Ray Whitney explained why he left the Phoenix Coyotes for the Dallas Stars. Two reasons. The same two reasons we all look for in a job.
- Contract Security
The Stars were willing to pay more than what the Coyotes were willing to offer. And second, Dallas was offering more the second year. From the article by Sarah McLellan in today’s Arizona Republic.
They weren’t up there with the money, and the second year they were unable to commit the money to that second year,” Whitney said about his talks with the Coyotes. “They were offering me a smaller two-year deal, quite a bit smaller, with the understanding that they have Oliver (Ekman-Larsson) coming up and Mike (Smith) coming up in another year. And I get that. You gotta understand those guys are gonna get a couple of big pay raises, so I get that.”
After 20 years in the NHL, Ray feels that he has earned the security of a two year contract and he knows this is his last contract. He has been constantly told he is too small, sent back to the AHL too many times to count, and then outright released by teams. They probably thought they got all they could get out of him. 1000 points later, Ray is cashing a pretty big check. And being above 35, he gets paid his entire contract. Even if he retires, he gets paid. If he gets released, he gets paid. The entire amount counts toward the team salary cap, so there is risk on the team that signs a player above age 35.
At first I was angry Ray left. If felt like he was abandoning the pack, his teammates. Then I was sad at the loss of a playmaker and a great guy like Ray. If you have seen him interact with kids it is pretty special. On days off and if his son had hockey practice, Ray would come out on the ice with the kids and be an assistant coach. Can you imagine as a Mite player you skate onto the ice and there is Ray Whitney to help with drills? Now I understand and support his decision. It is a huge gamble by Dallas to sign Ray and Jaromir Jagr. One I hope pays off in a 9th place Western Conference finish.