FanPost

Losing Lubo hurts, but Whitney could turn out just fine


Ryan Whitney said some really nice things in his interview yesterday about coming up to a young team and wanting to take a leadership role. This is definitely good news. Say what you will about his play in Anaheim this past year, but Whitney was drafted 5th overall in 2002 for a reason and 38 points in 82 games with the Ducks as a 3/4 defenceman is truly nothing to scoff at. He's already been through the tail end of a rebuild as well as 38 playoff games in both Pittsburgh and Anaheim. Let's not forget he was in the SCF in 08, albeit on the losing side. At 27 years old, he brings veteran experience at a key age, something possessed only by Tom Gilbert, Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky on this team. He almost makes up for the loss of Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene in that sense, which is likely a good thing. If he wants to be the player he was in Pittsburgh, maybe the Oilers aren't a bad place to be to restart a career filled with potential that has gone a little sideways the past two seasons. Younger players to build around are almost always positive assets, especially when these players have the benefit of playoff experience to draw upon. This marks the start of establishing a new core of peak aged players in Edmonton, much like what the Kings have been trying to establish the past few years. I don't know if Whitney is capable of becoming a top-pairing option, but he's is an Oiler now and he has the pedigree to become the player the Penguins drafted him to be. In the short term, the Oilers definitely lose this trade, but long term Whitney could turn out to be a very strong piece of the puzzle. It's hard to be optimistic these days, but you have to start somewhere, right?

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