Ray Whitney will most likely be a free agent this summer

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raywhitney.jpgCrafty forward Ray Whitney refused to waive his no-trade clause during the trade deadline, making it certain that he’d finish the 2009-10 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Perhaps the feelings of keeping “the Wizard” in Carolina aren’t mutual, though, because Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford says Whitney is likely to become an unrestricted free agent (according to TSN).

On Monday, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News Observer that he does not expect the 38-year old to re-sign with the ‘Canes prior to the July 1st deadline when Whitney can become an unrestricted free agent.

“I think it will be difficult with where he will be at, contract-wise,” Rutherford told the NewsObserver. “I expect him to go into July (and the free-agent market). It appears that’s the way it’s going to go.”

It will be interesting to see which way Whitney will want to go. He could either go the “cheap veteran on an awesome team” route if he desires another Cup or just take the most money from a wayward team like the Atlanta Thrashers or the Florida Panthers. (Just like his old teammate, Cory Stillman!)

“The Wizard” is an aging player who plays a one-dimensional game at this point in his career (apparently his “spells” don’t work as well in the defensive end). His 58-point output is his lowest total since he only had 55 in 2005-06 – and he only played 63 games that year.

Warts aside, Whitney can make plays happen, especially on the powerplay. If he goes that “cheap veteran on an awesome team” route, he could be a valuable depth forward on a good, cash-strapped team. He’s gone from “underrated” to “limited” but should still have some seekers this summer.

Weaver announces retirement after 633 NHL games

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
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Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.

“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.

“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”

Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings