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