(HockeySTL)-- The Blues have made a last-minute addition to their training camp roster, inviting veteran free agent defenseman, Ryan Whitney to camp on a tryout basis.
Whitney, 31, joined the Blues as a professional tryout last year, as well. But the Blues released him at the camp’s conclusion. After being released by the Blues, Whitney signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $900,000 with the Florida Panthers. However, Whitney played 45 games in the AHL last season and just seven with the Panthers.
The defenseman, who had no NHL points last year and a minus-seven rating, has participated in 481 games during his nine-year NHL career. He has accumulated 50 goals, 259 points.
Last year, Whitney openly stated when he joined the Blues that he would not be interested in a two-way contract, which would allow the team to send the defenseman to their AHL affiliates in Chicago. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said on Thursday that there would potentially be a couple of spots open for competition on defense, but there are several players fighting for that position.
If Whitney performs well in camp, the Blues could offer him a contract, but the chances of it being a one-way deal are slim. However, Whitney would provide a nice safety net for the Blues, who are still unsure if Carl Gunnarsson, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will be ready for the start of the season.
With the addition of Whitney, the Blues will now have 60 players, 19 of them defensemen, attending camp. Earlier this week, the Blues also invited forward Paul Bissonnette to camp as a professional tryout.
Training camp opens on the ice tonight at Scottrade Center.