Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/6/12
Ray Whitney will play his 1,200th NHL game tonight against Detroit. If my calculations are correct, hes one of just 91 players to achieve that milestone. That doesnt mean he has a bottle of champagne at the ready in the Coyotes locker room. A thousand is the big one, Whitney said. After that, it just means youre getting old. It also means youve stayed healthy and youre pretty good. Teams dont keep 39-year-old wings who are generously listed at 5-foot-10 unless they can produce. Whitney does on the ice, where he leads the team in points with 45. And he does in the locker room, where hes one of the most respected guys for his practical approach and one of the most beloved for his practical jokes. Whitney has an appreciation for major milestones like the Stanley Cup he won in Carolina. Hed like to hit 1,000 career points this season, which means he needs 29 in the Coyotes final 30 games. But hes played the game far too long, and in far too many places, to get wrapped up in a single number, including his rapidly approaching 40th birthday and his not-too-distant retirement. Teemu Selannes going to be 42 at the end of this year, and hes still going strong, said Whitney, who will be a free agent after the season. I know the end isnt coming at the end of this year. Ill just go year to year and as long as I feel good Ill keep playing. Nobodys looking to tie me up until Im 45, but they can if they want.
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