Canes GM Rutherford not optimistic at re-signing Whitney Staff

6/7/2010 3:39:36 PM

Ray Whitney's days with the Carolina Hurricanes may well be coming to an end.

On Monday, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News Observer that he does not expect the 38-year old to re-sign with the ‘Canes prior to the July 1st deadline when Whitney can become an unrestricted free agent.

"I think it will be difficult with where he will be at, contract-wise," Rutherford told the NewsObserver. "I expect him to go into July (and the free-agent market). It appears that's the way it's going to go."

The Hurricanes were prepared to deal Whitney at the NHL trade deadline this past March, however Whitney, who had a no-trade clause in his contract, chose instead to remain with Carolina. 

The Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta native has spent the past five seasons with the Hurricanes after signing as a free agent in 2005.  He was a key contributor to the team's first ever Stanley Cup title in 2006.  This past season he finished third on the Hurricanes in scoring with 21 goals and 37 assists in 80 games.  He also filled in as Team Canada's captain at the IIHF World Hockey Championship last month in Germany where they placed seventh.

Originally a second round selection, 23rd overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 1991 NHL Entry draft, Whitney has 324 goals and 545 assists in 1072 career NHL games.