May 5, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT
For all the bright spots in Dallas this season — the emergence of the Tyler Seguin–Jamie Benn duo, a playoff appearance for the first time in five years — things weren’t all that great for veteran forward Ray Whitney.
Whitney, the NHL’s fourth-oldest player, said his reduced role with the Stars and lack of minutes made for a less-than-satisfactory experience.
“It was not a great year — I’m not sure there are a whole lot of options out there,” Whitney said, per the Edmonton Journal. “The legs are still there, but it’s nearly impossible to get the legs moving when you’re over 40 and playing eight to 10 minutes and only on the power play.”
Whitney, 41, appeared in just 69 games for the Stars, scoring nine goals and 32 points. Considering his contract (at $4.5 million, the fourth highest-paid forward on the team) and previous production — just two years removed from a 24-goal, 77-point campaign — the year was a disappointment, though Whitney does acknowledge his slide down the lineup was deserved.
“After the first 10 games, I was on the second line, but the last three or four months, it was the fourth. They went with youth and they do have some good kids. I can’t deny that.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Whitney next season. He admitted teams likely won’t be “banging down the doors” to sign him, but the possibility of working in an NHL front office is something he’s intrigued by.
And if retirement is the play? Well, Whitney will walk away with a pretty solid career. He currently sits 63rd all time in NHL scoring, with 1,064 points, while capturing a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.
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