Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | July 22, 2011

Man of the Day 7/22: Ryan Whitney

Ryan Whitney

Born February 19, 1983 (age 28) in Scituate, Massachusetts, USA

Defenseman and alternate captain for the Edmonton Oilers

Ryan Whitney began his career by playing at Massachusetts’ Thayer Academy, where he played quite a lot for the team there and where he was often paired with fellow student (and fellow MotD) Brooks Orpik when he was a freshman and Orpik a senior. Pretty cool. He went to the USA Hockey National Team Development Program after refusing their offers at first and did his senior year there. A full scholarship to Boston University called his name and he played as a Terrier before being selected fifth overall by Pittsburgh in the 2002 draft. He didn’t complete his senior year, instead electing to go pro and reporting to the Baby Penguins in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for their 2004 playoffs. They didn’t win, but Whitney stuck around, getting called up to the big show the next year as a replacement and staying for the rest of the year. He became part of the youthful shift in the Penguins’ roster that includes guys like Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin.

After the 2008 season, it was revealed that Whitney had been playing with an injury of sorts–not just during the preceding playoffs, but for his entire life so far: he was born with very high arches in his feet. After he had surgery to realign the bones in one foot, they figured he’d miss five months of 2008-09. Nope! He returned in December. He then spent a very short stint in Anaheim and was dealt to Edmonton soon thereafter. In May 2010 he had another surgery to sort out his other foot and in December 2010 he incurred a season-ending ankle injury. Feet are just kind of his Achilles heel, it seems. Due to this injury, his stats for 2010-11 are 35 games played, 2 goals, 25 assists and 33 playoff minutes.

He's the Stick Whisperer too sometimes.

Whitney has represented America in the 2000 U-17 Worlds (fourth place), 2001 U-18 Worlds (sixth place), 2002 U-20 World Juniors (fifth place), 2003 World Juniors (fourth) and 2010 Olympics (silver). 

Whitney also has quite a Twitter presence and a knack for really telling trolls how he feels:

That last one about the peasant has become an oft-repeated phrase among some fans. But Whitney doesn’t just use Twitter to call out boorish behavior; he also uses it to talk to his teammates, like so.

So legit indeed. From reading other tweets, it sounds like he’s really looking forward to a good next season while also enjoying offseason, which is fine by us!

-Emma


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