Chiefs to retire Ray Whitney's #14 Jan 5, 2016 12:18:51 GMT -8
Post by David on Jan 5, 2016 12:18:51 GMT -8
The Spokane Chiefs have proudly announced that the team will retire the number 14 in honor of former Chief and long-time NHL veteran LW Ray Whitney. The jersey retirement ceremony will take place Friday, January 29th against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Whitney's #14 will be the first number retired by the Chiefs in the team's 31-year history. He will be in Spokane to be recognized as the team raises the #14 banner into the rafters.
Chiefs' owner Bobby Brett said in the team's press release, “We are extremely excited to honor Ray Whitney with the first number retirement in Spokane Chiefs history. Ray accomplished so much, both as a Chief and during his remarkable NHL career. It is only fitting that he become the first ever Chief recognized with this distinction. Number 14 will be immortalized in the rafters at Spokane Arena, alongside our WHL and Memorial Cup Championship banners, including the one Ray and his teammates earned in 1991."
Whitney (5'10, 180 lbs) was born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and played his entire junior hockey career with the Chiefs from 1988-1991. He was an important piece of Spokane's 1991 Memorial Cup Championship team. In three seasons, Whitney dominate the Chiefs' record books, registering 348 career points (1st in team history), 207 assists (1st), 141 goals (4th) and averaged 1.63 points per game (5th). He put up video game numbers during the 1990-91 season, scoring 67 goals, 118 assists, and 185 total points. He earned the Bob Clarke Trophy as the WHL's top scorer and the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the league's Player of the Year. He was also named to the Western Conference's First All-Star Team.
During the 1991 playoffs, he registered 13 goals and 18 assists, earning a nomination to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team as well as the Memorial Cup Most Sportsmanlike Player Award.
That summer, Whitney was second round pick, 23rd overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 1991 NHL Draft. He was the team's second player ever drafted by the Sharks, picked after his Chiefs' teammate Pat Faloon, who was drafted in the first round (2nd overall) in the same draft.
Whitney, nicknamed "The Wizard" for his outstanding playmaking ability and precision passing, was considered by many hockey writers as one of the most underrated players in the NHL. During his 17-year career, he suited up for 8 teams: San Jose (1991-92 to 1996-097), Edmonton Oilers (1997-98), Florida Panthers (1997-98 to 2000-01), Columbus Blue Jackets (2000-01 to 2002-03), Detroit Red Wings (2003-04), Carolina Hurricanes (2005-06 to 2009-10), Phoenix Coyotes (2010-11 to 2011-12) and Dallas Stars (2012-13 to 2013-14). His long career resulted in him playing in 1,330 career games and is one of 57 players ever to play 1,300 career games.
Whitney would be named to the NHL All-Star Game three times (2000, 2003, 2012). He was a key contributor to the 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes squad, capturing the Stanley Cup Title in seven games against the Edmonton Oilers.
Throughout his career, Whitney was well respected by his teammates and was known to be a class clown of sorts. As a reoccurring joke, he would make sure he was visible on camera during pre-game interviews. Hurricane fans would turn this into a game called "Where's Whitney," based off the Where's Waldo? books.
Whitney officially retired from hockey on January 21, 2015, scoring 285 career goals and 679 assists for 1,064 points. He's one of 83 players in NHL history with 1,000 career points.
In addition to retiring Whitney's number, the Chiefs will give away 2,000 Ray Whitney bobble heads on January 23rd.
Image Credits: S Levy (Left) / AP Photo/Karl DeBlaker (Right)
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