Dallas Stars 2013-14 Season Grades: Ray Whitney

Grade Ray Whitney's season

Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 20 or more games this season (and finished the season with the team) - and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.

Regular season statistics:

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI Corsi Rel OZ starts
69 9 23 32 14 -6 13:42 +0.1% 47.7%

Playoff statistics:

GP G A Pts PIMs +/- TOI Corsi Rel OZ starts
5 0 0 0 0 -1 11:24 -15.6% 60.0%

Key Stat: 42 - Yes, it's the answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything. But it's also Ray Whitney's current age. And the list of NHL players whose careers last beyond that is exceedingly short.

The Good: Ray Whitney finished the season with a positive Corsi, albeit barely, at even-strength play, despite bouncing up and down (but mainly down) the lineup. Of course, this could be countered by saying that he had a significantly higher number of offensive zone starts, and his production didn't reflect that.

Early in the season, it looked as though the chemistry between him and Alex Chiasson that we saw at the end of the 2013 season would continue, but after the first few games Chaser's golden touch dried up (damn you, regression to the mean!) and Whitney was unable to really generate anything new.

The Bad: The bad can be summed up Whitney's own words:

"It was not a great year ... I'm not sure there are a whole lot of options out there. 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." [Edmonton Journal]

Further to that, the Stars had one of the worst power plays in the league. One of the guys looked to to be a leader on that power play? Ray Whitney.

Ultimately, Whitney's age is catching up to him. The eyeball test proved him to be a step behind far too often, and his possession metrics back that up. And too often when he did get the opportunities, he didn't convert. He complained about it, but his ice time and demotion from the second line were a result of his lack of production, and with younger guys stepping up and contributing, there really wasn't a place for Whitney in the top 6.

Bottom Line: Whitney will not be returning next year. He's an unrestricted free agent after this season, and coming off a cap hit of $4.5 million, there's no way he re-signs with the Stars. Whether or not he signs somewhere else for one more season though is to be determined.

Vote now: Rate Whitney on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.

How would you rate Ray Whitney's 2013-14 season?