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Whitney Getting Better with Age in Phoenix

by Jerry Brown | Correspondent / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE -- To say Ray Whitney's first month as a Phoenix Coyote didn't go very well at all would be a huge understatement.

Photo by Getty Images.
Signed as a free agent to jazz up the Phoenix power play and give the defense-first team a more dynamic presence, neither side was happy with the fit.

Whitney was playing through a painful hand injury, irritated about his ice time, unfamiliar with his linemates and annoyed by a reintroduction to the Western Conference travel schedule.

That combination of factors can make for one grumpy old man. And the 38-year-old Whitney's statistics 13 games into the season -- no goals and 5 assists and no multiple-point games -- weren't doing much for the Coyotes, who spent $6 million to bring his skill and savvy to the desert for two years.

Finally in early November -- with the Coyotes coming off three-straight losses and Whitney's outlook not helping matters -- he and Phoenix coach Dave Tippett closed the door and had a frank one-on-one discussion...

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