Ryan Whitney signs one-year deal with Florida Panthers

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Whitney had four goals, nine assists in 34 games for Edmonton last season. (USATSI)
Whitney had four goals, nine assists in 34 games for Edmonton last season. (USATSI)

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The Florida Panthers have been busy adding a collection of veteran misfits recently and they added to that haul on Sunday night with the addition of defenseman Ryan Whitney.

Within the last few days the Panthers already signed Tim Thomas, Brad Boyes and defenseman Tom Gilbert to contracts after bringing each of them in on professional tryouts. Whitney had been on a tryout with the St. Louis Blues but didn't find a spot on their roster so Florida decided to sign him too.

The contract, reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, is for one season and $900,000. Whitney confirmed the signing on his Twitter account.

It's certainly a low-risk move for the Panthers at that price and commitment but you have to wonder how much of a potential reward is there. They already have a fair share of veterans to go with their plethora of youngsters and Whitney just adds to that list. At this point, though, Whitney is slow and not the best in-zone defenseman you'll see but he can produce some offense, particularly on the power play. Another concern is the fact that he hasn't played more than 51 games in a season since 2009-10.

Whitney will try to fit in with a defensive corps that now has Brian Campbell, Gilbert, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson, Mike Weaver and Ed Jovanovski along with a slew of prospects. It's a somewhat curious signing but GM Dale Tallon has proven in Florida that he has an affinity for veterans at cheap prices.

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