually than you do in an interview situation, and I've talked plenty with Whitney since he got here."

            I Love having an inside connection like this. It adds so much depth to discussions and to awareness as a fan. We are really lucky fans. This site is great, largely due to contributions like that.

          • Bucknuck

            I think I am with Arch on this one. Over the next three years I am not convinced that the trade is a good one. And time might change that, as you say. We will see.

            What might also change that is whether or not the oilers can resign Whitney when he is up for free-agency. I have my doubts about that, but again, time will tell. If we were guaranteed to keep his rights past the end of his contract I would like it a lot better better.

          • Bucknuck

            That's what everyone around here always says….anytime we have a decent player that is approaching his UFA status the masses on here say I doubt we can sign him…we have to trade him for the next great draft pick and then backwards we go again…it's like an endless carousel whereby we never get to elite status because everyone wants to trade our impending 26 to 30 yr old UFA's away to get younger….it's groundhog day

            If this is all true that we can never sign our good UFA's then what's the point of even being a fan. I think if the team is becoming a good team in the next couple of years that guys just may want to sign and stay…especially those guys that get treated well by the organization and the fans…

            I wonder how Whitney feels so far about the fan treatment…hopefully he doesn't read this blog.

          • It's been a lot more than that since the trade on here and it's not just here that where the fans are so fickle and quick to jump on guys…can you imagine if Whitney had got off to a slow start what it would be like around here?

            I'm just glad he hasn't

          • I guess it's a good thing some fans can measure other intangibles rather than just points….but as stated before there's not much difference between the two so far over their careers ppg wise.

          • Percentage of team scoring since the Lockout

            Lubo: 05/06 28%, 06/07 26%, 07/08 18%, 08/09 14%, 09/10 18% (actually higher but I was too lazy to find out total goals for before the lockout) Average of 21%

            Whitney: 05/06 16%, 06/07 22%, 07/08 17%, 08/09 (Unfortunately this is where my lack of will power kicks in)* 09/10 14%. Average of 16%

            *Whitney was traded and injured a bunch and the split of games played was pretty even. When the points are added and the goals for per each team is averaged the % = 09%

            The outcome of my extremely dull and likely poorly implemented micro study is that Lubo and Whitney DO have similar points per game, but Visnovsky recorded a higher percentage of team scoring (points/total goals for). This happens when a player manages to record the same amount of points per game played on a team that scores fewer goals.

            Lubo wasnt playing on powerhouse teams in Pittsburgh or Anaheim, he was playing on poor teams in LA and Edmonton but he still managed to score at an elite rate. Some might even argue that the player who scores at the same rate but on a team that scores significantly less than others is more valuable than the one contributing to a lower percentage of a superior team's total goals.

          • We don't need your "extremely dull and likely poorly implemented micro study" to know that Whitney and Visnovsky have similar PPG — it's very easy to look up.

            What we need is a BS filter when it comes to your characterization of the five seasons you've cited since the lockout, where Whitney had the benefit of playing on "powerhouse teams" while poor Visnovsky was stuck toiling with dogs.

            — In 2005-06, Whitney's powerhouse Penguins were 22-46-14 for 58 points and scored 244 goals. Poor Lubo's Kings were 42-35-5 for 89 points and scored 249 goals. Who played on the better team?
            — In 2008-09, Whitney was traded to Anaheim and they went 42-33-7 for 91 points. Better than the Oilers? Yes. Powerhouse? No.
            — This season, Whitney played on an Anaheim team until the deadline that is now 35-31-8 and is destined to miss the playoffs. Better than the Oilers? Yes. Powerhouse? No.

            In yet another example of your zeal to argue a point until you fall down dead, you've not only cherry-picked numbers to create separation between Whitney and Visnovsky despite the same PPG, you've torqued the attempt by misrepresenting the relative strengths of the teams they played on for three of the five seasons you cited with gross overstatement.

            Overall, Whitney has had the benefit of playing with superior teams. But powerhouses vs. the dregs? Hardly.

            None of which changes the likelihood Whitney will outperform Visnovsky over the next three seasons and the Oilers will win the trade.

          • The dull work I did at 1am had nothing to do with points per game, Robin. It had to do with percentage of team scoring. I couldnt find that stat readily available for me on a website so I had to do the math myself. I dont like math but as you noted, I have a zeal to argue a point until I fall down dead.

            I am also not cherry-picking data. I used the same formula for both. Points divided by total team goals for over every season from the lockout to now. Where is the cherry picking of data? I didnt throw out Lubo's 08/09 season because he was injured, or omit one of Whitney's better seasons for some inconceivable reason.

            You might have issue with my characterization of the respective teams that each played for but that hardly affects the results. I called Whitney's team powerhouses when maybe they shouldnt have been called that some years, but on average they scored 20 more goals a year than the teams Visnovsky was on.

            Whitney team goal totals each year from the lockout: 243, 267, 240, (Average) 248, 204

            Lubo team goal totals etc: 243, 223, 226, 228, 182.

            That's 100 more goals over that time for Whitney teams.

            Those are the totals I used yesterday when I calculated the numbers. No cherry picking. The numbers are the numbers. When the numbers appear similar there has to be other ways to distinguish players. Percentage of team scoring is one way to do it.

          • As already been pointed out by RB there wasn't a huge difference in the level of performance of the teams that Lubo played on compared to Whitney…

            But another point for you to chew on….just because player A has played on a weaker team than player B and scores a higher percentage of his teams points doesn't make him a better player it just means that the weaker team doesn't have as much balance and thus don't score as many goals…

            What you didn't factor in was the minutes played by both players in even strength and pp situations. I'm not going to try to track that down but couldn't it be possible that if player A on the weaker team is the only good d-man that he plays more even strength and pp minutes than player B?

            Scoring a higher percentage of your teams points doesn't make you a better player it just means you are on a team with less players that score. It doesn't even have to represent this but could.

            To cite an example for you…let's say player A (Lubo) plays on a great scoring line and scores on every shift he has and player B (Whitney) also plays on a great scoring line and also scores on every shift he has…both scoring at the same ppg clip…but player B's (Whitney) team also scores when he isn't on the ice as well but player A's (Lubo) team only scores when Lubo is on the ice…Lubo would have a higher percentage of his teams points…doesn't make him better as both players scored everytime they were on the ice, it just means when he's not on the ice his other teammates don't score.

            Percentage of teams points scored is a useless meaningless stat

          • No stat is useless or meaningless. Their meaning and uses might be specific but nothing is entirely meaningless. Take the numbers to mean what you will though.

            I'm not a stat machine, I'm not going to find even strength points vs PP points vs Time in the Offensive Zone vs Obscure Corsi Blah.

          • Crash

            % of team points scored is pretty much a meaningless stat no matter how many ways you want to spin it…unless you want to back it up with the pp time on ice stats and even strength time on ice and who the players were on the ice with and who they were playing against…you also aren't taking into affect that Lubo has 6 more years of playing time in his prime at this point than Whitney…My thinking is by the time both of their careers are over that Whitney will have better ppg numbers as he still has many more prime years to go than Lubo.

            You are really going at this hard to try to convince everyone that you are correct that Lubo is a far superior d-man…most of us are saying that it's debatable and it's not a slam dunk and the numbers and intangibles appear to say as much.

          • Just because you think it's a meaningless stat, doesnt make it meaningless. It just means that it wont sway you one way or the other. Some people might look at the % of team offense and raise an eyebrow that Lubo's was more than Whitney's, others wont.

            This argument is getting tired. I'm not Robin, I dont have access to players, I dont really have any more insight into the intangibles than you do. All I have is access to the numbers.

            Dont you think that as an Oiler fan I would love to be wrong in 3 years? The fact that it's not a slam dunk is the reason I chimed in in the first place when people were raving about how much better Whitney is than Lubo in categories that simple statistics prove to be wrong.

          • Clyde Frog

            Just because you think it's meaningful doesn't make it so…

            Since this all started you've belittled anyone that has said that Whitney for Lubo is a good trade and you've tried to ram down the throat of anyone who disagrees with you that Lubo is a superior defenseman to Whitney…you don't say it's close or say it's not a slam dunk. In fact you do say it is a slam dunk that Lubo is vastly superior.

            I don't think I've read much about people here raving how much better Whitney is than Lubo it's been more you raving how much better you think Lubo is and how bad of a trade the Oilers made.

            As far as simple statistics go…you keep going deeper and deeper to try to find statistics that somehow show you are correct just as Robin pointed out. The fact is the simple statistics show that both of the players we are talking about are fairly close. That's what the simple statistics show. The only difference is that Lubo has been around longer and has more career statistics. So the fact is that this makes Whitney younger. He is also bigger, plays meaner, seems to be a leader, is cheaper and is happy to be here…

            As an Oiler fan, shouldn't you be embracing these points instead of shooting down the move to acquire him?

            Just because you think the Oilers could have got more for Lubo doesn't make it fact.

            You're right the arguement is getting tired so over to you now for the last word.

          • Looking back and reading the blog, I make many of my own points in my posts, in fact most of my posts have my own points in them but I suppose your statement above was you once again looking down on another poster and was meant to belittle me…so be it.

          • But you are willing to find stats (you think)favour your side of the argument and you are willing to overstate the relative strengths of the teams Whitney and Visnovsky played on during the period you cited (before toning it down when called on it).

            And you are willing to go on and on — I'm not – so I will leave it at this: the Oilers will win this trade with a younger, cheaper player and Whitney will outscore Visnovsky over the next three seasons. When that happens, you can go find some more numbers that say it just isn't so.

            Now, go ahead and have the last word — at least until this plays out and I'll be on you like a bad haircut.

          • It's a stat that has been brought up here at ON when the debate over Hall or Seguin was going on. It isnt subjective like hits or giveaways. What is the issue here? You like Whitney, I think he's good but Lubo is better. I will also be interested in seeing who scores more over the next 3 years.

            05/06 Neither team went into the playoffs. Pittsburgh was 29th, LA 20th.

            06/07 Pittsburgh makes the playoffs and LA finishes 28th

            07/08 Pittsburgh finishes 4th in the league and wins their division. LA finishes 29th.

            08/09 Pittsburgh and Anaheim both make the playoffs, Edmonton finishes 21st.

            09/10 Ducks 19th place, Edmonton 30th place. Neither team will enter the playoffs.

            The only season you cherry picked to undermine my characterization of the relative strengths of the respective clubs was the ONLY season a Whitney Team was worse than a Lubo team. I appreciate being accused of cherry picking data while having my argument undermined by clearly cherry picked data. Thanks.

          • Arch the problem I have with the position you've taken is that you seem to be assuming that 3 years is to short a term.

            A team cannot operate on the assumption that everyone is going to leave as soon as they can, and I know you aren't claiming that a player isn't worth picking up with only 3 years on their deal, so I'm not sure what you have against his three years deal.

            The only serious negative I see is that I see a strong possibility of a cap issue in 3 years because I see a strong probability of a 3 year deal for Gagner, and Hall/Seguin will be coming off their entry level deal at the same time.

            Edit: I should add that I'm with you on the rest of it.

        • I too am one who liked the Whitney for Lubo trade…I really don't know where this notion that Lubo is such a superior d-man to Whitney…just did the number crunching and Lubo has averaged .56 pts per game in the NHL while Whitney has averaged .55 pts per game….not much to choose between the 2 offensively except to say that Lubo is now nearing the end of his prime and Whitney is smack dab in the middle of it.

          Now being a season ticket holder I've had the luxury of being able to see them both first hand on more than one occasion….sorry but I'm not buying the Lubo is a vastly superior d-man than Whitney and that Anaheim robbed us blind in the deal.

          It appears to me as though Whitney will be more of a leader than Lubo…he's big and so far has shown that he will step in and stand up for teammates, something that Lubo cannot bring to the table. Whitney also using his reach to his advantage while defending, something that Lubo can't bring to the table. It seemed to me that Lubo was quicker and his way of moving the puck would be to make quick moves and skate the puck up the ice. So far what I've noticed from Whitney is that he is calm with the puck, he doesn't panic and he makes beautiful outlet passes. He doesn't tend to take as many chances offensively as Lubo does.

          For me it is debatable who is the better d-man but on the surface I'll take the guy who is in the middle of his prime, is a smaller cap hit, has just as many points per game or very close, has size, reach is more aware defensively, is a leader and stands up for teammates.

          This talk that Lubo is far and above Whitney is rubbish.

      • Itsbitsman

        ~When you're saying "…doubled the output of another…" you're talking anout the +/- right?~

        What did you mean by "…games that actually mattered…". I hope you aren't implying that the Ducks games are more important than the Oilers games

  • Jodes

    I'm now starting to believe that Whitney was a good pick up for us right now.. We'll see what happens after his surgery this summer. I've liked what I've seen from him so far.

    Just curious, how many from the Nation are going tonight to the Cheap Trick show?

    Should be a good one.. cool little venue too!

  • Dan the Man

    Just got back from the Oiler Season Ticket holder lunch at the Sutton Place Hotel downtown.
    Patrick LaForge and Steve Tambellini were in attendance.

    They didn't have too much to say that we didn't already know but a couple of things that Tambellini said caught my interest.

    In regards to the trade deadline he basically said he made every deal that was available to him.

    Someone asked about moving Horcoff in a round about way and Tambellini responded by discussing NMC's in general and said it isn't even possible to buy out a player with a NMC. You would have to waive them first and the player would have to agree to it. So I hope this puts an end to people wanting Horcoff's contract bought out.

    He was talking about NTC's and brought up Souray and he said "he asked to be moved and provided us with a list".
    He may have misspoken but that is what he said.

    All in all the best part of the lunch was the free lunch and the 4 free Oiler beer glasses that we got to take home which I will put to good use.

      • Dan the Man

        High fives all around!

        Also I forgot to mention the funniest moment was when this older guy asked Tambo with a straight face if he had a contingency plan if Bulin is still in jail at the start of next season.

        Oh and Tambo also mentioned that Bulin has won a Stanley Cup, he is a Stanley Cup winner and he is probably the Team MVP.

  • I love how people believe he has suddenly become a physical player. He came here with something to prove and so he has been more physical. If he is still playing the same way 30 games into next season I will be stunned.

    For the record, I would prefer to be proven wrong.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Ya I'd agree, he had a rep as a soft player for a reason. He's been fine here, but I bet this new found "edge" over the last 10 games has been the abbreviation, not the first 6 years (or whatever) of his career.

  • Ender

    As a member of the 'Lubo > Whitney' camp, I'd like to pull out this quote again:

    James O'Brien @ ProHockeyTalk wrote:

    Because Whitney is prolific when it comes to coughing up backbreaking turnovers. In the past three seasons, Whitney has averaged 65 with a whopping 91 in the 07-08 season (Visnovsky averaged 46 per year on lesser teams).

    Tell me again who's the defensive specialist?

    Look, there is NO WAY for anyone to win this argument until we've seen these two guys play with their new clubs for awhile. That is why I said earlier in this thread that I'm reserving judgement until next winter sometime. I'm just not that optimistic is all and I, like several others on here, would undo the trade in a heartbeat if it were up to me.

  • As an off topic aside:

    My 20 month old son saw his first hockey fight this morning watching on the computer over my shoulder and he has now spent nearly the entire day chasing my 5 year old daughter around the house trying to punch her in the head.

    He is literally jumping out of nowhere, grabbing her shirt, and throwing tiny bombs until she tosses him on his ass and tells him to cut it out.

    Is this awesomely hilarious, or is it horrible behavior in need of correction? Keeping in mind he is under 2 I am having a hard time deciding, but at least I am being entertained.

    I know nobody cares about this but it's happening right behind me so I can't help but comment.

  • The trade for now seems to be working for both teams . We needed more size , more physicality to take heat off our diminutive forwards and back them up better than Viz. was supplying . Having shown that so far by Whitney is a positive and a trend i hope continues . No , I don't believe Whitney will develop into an offensively gifted defenceman like Viz ., but he brings the other things and intangibles Viz . and team lacked . Already we seem to be moving forward as a team quite comfortably if first ten games are a good indicator . It's nice since he came in , that the smaller players are not playing so timid anymore . Oilers had enough offensively gifted defencemen ,and not enough size and physicality to protect the goal area and small forwards – Whitney fits that bill so far to a tee !

  • Clyde Frog

    I see it as moot trying to disect the merits on future performance. We are sitting in the dark little holes we call home, mother's basements, hidden corners of the 7-11, cheeto infested dens in our one bedroom studio apartment predicting the future.

    I for one really don't think its possible, but you really seem to have invested a lot of time to try and find a clincher to say who shall one day rule them all!

    Lubo while being a relatively fit guy was more of one to be hit than one to drop a boom. While Whitney has shown an aversion to phaneufing unsuspecting people he definitly seems to get hit less and is able to stand up for himself.

    That wins the argument for me right there, older players are prone to injury : FACT
    The Oil drop has become a roving target for anybody with a stick looking to make an impact in the nhl for the past couple years : FACT
    If Whitney doesn't get pasted, seperate his shoulder and miss 20-40 games we win! Even his mediocre .01 less point per game and 10% less take of a teams overall offensive pie. (Which no-one has pointed out propably largely amounts to Whitney being on teams with big offensive dynamo forwards churning pucks down low and firing it back to a winger in the slot taking away his second assist and Vis getting to be the go to cannon when they are on the powerplay)

    Whitney is a bigger body who can hopefully play an entire season and become a vocal leader for the young kids hoping to make our team. He has played with 2 teams that have had a "winning" culture and a plethora of talent. He has seen that although a city can be much nicer, it means bunk if you don't get along with the coaching staff/management. If he can impart just 10% of that onto the kids, we win!

    Trying to stat two players playing under different systems, with different players and different expectations and then project future worth is not a great measurement in my humble cheeto filled mind.

    Lubo was a great guy, I'll miss him for sure. But I think Whitney is a nice little gem, the kind of trade we used to be famous for, much like finding Billy Guerin, Raffi Torres or Dwayne Roloson.

    • WE are not sitting in our our Cheeto infested dens crunching numbers, projecting what might happen next based on past numbers. You might be. I am not.

      I'm basing my opinion on Whitney over the next three seasons based on what I've seen of him, what I hear about him from other players and what he tells me about the opportunity he sees here.
      I'm basing my opinion on what Whitney tells me about how his genetic foot condition affected him in the past and that he plans to have his other foot corrected this off-season before it hobbles him like the other one did after his 59-point season.
      I'm basing my opinion on Whitney on what people with the Oilers organization — coaches etc — tell me his role with this team will be moving forward.

      I toss all the above in with what I've seen over 26 years of covering hockey, then I try to figure out if Whitney's best season in Pittsburgh was a one-off, like many players I've seen before or he's better than that, and then I say what I've got to say.

      None of the above guarantees I'll be right, but here's not a bag of Cheetos or a jug of Sprite anywhere to be found.

    • And my opinion is based partly on career stats and partly on what I've seen of both players at Rexall and what they've both brought to the table while being Oilers….

      Being at the games gives you the opportunity to see things that happen in a game that you can't see on TV and that's where I drew my opinion of the intangibles I've noticed that aren't stat related.

  • An update from Jim Matheson in The Journal today on the item a did a couple of weeks ago that Whitney will likely need off-season foot surgery:

    "Defenceman Ryan Whitney has put his best foot forward since he came to the Edmonton Oilers from the Anaheim Ducks at the NHL trade deadline weeks ago.

    But his misshapen right foot will need surgery when the season ends, which will eliminate him from playing for the United States in the world hockey championship in Cologne, Germany, from May 7-23 . . ."

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      If he can recover like he did with his other foot, this should really be a non-issue. Other then maybe the first month or so where he might still be getting into game shape.