HATS OFF TO A FUTURE HALL OF FAME HOCKEY PLAYER

02Apr12

It’s not often that you get to witness something incredible.  Many times you don’t even realize that you are watching something of such great magnitude until it’s too late.  So when it does happen, and you do notice it, you should make note of it and share it with your friends.

That’s why I am sharing this with you, my friends and fellow sports fans.  I was able to share in the moment of something incredible over the weekend.  I was able to witness Ray Whitney of the Phoenix Coyotes get the 1,000th point of his career. 

For those of you that are wondering what the significance of that feat is, please know that only 78 players had done this before him in the history of professional hockey.  And they are all in the Hall of Fame! 

Over the course of the past twenty seasons, Ray has had his share of ups and downs.  There were many times that he believed his career was coming to an end, either because he was not getting the playing time that he once was, or because he had been traded or cut from a team that he felt to be an integral part of. 

Yet he never gave up.  Isn’t that what makes a good player great?  The belief in yourself when those around you have either lost faith or simply forgot how good you are?  

Let’s give credit to the Phoenix organization for having the foresight to know that this man still had plenty of game left in him.  Anyone who has watched a Coyotes game this year has undoubtedly bore witness to some incredible passing.  Ray Whitney is truly the Steve Nash of the NHL when it comes to assists. 

I suppose that it was only fitting that the 1,000th point of his career was, indeed, a perfect pass for an assist on a Radim Vrbata goal.  Take a look at the video clip and you’ll truly see him threading the needle. 

Not one to wait around for his points, he only sat on number 1,000 for 40 seconds, scoring a goal of his own to finish the night with 1,001.  That gives him 75 points for the season, 51 of them assists, which is not bad for a guy that turns 40 years old next month! 

So as I raise my glass in toast. Here’s to you Mr. Whitney.  It’s been an honor to have witnessed such a great feat.  And when I say that, I’m not just talking about point #1,000.  You’ve had a career that 99% of the players that have reached the NHL can only dream of ever having!

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7760984

Thanks to ESPN.com for the video.

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