Florida Panthers Continue 2013-14 Roster Evolution, Sign UFA D Ryan Whitney

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Perhaps not quite content with the defensive corps as is, Florida adds depth with longtime Oiler Ryan Whitney.

The Panthers signed blueliner Ryan Whitney to shore up their defensive numbers just in time for the season. The top four currently stands with Brian Campbell, Dmitry Kulikov, Mike Weaver, and Erik Gudbranson, while veteran Ed Jovanovski's spot is assured once he's again ready to take the ice. Prospect Colby Robak was sent to waivers early Sunday, ostensibly to pave the way for the Whitney acquisition.

Whitney is 6'4", 209 lbs, bringing size and physicality to the blue line. He has natural offensive instincts, and is a good fit for the second power play unit. Historically a great passer, he doesn't take very many shots on goal. He's also prone to miss time to injury. At 30 years of age, you get what you see, as he is probably not going to suddenly morph into Niklas Lidstrom. CapGeek reports his salary at $900,000 on a one-way deal.

Whitney montage (via alanna febreeze)

His career to this point includes stops with the Pittsburgh Penguins (four seasons, 253 games, 34 goals, 116 assists, minus-15, 223 penalty minutes), the Anaheim Ducks (two seasons, 82 games, four goals, 34 assists, minus-five, 60 penalty minutes), and the Edmonton Oilers (four seasons, 139 games, 12 goals, 59 assists, minus-three, 94 penalty minutes). In 474 career contests, he has averaged just over 23 minutes per game, so he's prepared to eat the big minutes if needed.

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