Ryan Whitney was brought in to anchor the blue and serve as mentor to the new generation of Oiler defensemen. Injuries have derailed his ability to impact the team and there’s some worry about his future.

Ryan Whitney 10-11

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.58 (1st among Oil D, 2nd in NHL)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.91 (3rd among Oil D)
  • Qual Comp: 3rd toughest among D
  • Qual Team: worst available among D
  • Corsi Rel: .6 (6th best among D)
  • Zone Start: 53.4% (3rd easiest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 50.6% (4th best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 43 shots/2 goals 4.7% (4th best)
  • Boxcars: 35gp, 2-25-27
  • Plus Minus: +13 on a team that was -52

Ryan Whitney 11-12

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.62 (4th among Oil D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.41 (1st among Oil D, 3rd in NHL)
  • Qual Comp: 5th toughest among D
  • Qual Team: 4th best available among D
  • Corsi Rel: -8.5 (7th best among D)
  • Zone Start: 51.4% (2nd easiest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 45.3% (7th and last among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41 shots/3 goals 7.3% (2nd best)
  • Boxcars: 51, 3-17-20
  • Plus Minus: -16 on a team that was -26
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He played hurt and was a shadow of his former self. We all knew he wouldn’t repeat his tremendous half season of 10-11, but a healthy Ryan Whitney wouldn’t be close to these numbers. He played middling opposition with a good zone start, he should have had a much better CorsiRel and 5×5 offense although we do know that D don’t push the river.
  2. He was very good 5×4. Yep, Whitney is a clever bugger and highly skilled. A healthy Whitney would be a dream come true for the Oilers and the fanbase. Exactly what the doctor ordered.
  3. How could these numbers be better? With health he should recover at least a little from these numbers. And by eye his mobility was very poor, so an offseason of training should allow him to get back some of what was lost this season.
  4. How did coach Renney use him? Softer minutes, offensive ZS’s and plenty of playing time in the games he dressed. Ryan Whitney averaged 20:57 this season, 2nd overall on the entire team. If he’d been healthy, #6 would have had mashed those numbers.
  5. Is the pain gone? Sure is, Whitney said he didn’t have any pain after the all-star break, so that’s good news.
  6. Should be ready for fall? That’s the plan.
  7. Let’s put it another way. Can the Oilers count on him? No. If Whitney comes to camp and can play 20 minutes a night effectively, the Oilers should consider that a major victory. But counting on it? No sir. It didn’t work out last fall and they shouldn’t count on it this one.
  8. Is he ever going to be the player he was? It took him a year to recover from the surgery and if he doesn’t have any setback and can train as usual over the summer then there’s hope. But I don’t think we should expect (and the Oilers should not expect) him to be the same player.
  9. For those of us who can’t remember, how good is a healthy Ryan Whitney? If healthy, Ryan Whitney could move along the Oilers rebuild in a quick hurry. Whitney covers up all kinds of things–inexperienced partners, shabby goaltending, panic in Detroit. He’s a really good NHL defenseman, when healthy.
  10. What do you like most about his game? The headman pass. He’s terrific.
  11. Who don’t you like about his game? His mobility overall, and his ability to turn specifically. That’s a recent event, obviously due to injury.
  12. What else? He’s a bright guy, as much as a fan can tell these things. Certainly media savvy, he’s funny on twitter and ribs the kids which is a good sign. I’m really hoping he has a strong comeback season.
  13. What else else? I’m not sure how many athletes–even the brilliant ones–ever completely recover from an osteotomy and reclaim 100% of their past ability.
  14. What’s the best case scenario? Edmonton adds two NHL defensemen to the group that inclues Whitney, Smid, Schultz, Petry and Sutton. That would give them 7 before Potter/Peckham/Plante/Teubert/rookies and a nice depth chart for callups when injuries happen. The minor leaguers will get plenty of callups due to injury anyway,  but  the club won’t count on these men to start.
  15. You’re down on Peckham. We’ll talk about it when it is his turn.
  16. Which prospects do you see getting extended time should Whitney go down with injury again?Among minor leaguers and new pro’s, I’d guess that Colten Teubert, Alex Plante, Taylor Chorney and Martin Marincin will be in the mix, and of course Justin Schultz and the lottery pick if they end up being an Oiler and a defender, respectively.
  17. How many games for Whitney? We do that in the Augusr RE.
  18. Come on, take a guess. 70.
  19. 70? That’s crazy. Well, they played him 51 this season and he wasn’t close to being 100%, so  as long as the cheques cash I suspect they’ll run him out there.
  •  NHL prediction for 11-12: 50, 4-24-28 (.560)
  • Actual 2011: 51, 3-17-20 (.392)

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  1. regwald says:

    I hope the off season of training will give him more strength and mobility.

    Based on some of the things brought forth by Ashley, I don’t believe we will see it. I think he’s done. The Oilers will cut him loose at the end of his contract. In fact, they may even fail him at his physical in September.

    That would be news.

    I liked his attitude and what he brings to the table pre-surgery. I just don’t see the same player there anymore.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Is he ever going to be the player he was? It took him a year to recover from the surgery and if he doesn’t have any setback and can train as usual over the summer then there’s hope. But I don’t think we should expect (and the Oilers should not expect) him to be the same player.

    This is the sad part because when he could skate, he was pretty damn good.

    He said for the last half of the year his issue was strictly due to conditioning.

    I don’t buy that for a second.

    He wasn’t able to push off on his right foot much and simply never turned on his right skate as pivot at all.

    That’s not conditioning. That’s a bum ankle/foot.

    Better conditioning may help him overcome the problem better than he did this year (killed against meh comp), but it won’t return him to the player they traded for.

    Shitty luck for a pretty good guy.

  3. PhrankLee says:

    With this player more than any other you seem to have mixed feelings and reservations.At least that is what I sense. I think this foot thing of his is more serious than the club will ever let on. Good post on Potter, by the way.

  4. rich says:

    There are two things that are sad:

    1) What Woodguy points out – that he’s not the same player he was prior to the injury.

    2) That the Oilers will count on him regardless to be top 4. Defensemen have to be able to move, to turn and Whitney’s ankle just is not the same. But that won’t stop the Oilers from depending on him.

    LT – I agree w/you that the Oilers need to add 2 defensemen to the roster this season who are not in the 5/6/7/8 range – in order to move the re-build along but am not holding my breath that it will happen.

  5. jake70 says:

    Getting good chuckles over these question and answers LT…..great format.

  6. DSF says:

    IIHF ‏ @IIHFHockey

    Swedish roster cuts: Mattias Karlsson, Jonas Andersson, Johan Harju, Patrik Lundh, Linus Omark.


  7. Matt.N says:

    IIHF ‏ @IIHFHockey

    Swedish roster cuts: Mattias Karlsson, Jonas Andersson, Johan Harju, Patrik Lundh, Linus Omark.


    MacT ruined Omark!!!

  8. spoiler says:

    Too bad for Linus. He made the wrong choice evidently, but I suppose it was worth it to him to take the shot.

    When I think of conditioning I think of wind and endurance; maybe I’m splitting semantical hairs here, but my impression was that’s not what Whitney was saying. There were specific strength-building off-ice exercises he needed to go through, which he couldn’t go through till the off-season.

    Now, of course Whitney will paint his recovery in the best light possible, but I do think there’s a faint glimmer of hope. I’m not sure what bet the org will make here, but I suspect they’ll give Whitney another year till Marincin shows what he can do.

  9. TheOtherJohn says:

    Jonas Brodin made Swedish team as a 19 year old D man. Not sure Omark not making team is a slur on him or his game

  10. TheOtherJohn says:

    We all hope Whitney recovers. I looked at the numbers and concluded he had become a bit of a PP specialist on the basis of his Qual Comp and zone start/finish. The arrows were pointed in the wrong direction. Think Spoiler is right though, give him a complete offseason to build up the muscles to accomodate the lack of stabilty/strength in his ankle and we will know what we have.

    Even with his lack of mobility Whitney would be a good 3rd pairing guy

    With a recovered Whitney we are a 1st pairing guy away from a decent Defnse. Without recovery we have no top pairing

  11. Ribs says:

    It’s kind of interesting that ex-Oilers prospect Fredrik Petterson gets a spot on the wing while Linus gets the shaft.

    As for Whitney… He did seem to recover pretty well from the injury to his other ankle after a couple of seasons…Maybe he can rebound the same way.

    Or…Maybe not.

  12. loosemoose says:

    Poor Whitney…….I think he may have been better served sitting out and working on his conditioning after the second injury……he looked worn down and and almost defeated from a mental side of things…..almost like he knew he wasn’t ever going to be 100% again….

    I hope he can get back to his old self…but I’m not counting on it

  13. spoiler says:

    Wow. The formerly invincible Red Devils fall to the Blue Moonies. A massive result for long-suffering City fans.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think?? it was Woodguy that said it best a while back-Whitney is our Sami Salo. When he’s healthy and playing we’re a better team.
    If he is anchoring that 3rd pairing and PP we might have a set of D worth talking about.

  15. knighttown says:

    What do these numbers tell us?

    Very little for defensemen without including GA/60 after all, preventing goals is a key line on their job description. Add that to your numbers and observational analysis of Qualcomp (which is more accurate than any number) and you get a better picture.

    Ranked in order of GA/GF +/-

    1. Andy Sutton 2.29-1.97 (+.32)
    Sutton played softs for most of the year and did extremely well as a good defenseman should. His GF/60 number is 4th out of 7 and his GA/60 is second only to Schultz who posted the bulk of his number in Nogoalesota. 1.97 GA/60 is WELL clear of the Oiler only field.

    2. Lasislav Smid 2.46-2.32 (+.14)
    Ah, the shutdown defenseman on a bad team. Almost guaranteed to be a massively negative number so…wait what?…Smid’s number was positive. Wow that’s impressive. If you look at the bottom of this metric its filled with guys with job descriptions like Smid. Regehr, Gilbert, Schultz, Beauchemin, Phaneuf, Robidas. These guys face the Sedins with guys in front of them who rarely score. His 2.32 GA/60 is very good for his position. I’d expect his 2.46 is an aberration and will drop down below 2 next year. Amazing season for #5.

    3. Theo Peckham 2.57-2.57 (0)
    He exclusively played the softs. That GA/60 is technically only 4th worst but its an awful number for a defensive defenseman playing the softs. Of course, on a team that plays matchups as hard as the Oilers do, your first pairing is a sacrificial lamb and should be deep in the red so that your 2nd and 3rd pairings can beat up the softs. He would have had a lot of time behind the kids against checkers and 3rd pairings.

    4. Jeff Petry 2.39-2.63 (-.24)
    Pretty good numbers for a kid slotted in at #8 preseason. Let’s put it this way…no one else on this team could have taken that spot alongside Smid and kept the GA/60 below 3. If he can play this role and keep that number within shouting distance of even par I’ll be very pleased.

    5. Nick Schultz 1.4-1.9 (-.5)
    1.4GF/60? We’ll that’s fucking terrible, as in 4th worst in the NHL. He was much better than this in Edmonton but I’m not sure how to calculate this. That second number is really good though, as is to be expected for a true shutdown guy NOT facing top competition. Besides the truly elite guys like Letang, some of the best +/- numbers on bad teams are these pretty solid second and third pairing guys. If Schultz can beat the seconds and Sutton can wallop the thirds then we can afford to throw 5/58 to the wolves a little. I’d like to see a 2.3/1.9 next year if Schultz is in the same role.

    6. Ryan Whitney 1.85- 2.61 (-.75)
    3rd worst GA/60 behind Potter and Petry. Petry played the Sedins every night and Potter makes everyone look like the Sedins. Absolutely terrible result here for Whitney and like the earlier poster mentioned, with some of Ashley’s comments and what I can see, I think he might be done. Terrific PP guy so maybe there’s a role as a #7D like Ryan Ellis in the World Junior? He cannot go out and face middling competition and get smoked. IF he’s healthy I’d count on 6/15 posting +0.5′s each and then this might be a playoff team. If he can’t, find someone who can.

    7. Corey Potter 2.11- 3.02 (-.91)
    The Oilers seem to also find a way to get a guy who posts results like this and it never seems to bother them. You cannot win with someone posting a -.91 playing soft competition. There are 50 guys in the ECHL that could do this.

    To summarize, I’d plan on some regression from the pairing of 5/58 because expecting them to break even is a little too much given their matchups. Saying that, I’d deploy them in the exact same way. I’d then put 15 with a new addition and have Sutton anchor the 3rd pairing, rotating Whitney and Peckham as needed. I’d shoot for a +0.5 from both pairings.

    Potter should be #9 on the depth chart and Whitney is a big question mark it would be foolish to count on.

  16. jfry says:

    wow, only 15 comments on whitney?!!!

    also, i saw brodin really good at wjc. karlsson lite. calls his own number, lots of head fakes. good vision. skates and passes the puck up ice nicely. was obviously the best swedish dman for the first 3 or 4 games until klefbom started to get more minutes (almost always with brodin).

    if murray plays it will be interesting to compare his results to brodin’s at the wc

  17. rickithebear says:

    Knightown: Petry was 3.15 for 29GM before being slotted with Smid. 26 of the 55 goals in that period of time. he gave up 29G in 44 games after. giving him a 2.29GA/60 against the toughs with Smid.

    first 29GM 1g 4A -4 against softs.

    Last 44 games 1G 19A -3 against toughs.
    He was -10 in the first ten games with Smid. though they were -8 in the 6 games played by KHB. His EVP/60 was 1.12 which would be 12th in the NHL.

    Sutton has been around .8EVP/60 as a Dman. Were he was with us last year. that is top 75 for EV production.

    seeems bang on

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