While Jaromir Jagr rolls along — hockey is his life, he has no family concerns and they may have to cut the skates off him — this might be it for fellow 42-year-old Ray Whitney, the only pick from the Eric Lindros’s 1991 NHL draft year still playing. Jagr, who seems oblivious to what it says on his birth certificate, has signed on to play another year for New Jersey after leading the Devils with 67 points this season. Is that a good or bad thing when a 40-something player carries the mail offensively? Whitney, meanwhile, may have seen his last NHL action in Game 5 of the Dallas-Anaheim series. The Wizard, who has played 1,330 regular-season games and another 105 in the playoffs, was a healthy scratch for the Stars in their last playoff game, with Erik Cole drawing back in after being a spectator. Whitney, who turns 42 on Thursday, scored 32 points in 69 games and was marginalized as the season wore on. He became a special-teams guy, not much five-on-five. He wasn’t happy. He still feels he’s got some gas left in his tank, but it won’t be in Dallas. He might get another chance in Phoenix, where he was offered a two-year contract as an unrestricted free agent in 2012, but for less money than the $4.5 million per year Dallas paid him. “I’ll be 42 years old and there won’t be a lot of people banging down the doors,” he said. If it’s not the right location, like a Western Conference team — his family plans on staying in the desert this winter, Whitney might retire. He’ll be in management someday, if he wants to dive it into as Todd Marchant has done in Anaheim, Calif., where he’s head of player development for the Ducks. “It was not a great year … I’m not sure there are a whole lot of options out there,” Whitney admitted. “The legs are still there, but it’s nearly impossible to get the legs moving when you’re over 40 and playing eight to 10 minutes and only on the power play. “After the first 10 games, I was on the second line, but the last three or four months, it was the fourth. They went with youth and they do have some good kids. I can’t deny that.” Whitney leaves the Stars with 61 points in 101 games. He laughed when asked if he’d keep playing as long as Jagr.
Whitney may be at the end of the road at age 42
Edmonton Journal | May 5