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Phoenix’s Whitney on being traded: “If there’s a right deal, I’m sure they would do it”

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One name to keep an eye on as the trade deadline nears?

Ray Whitney.

The 39-year-old Coyotes forward told LA Kings blog Mayors Manor he’s prepared to be dealt — this despite the fact Phoenix is in a playoff spot…and the fact he leads the team in scoring.

“If somebody gives [Phoenix] a good deal, you still have to think about life beyond this year,” he said. “If there’s a right deal, I’m sure they would do it.”

Whitney’s been a trade deadline acquisition before — he was shipped from Florida to Columbus in 2001 — and was in high demand at the 2010 deadline while playing in Carolina. Though the ‘Canes ended up keeping him, Whitney still had to deal with a myriad of reports about where he’d end up, which prepped him for this year’s rumor mill.

“I haven’t been rumored to go to some of the teams at the bottom of the league yet, like Edmonton,” Whitney said when asked if there’s a team he hasn’t been connected to. “It’s been like that the last couple of years now — including my last season in Carolina and then with the rumors again this year.

“Certainly if we would have kept going the way we were going, spiraling, it probably would have happened by now or the talks would have been even more.”

If you’re making a list of potential landing spots for Whitney, put Los Angeles near the top of the list. The Kings are in desperate need of goalscoring (Whitney’s 16 tallies would put him second on the Kings) — L.A. is also home to his good buddy, Justin Williams, a former teammate in Carolina.

“I met my good friend Justin Williams and his beautiful wife for dinner in Manhattan Beach,” Whitney said prior to Thursday’s Coyotes-Kings game at Staples Center. “[Just] to shoot the bull a little bit and reminisce about the old days.”

Should be noted that Whitney’s in the final year of a deal that pays him $3 million annually, and has a modified no-movement clause where he can submit an eight-team trade list.

Kopitar dominates with a hat trick to help Kings defeat Rangers in OT

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Anze Kopitar received high praise from L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter following Friday’s win over the New York Rangers.

All Kopitar did was score three goals on four shots on goal. He was also credited with five hits while winning 65 per cent of his faceoffs. His third goal of the evening with 30 seconds remaining in regulation pushed this game into overtime, where Tanner Pearson scored the winner for L.A. in a 5-4 victory.

“It was Kopi’s best game of the season, that’s for sure,” said Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.

“Not just because he scored three goals, but it was his best game all around in terms of using his whole package. I mean, he was a pretty dominant player.”

L.A. maintain an eight-point lead on the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead.

The Kings’ victory came at a cost. Marian Gaborik left the game in the first period after being involved in an awkward collision. He did not return, and Sutter didn’t have an update on the veteran forward when the game ended.

Video: P.K. Subban tossed after on-ice outburst toward officials

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P.K. Subban was given a game misconduct on Friday after an outburst directed at officials in the final minute against the Buffalo Sabres.

Subban was furious after the puck got caught up in the skates of the linesman in the neutral zone before Evander Kane then picked it up and scored into the open net. That put the Sabres up by two goals with 55 seconds remaining in regulation and ended any hopes of a Montreal comeback.

Subban had some choice words for officials but his argument ultimately landed him with an early exit from this game. The Habs lost by a final score of 6-4.

The Sabres scored four straight goals between the first and second periods, chasing Ben Scrivens from the net 1:28 into the second period.

 

Video: Doan ties Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history

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Shane Doan on Friday scored his 20th goal of the season, and tied a historical mark for the initial Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes franchise in the process.

Doan scored in the first period against the Calgary Flames, tying him with Dale Hawerchuk for most points in Jets/Coyotes history with 929.

Now 39 years old, Doan has spent his entire career with that organization, playing one season in Winnipeg before the organization moved to Phoenix.

He also joined another impressive list, too.

Leafs’ Corrado returns to Vancouver with a chip on his shoulder

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Just as the Vancouver Canucks are once again struggling through injuries and with their depth on defense a constant question mark, Frank Corrado returns to town with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s a quick visit. The Leafs and Canucks do battle on Saturday, with the hosts wearing their famous ‘Flying Skate’ logo from the 1990s.

But the return of Corrado with a different team provides a juicy storyline in Vancouver.

The Canucks waived the 22-year-old defenseman in October.

He was claimed by the Leafs, which ended his time in Vancouver when it previously started with promise and optimism.

He quickly ascended as a prospect after being selected in the fifth round five years ago. But when training camp rolled around this season, Canucks GM Jim Benning was of the belief that Corrado had been passed in the depth chart by a few other defensemen in the system.

The move has been criticized in Vancouver because the Canucks lost an asset — a 22-year-old right-shooting defenseman with potential — for nothing.

Corrado had some interesting things to say about how his time in Vancouver eventually played out, as per Josh Clipperton of the Canadian Press.

Two examples:

Corrado has played 10 games for the Leafs this season, with three assists. He made his Leafs debut more than two months after being claimed.