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THN.com Blog: The thin blueline

Ryan Whitney had 12 goals and 40 points with the Pens last season. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Ryan Whitney had 12 goals and 40 points with the Pens last season. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

I’m not a video game fanatic by any stretch of the imagination, but as a service to readers, it’s my duty to alert you to the first glimpse of the always-anticipated NHL game made by EA Sports.

Available Sept. 9th, NHL 09 looks to be a whole heap of fun for citizens of Gamer Nation. However, I’m holding out until somebody creates a game called NHL Owner 09, in which you can:

a)    Make clandestine loans with other NHL team owners without the commissioner’s knowledge;

b)    Threaten your local population of hockey fans with franchise relocation if civic officials don’t cede to your obscene demands for a swanky new arena;

c)    Raise ticket prices and avoid firing your incompetent GM and/or coach as long as possible before fans and media arrive at your gated mansion with pitchforks and torches;

d)    Discover what really goes on behind the scenes at Board of Governors meetings (hint: it involves a paddle, jumper cables, four cases of Lithuanian vodka, and many subsequent years of psychotherapy); and

e)    Relieve any boredom or frustration with the results you’re getting by shutting the game down for an entire year until it does everything you want.

• The off-season news just keeps getting worse and worse for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Already suffering from the departure of veterans such as Marian Hossa, Gary Roberts, Ryan Malone and Jarkko Ruutu, the Pens now will have to make do without the services of young blueline star Ryan Whitney, who could be sidelined until after the All-Star Game after undergoing foot surgery Friday.

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You rarely hear Whitney’s name mentioned when people talk about the Penguins’ embarrassment of roster riches, but as evidenced by this tabulation, it’s clear the 25-year-old won’t easily be replaced.

The only good news to come out of Whitney’s predicament is that his time on the injured reserve could free up somewhere in the area of $2 million in salary cap space the Pens could use to replace him. 

Danny Markov
, anyone?

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays in the summer, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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