On a February 7, 2013 edition of Hockey Central on Sportsnet, host Doug MacLean hinted at the idea of the Detroit Red Wings pursuing defenseman Ryan Whitney if he becomes available, but what other teams could use him?
The speculation for Whitney potentially leaving Edmonton can be traced to his status as a healthy scratch for five of the last nine games according to The Edmonton Journal.
If the 30-year-old hits the market there will be teams interested, and here are the teams that should have the most interest.
The Flyers' blue line remains their biggest weakness as Andrej Meszaros, Chris Pronger and assorted others remain sidelined at both the NHL and AHL level. Whitney is a left-handed defenseman with a ton of experience, and he would really bolster their defensivee pairings.
In order to fit him under the cap they would need to place Pronger on LTIR, but it would be a move worth making.
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings would provide one of the best fits for Whitney because of the team's lack of top-four defensemen. After subtracting Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart this past summer the team did not make any major additions.
The Wings have had a solid start but adding another defenseman would be a wise move.
When you factor in that Brendan Smith is currently on IR, the Wings could use another defender on the blue line.
The Sabres could stand to make some improvements on their blue line if they want to turn around their current fortunes. Whitney is a great skater, a solid puck mover and a mobile defenseman that would add some jump to the team's back-end.
Whitney would really be a nice addition if Buffalo could land him, and it would be a good fit based on the team's defensive needs.
The addition would help add some depth and experience, and it would make the team deeper moving forward.
The Bruins have one of the league's worst power play units, and Whitney is a player who is a solid P.P. quarterback.
In a niche role with the Bruins, Whitney would thrive, and it would be a move the team can handle financially. With so many teams expected to still be in contention by the trade deadline, Whitney could be one of the best options.
Whitney doesn't have to be Bobby Orr on the power play for Boston, but he could help them get things going.
The Avalanche could use a defenseman to help fill the void of Erik Johnson now that he is on injured reserve, and Whitney is a similar player to Johnson. Both are mobile puck-moving defenseman, and both won a silver medal with Team USA in 2010.
If the price isn't too bad, Whitney to the Avalanche could be a very underrated move. It would likely be a lower cost move, and it is fair to say that it is a move Greg Sherman should consider.
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