Ryan Whitney bigraphy, stories - American ice hockey player

Ryan Whitney : biography

February 19, 1983 -

Ryan Whitney (born February 19, 1983) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman currently a Free Agent of the National Hockey League (NHL).

After playing with his high school team from Thayer Academy and the USA National Development Program, Whitney joined the college ranks with Boston University in 2001. Upon completing his freshman year, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins fifth overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Following parts of three seasons with the Penguins minor league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Whitney played his NHL rookie season in 2005–06. Whitney remained in Pittsburgh for three-and-a-half seasons, helping the club to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 2010 after a brief stint with the Anaheim Ducks.

Whitney has competed internationally for the United States. He won a silver medal with the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Playing career

Early years

After graduating from high school, Whitney accepted a full scholarship to play for Boston University under Jack Parker. In his freshman year, he recorded 21 points in 35 games and was named to the 2002 Hockey East All-Rookie Team. He was then selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the fifth overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Upon completing his third year with Boston, he opted to forego his senior year of college eligibility to turn professional. He was subsequently assigned by Pittsburgh to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, for the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs. He played in 20 games, recording 10 points, however, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was defeated by the Milwaukee Admirals in the finals.

Following his professional debut in the AHL playoffs, Whitney joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2004–05 season. Under head coach Michel Therrien, Whitney played in 80 games in 2004–05, recording 41 points and 101 penalty minutes.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Whitney with the Penguins Whitney made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh in the 2005–06 NHL season, playing in 68 games. He was called up on October 31, 2005, to replace injured defenseman Dick Tarnstrom and remained on the team until the season ended. His first NHL goal came on December 1, 2005, against Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Whitney finished the season with 6 goals and 32 assists.

In his second NHL season, Whitney emerged as a top offensive defenseman in the league with 59 points in 2006–07. Under the guidance of new general manager, Ray Shero, the Penguins improved from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference the year before, to a playoff berth, with Whitney part of the youth movement in Pittsburgh that included forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and goaltender Marc-André Fleury.

During the 2007 off-season, Whitney signed a six-year, $24 million contract with a no-trade clause, avoiding his pending restricted free agency. His offensive production dropped in the subsequent 2007–08 season, posting 40 points in 76 games. However, the Penguins finished second in the Eastern Conference and Whitney contributed six points in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as Pittsburgh made it to the Finals against the Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh was defeated in game six of the series on June 4, 2008.

In the 2008 off-season, it was revealed that Whitney had been suffering from a chronic foot injury throughout the season. It was later discovered that Whitney was born with abnormally high arches (hollow foot) in both of his feet. After an attempt using orthopedic inserts in his skates failed, Whitney underwent osteotomy, a surgical procedure to realign the bones in his left foot, on August 15, 2008. It was expected that Whitney would miss five months of the 2008–09 season. After playing one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as part of a conditioning stint, Whitney made his return to Pittsburgh, in a 2–0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, on December 23, 2008.

Anaheim Ducks

Living octopus

Living octopus

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