The Spokane Chiefs will retire the number 14 in honor of former player and long-time NHL standout Ray Whitney, the team announced on Tuesday.
Whitney will be on hand to be recognized and raise his number 14 jersey to the rafters in a pre-game ceremony on the ice at Spokane Arena on Jan. 29. It will be the first retired number in franchise history.
“We are extremely excited to honor Ray Whitney with the first number retirement in Spokane Chiefs history,” said the Chiefs’ owner Bobby Brett. “Ray accomplished so much, both as a Chief and during his remarkable NHL career. It is only fitting that he become the first ever Chief recognized with this distinction.”
“Number 14 will be immortalized in the rafters at Spokane Arena, alongside our WHL and Memorial Cup Championship banners, including the one Ray and his teammates earned in 1991.”
Whitney played for the Chiefs from 1988-1991 and was an integral part of the 1991 Memorial Cup Champion team. The forward from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. played 216 games as a Chief and his name is littered across the Chiefs’ franchise record book: 1st in career points (348), 1st in career assists (207), 4th in career goals (141) and 5th in points per game (1.63).
He was nearly unstoppable during the 1990-91 season, posting a franchise record 185 points with 67 goals (2nd-highest single season total in club history) and 118 assists (1st). His remarkable season earned him the WHL’s Bob Clarke Trophy as the league’s top scorer and the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as WHL Player of the Year. He was also named to the Western Conference’s First All-Star Team.
He added 16 goals and 22 assists in 21 playoff games, including 13 goals and 18 assists during the 1991 playoff run, earning a nomination to the Memorial Cup All-Star Team as well as the Memorial Cup Most Sportsmanlike Player Award.
Whitney, who earned the nickname “The Wizard” for his playmaking ability, was drafted in the second round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft (23rd overall) by the San Jose Sharks. He went on to a successful professional career and became one of just 57 players to ever play 1,300 NHL games (1,330; 51st all-time).
Suiting up for eight different NHL teams, he was a three-time NHL All-Star (2000, 2003 & 2012) and 2006 Stanley Cup Champion with the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored 385 career goals and 679 assists for 1,064 points; one of just 83 NHL players with 1,000 career points.
Ray Whitney bobbleheads will be available for the first 2,000 fans in the Jan. 23 game against Kootenay.
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