Whitney and Wallin updates

Pierre LeBrun

If all had gone according to plan, Ray Whitney would have been a Los Angeles King by now and Niclas Wallin would be headed to San Jose.

Instead, they’re both still in Carolina. Sources told me on Saturday that both trades were scuttled, as each player used their respective no-trade clauses to try to extract contract extensions from their suitors. (Both players are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1.)

Hey, it’s totally within their rights to exercise the no-trade clauses, but you can imagine the frustration of Canes GM Jim Rutherford, who would have had a few assets in his hands had those deals gone through.

So, now what? Let’s focus on Whitney, the most valuable rental forward left on the NHL trade market now that Kovalchuk has been moved. Whitney, via his agent J.P. Barry, tried to extract a three-year contract extension from the Kings last week. Given his age (37), the Kings had reservations. Officially, Barry and Kings GM Dean Lombardi haven’t spoken since last weekend, although Lombardi ran into Barry’s partner at CAA Sports, Pat Brisson, at Thursday night’s Ducks-Kings game and I’m told the Whitney conversation was picked up again. Maybe a two-year extension will cut it down the middle?

Whitney has not tailed off in his late 30s; he remains a consistent point producer. My suspicion here is Whitney would likely rather stay somewhere closer to the East. He’s got three kids at home, so who can blame the guy? Pittsburgh and Philadelphia certainly fit the bill. The Penguins are in need of a winger. I’m sure Whitney would love a chance to play with Sidney Crosby. But the Pens likely can’t afford Whitney’s $3.55 million salary under their cap until the last minute, the March 3 trade deadline.

The Flyers? Well, they struck out on Kovalchuk. And it just so happens Flyers coach Peter Laviolette knows very well what Whitney brings to the table from their days together in Carolina.

But if Rutherford doesn’t get the deal he wants because he believes his hands were tied, he may just not deal Whitney.

Panthers scuttlebutt
At this point, the Florida Panthers really don’t know whether they are buyers or sellers given their bubble position in the playoff race. The remaining games before the Olympics will have a big bearing on that. If they fall back in the race, UFAs-to-be Dennis Seidenberg and Jordan Leopold could both be made available as rentals.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4894170&name=lebrun_pierre


6 Responses to Whitney and Wallin updates

  1. zackman13 says:

    wallin has now waved it, hes a shark

    Sj:
    Wallin
    5th Round Pick

    Car:
    2nd Round Pick (Buffalo's)

  2. cam7777 says:

    Great trade for Carolina.  This really shoots Ponikarovsky's value up.

  3. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think it reallt sets the bar as far as trade values now. i never thought Exelby would get more than a 6th pick alone, however it maybe higher not to mention salary returns upping the ante.  Here's hoping for it to get busy all over the place

  4. reinjosh says:

    Well if Kobasew can get a 2nd, and two prospects (lesser prospects right now, although one was picked last season) than Poni can get at least a 2nd and a good prospect. He is far better than Kobasew.

  5. dumbassdoorman says:

    What about something like this?

    Tor- Kaberle, Poni

    Stl-Backes, Berglund and a 2nd?

  6. Bure96 says:

    Kobasew was under contract though – Poni is only under contract for another 25 games. The Wallin trade just raise his value though

Leave a Reply