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Whitney signs with Stars

Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

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NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
Whitney signs with Stars

Ray Whitney didn't wait long to pick a new team, and he's staying in the Pacific Division.

The Dallas Stars announced Sunday they have signed Whitney, Phoenix's leading scorer last season, to a two-year contract worth $9 million. Whitney, 40, who led the Phoenix Coyotes with 77 points last season, told TSN the Stars "were the only team that wasn't scared to give me a second year."

"That was pretty much it," he continued. "It was just the term of the deal. Obviously there is a little bit of a red flag at 40, but I think I've got a couple more (seasons) in me."

Whitney won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and has 1,003 points in 1,229 career games. He said he understands why general managers across the NHL would be hesitant to give a 40-year-old a two-year contract, but he also said with modern medicine and the way players take care of their bodies he doesn't see that age as the end of the road for players going forward.

“Ray Whitney was among the most productive players in the league last season and showed he remains extremely capable and dangerous,” Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. “He’s a winner, a competitor and a leader, and we’re very excited he’ll be a Dallas Star.”


Whitney credited Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and the system he played in Phoenix for helping prolong his career.

"Everything has to work. You have to have a coach who believes in you and teammates that can do something with you," Whitney said. "Training is a big part of it, and diet. The older you get, you realize if you lose one of your steps you're never going to gain it back. I'm trying like (heck) to not lose one of those steps."
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We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp