Numbers Game: Stars sign veteran scorer Ray Whitney

Scott Cullen
7/1/2012 2:35:34 PM
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The Dallas Stars made one of the first big moves in free agency, landing the highest-scoring free agent forward on the market.

Numbers Game looks at the acquisition of Ray Whitney.

The Stars Get: LW Ray Whitney.

Whitney, 40, had a stunningly productive season in 2011-2012, leading the Coyotes with 77 points with a career-best plus-26 rating while playing all 82 games.
Since 2000-2001, the only forwards to top Whitney's point production at that age have been Teemu Selanne (80) with Anaheim in 2010-2011 and Adam Oates (78) with Washington in 2000-2001. 

Whitney, The Wizard, does have an ageless quality in that he is consistently a factor on the power play, contributing at least 19 power play points in eight of the last nine seasons.

With Mike Ribeiro dealt to Washington, Whitney should help Dallas' league-worst power play unit (13.5%) last season. To be fair, however, Whitney was a prominent factor on a Phoenix power play ranked 29th at 13.6%.

It should go without saying that losing their leading scorer is a signficant blow to Phoenix and with Shane Doan still an unrestricted free agent that could depart as well, there will be some significant holes at the top of the Coyotes' forward depth chart.

There is a risk in giving a two-year, $9-million deal to a player of Whitney's age, since it's going to stay on the cap no matter what, but he's scored at least 55 points in seven straight seasons, so Whitney would have to fall off a cliff to not have some value as an offensive contributor in Dallas for the next two seasons.

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