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.

  • Puritania

    I was pretty mad at the Lubo trade as well.

    One thing I will say about Whitney for sure is I really like the attitude he has brought here. From this article to when he said,

    "Sometimes you get down by a goal and a lot of teams know we're going to battle back – here it seems like you see some guys shoulders shrug," said Whitney. "It's been a long year obviously, but when you get down a goal that when you've really got to go harder."

    "I think sometimes we've just had instances where we say 'woe is me, here we go again' and that's a loser attitude and that's what we've got to change here."

    I really like what I'm hearing from this guy, Let's hope he contributes to the attitude change this team needs.

    The Lubo trade still smarts but so far I think Whitney is a good pickup.

  • Milli

    Ya, I also love the honest answer, not the textbook quote. Nice to have a guy who wants to play and has motivation to show he has the skills and passion…..worst to first, man would that be sweet!!!! Tonight, I'm hoping Roli can pitch a shutout!!!!!! Tomorrow, we go duck hunting.

  • That's good stuff to hear about Ryan Whitney. I like that he sees this as an opportunity and he appreciates the shot he's getting here.

    After the trade went down a guy with a sports show on another station may have led people to believe Ryan was not that excited about coming to Edmonton. It's nice to hear that's not the case.

  • Bob Cobb

    Least favorite coaches: Carlyle and Wilson. Really like the way Whitney is playing with Gilbert, add in Smid to that you have the start to a really good defensive core.

    Thats an awesome picture.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Interesting side note… with Quinn's statement of 'win and your in' who does he go with tomorrow night?

    You have DD who won his last two and couldn't go because of the flu and you have gumby who came in and played a great game against one of the league's best. What does Quinn do now?

  • Bucknuck

    woot. Go Whitney. Kick some butt out there tonight. He's definitely impressed me since he came on board.

    I am one of those that needed converting, too. I was so mad at that trade when it happened. I thought "of all the people on this team to trade, you think Visnovsky is the problem?" I was disgusted.

    Now it doesn't look like too bad a move, provided he stays healthy and keeps playing as physical as he has.

  • Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child

    Interesting read. Carlyle is kind of a head case though i remember how pissed he was when the oilers said Roli had a touch of the flu.