Skip to main content

Pittsburgh Penguins and defenceman Ryan Whitney agree to six-year deal

Whitney is to make $2.5 million in the 2007-08 season, with his salary rising from there. By backloading the contract, the Penguins improve their ability to re-sign stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal before they become free agents in five or six years, yet stay under the salary cap.

Giving Whitney a six-year contract assures the Penguins of keeping him for at least one season past when he would have become eligible for free agency.

Whitney finished sixth among NHL defencemen with 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) last season, and has 20 goals and 77 assists in 149 career games. Whitney and Sergei Gonchar give the Penguins two of the NHL's top offensive defencemen, with Gonchar getting 13 goals and 54 assists last season. Gonchar has three seasons remaining on his $25 million, five-year deal.

With rookie defenceman Kris Letang apparently ready to play in the NHL after getting a brief trial at the start of last season, the Penguins would like to add another veteran defenceman who doesn't need to score a lot. Among those on the market is Detroit's Danny Markov.

The Penguins reportedly agreed to two-year deals with forward Petr Sykora and defenceman Darryl Sydor.

With Crosby winning the NHL scoring title and MVP award last season, and Malkin and Staal enjoying excellent rookie seasons, the Penguins made the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They won 47 games after winning only 22 in 2005-06, the fourth best turnaround in NHL history.

Whitney had left wrist surgery in April but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_18364446

Oilers Advance After Comeback Effort Against Flames

The Edmonton Oilers are off to the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after winning the Battle of Alberta in five games.

USATSI_18364445

Flames, Oilers Score Four Fastest Playoff Goals in NHL History

The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers combined for four goals in just 1:11 of play on Thursday, good to beat the previous playoff record for four fastest goals scored set by Philadelphia and Toronto in 1976 by 22 seconds.

USATSI_18142887

Will The Los Angeles Kings Add More Veterans To Their Young Roster?

The Los Angeles Kings exceeded expectations in 2021-22, and they're going to want to take that up a notch with a strong off-season.