Should the Edmonton Oilers consider trading defenceman Ryan Whitney to the Detroit Red Wings?
That was the idea floated out by Hockey Central’s Doug MacLean, who said the Red Wings would be wise to jump on Whitney if he’s available.
Whitney’s current contract, which carries a $4 million annual cap hit and does include a no-trade clause, runs out at the end of this season.
“He is struggling. Healthy scratch (one night). And last night (Jaromir) Jagr takes him inside-out on the winning goal,” Doug MacLean said on Hockey Central @ Noon Thursday. “If you’re looking for defencemen, if you’re Detroit, would you take a run at Ryan Whitney if he’s available?”
Nick Kypreos suggested the Oilers would be better off waiting until Whitney strung a few good games together before shopping him.
“No, I would take Ryan Whitney right now if I’m Detroit,” MacLean said.
Edmonton, which has been considered a team in need of defence more than offence, has received a blue-line boost this season from rookie workhorse Justin Schultz.
Whitney is a team-worst minus-6 and ranks fifth among Oilers defencemen in minutes logged per game with 18:21. The 29-year-old has no goals and three assists in nine games this season. Unless he can turn things around, this will be the third consecutive season in which his production has fallen off.
The Red Wings, of course, have been looking to shore up a thin defence corps that has suffered from trades, injuries and, most of all, Nicklas Lidstrom’s 2012 retirement.
Detroit has given up 28 goals in nine games this year, making them the easiest team in the West to score against, save Columbus.
Edmonton, however, hasn’t been much stingier. They’ve given up 27 goals in 10 games.