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The veteran winger has been placed on IR after suffering a lower body injury, likely giving Reilly Smith a big chance to prove himself in the top six.
Whitney has been dealing with an injured foot since the second game of the season against the Minnesota Wild when he took a puck off the top of his foot. The veteran forward had been playing despite needing to be in a walking boot between games but has not missed a game yet, but it is unknown of his going on injured reserve now is related to that specific issue or if it's another injury coming out of last night's win over Phoenix.
The 40-year old had an assist last night against the Coyotes and has two goals and six points on the season playing on the second line.
Smith was sent back to Austin this week so the young forward could continue to get top minutes in the AHL. With Whitney out for the foreseeable future (he cannot return to the ice for seven days), Smith should get some extended time on the top six for the Stars after showing flashes during his time in the NHL this season.
Smith had two assists last night for Texas against Houston and is second on the team in scoring with 11 goals and 27 points in 38 games. The Texas Stars played last night in Houston and with the Dallas Stars playing tonight in Phoenix, it will be interesting to see just how quickly the team can get Reilly out to the game tonight -- although they could have already flown him out if the injury was known soon after last night's game.
Here's the press release from the team:
FRISCO, Texas - The Dallas Stars announced today that forward Ray Whitney has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower body injury. The team also announced that they have recalled forward Reilly Smith from the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Whitney, 40, leads all Dallas Stars in scoring this season with six points (2G-4A) in eight contests. The veteran forward has scored 1,009 points (367G-642A) in 1,237 career NHL games. Whitney was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 1, 2012 and was San Jose's second-round selection (23rd) overall in 1991.
Smith, 21, ranks second on the Texas Stars in scoring with 27 points (11G-16A) in 38 AHL games this season. He has gone scoreless in six games for Dallas this season and is still looking to earn his first career NHL point. The Toronto, Ont., native was Dallas' third-round selection (69th overall) in 2009.
The Dallas Stars faceoff against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, Feb. 2 at 7:00 pm (TV: FOX Sports Southwest; Radio: 1310 The Ticket).