Search This Blog

Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ryan Whitney

Ryan played his first games for the "big" club in the 2005-06 season, skating in place of injured Dick Tarnstrom (yes, THE Dick Tarnstrom).  He impressed the Pens brass so much so that they kept him for the remainder of the season.  There was something there that the team knew was going to be special.  That following year, he showed them what it was by becoming one of the top offensive-defensemen in the league, scoring 14 goals and 45 helpers for a total of 59 points.  Of course it doesnt' hurt when your teammates are named Crosby, Staal, and Malkin.

If you have read any of my Pens Auto reviews, you have to know that most of these guys don't have happy endings and Ryan's story is no different.  After signing a juicy, multi-year contract complete with a no-trade clause cherry on top ($24 million), his offensive production began to slip.  Then, the injuries started.  Once it was discovered that he had a chronic foot problem that had been plaguing him his entire career, surgery was necessary to correct it.  His fate was sealed at that point and after only a few games back, he was traded to the Ducks for two guys that were expected to be an immediate impact and a future powerhouse, Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi (so they were 50% correct).

Whitney moved on to play for the Ducks, Oilers, and most recently the Florida Panthers.  That didn't last long, however, as Ryan signed with the HC Sochi team in KHL after failing land a renewed NHL contract after the 2013-14 season.  I believe he is still on the roster in Sochi.

This card comes from the 2005-06 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures set.  It features a horizontal orientation and a hard signed auto in blue ink.  Obviously the big pull from this set is the Sidney Crosby.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment if you want. It's your choice.