Saturday, August 16, 2008

Whitney to miss 3-5 months

Well, this sucks.

Ryan Whitney had surgery yesterday (Friday) to correct a nagging foot problem. Whitney is expected to be out 3-5 months, which puts the window of his return somewhere between mid November and January.

Bad news but not the worst. GM Ray Shero likes to keep 10 defensemen that can play in the NHL, and by the looks of it he has that by keeping Brooks Orpik and trading for Danny Richmond.

Losing Whitney is a blow, since many (including us) thought he would have a big-time bounce back season. Whitney played 5:14 a game on the power play (second on the team only to Sergei Gonchar) and 22:56 overall (again second on the team only to Gonchar). And despite being lamabasted by most Pens fans, Whitney still scored 12 goals (tied for 13th in the league) and tacked on 28 assists. Someone's got to pick up those minutes and that production.

Look no further than Kris Letang. The now 21 year old defenseman has more games under his belt and was gradually given more and more responsibility and ice over the course of last season. Letang averaged 18:09 a game and 2:35 on the PP. Expect those numbers to go up.

With the Penguins still boasting some fairly steady defensive defensemen on the roster (Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill even Daryl Sydor) the Penguins still have some breathing room. Talented prospect Alex Goligoski might now get a longer look in camp, as he is a smooth skating, puck moving offensively skilled defenseman.

So this isn't the worst news possible and at least happens with some time to let Whitney get his foot right and heal up.


Hept-Rossi said...

I am a self proclaimed Whitney hater, and will be posting my own account on this news soon, but I can't be mad at you for liking him. Especially since you have dropped some top shelf knowledge on me concerning Paul Bissonnette wearing a championship belt during warmups and my new favorite girl Alicia Sacramone knocking some frat boy's lights out. I guess I'll let this one slide.

Hooks Orpik said...

I don't like Whitney so much as I see his value and the Pens need for him when he's playing well.