Ray Whitney, 42, announced his retirement as an NHL player, capping a career in which he produced 1,064 points (385 goals, 679 assists) in 1,330 regular-season games. Whitney entered the league in 1991 with San Jose and also played for Edmonton, Florida, Columbus, Detroit, Carolina, Phoenix and Dallas. He put up consistent production thanks to soft hands, great passing and playmaking ability and great heart. "For the past 23 years, I have had the privilege of earning my living playing hockey in the National Hockey League," Whitney said in a statement released by his agency, CAA Sports. "Along the way, I have made countless memories and friendships, which I will always cherish. Every city I played in, the fans welcomed my family and me with open arms, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of my teammates and coaches, especially the 2006 Stanley Cup team in Carolina. I was lucky to have great agents at CAA Sports, who stood by me through the good times and the tough times. I want to say a special thank you to my parents, who gave me the chance to do what I loved. Finally, I want to thank my wife Brijet, and our three beautiful children, who have been incredibly supportive of me throughout my career. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to live my dream."
Whitney stood out during his career also because he had something to say. He was a great interview who wasn't shy to speak his mind and provide insightful thoughts on the game. He also found success on the ice during the dead puck era despite his 5-foot-10, 180-pound frame, fighting through the clutching and grabbing to produce several seasons of 60-plus and 70-plus points before the rules were changed to open up the game in 2005. He then continued to thrive post-2005, putting up a career-high 83 points (32-51) with theCarolina Hurricanes in 2006-07. He also had 77 points (24-53) in 2011-12 with the Phoenix Coyotes at age 39. "Terrific career," Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford, who had Whitney in Carolina. "He was a key player on our Cup team in Carolina from his leadership to keeping the guys loose to scoring big goals for us. He was just a lot of fun to be around. "He knows the game and he worked really hard," Rutherford added. "He wasn't a big guy. To have the career he had is pretty special."
Get Your Very Own NHL Team Specific Genuine Leather Wallet: just click here