Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ryan Whitney, who has had his nose pressed up against the glass wanting to get into an NHL game far too often this season, had a short on-ice talk with coach Ralph Krueger at Wednesday’s practice and the conversation seemed congenial.

There were no pointed fingers, no angry words.

Kreuger refused to say whether Whitney, who has sat for five of the last seven games, would be back on the blue-line Thursday to face the Dallas Stars. He said that decision would come when Oilers assistant coach Steve Smith, who looks after the blue-liners, returns from a few days in Chicago visiting his family.

Whitney said he hadn’t been told whether he was in or out; he skated with Corey Potter on Wednesday while Mark Fistric, the former Dallas defenceman, and Theo Peckham formed a pairing. For what it’s worth, Whitney did not have a nameplate over his stall in the locker room Wednesday, but neither did Peckham nor injured captain Shawn Horcoff.

Some NHL pro scouts have wondered about the Oilers sitting Whitney so frequently while he’s being shopped, wondering if the asset is being diminished because he’s not being showcased on the ice. But this is Krueger’s team, and general manager Steve Tambellini isn’t about to tell his coach who to play or when.

There doesn’t appear to be a market for Whitney right now. If the trade of veteran forward Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday is a barometer, a third- or fourth-round pick would be the yardstick.

Oilers executives Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish detoured from the road trip to watch the Flyers and Washington Capitals play on Wednesday. The Flyers have injuries on the back-end, so they might be interested in the Edmonton defenceman.

Whitney may be boiling inside, but he was being a good soldier after Wednesday’s practice.

“It’s obviously really frustrating, but I’ve been doing my best to stay positive around the guys so I’m not a distraction or anything,” said Whitney. “As frustrated as I am, I think I’ve done a good job of not bringing anyone down around me.

- See more at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Oilers+Notebook+Whitney+frustrated/8025955/story.html#sthash.wZLuNgpK.dpuf