In 1996 the Boston Bruins drafted Trent Whitfield 100th overall and since then he has seen five organizational changes. He has been in the league for 16 years and is currently performing in his 15th season, which realistically could be his last. Whitfield’s longest NHL stint came with the Washington Capitals from 2001-2002 where he appeared in 61 games with the club and posted 2 goals and 4 assists.
Currently the Providence Bruin captain is sidelined with what Coach Cassidy is calling an upper-body injury. Whitfield has been out since Saturday, October 27 and there has been no word on when he is set to return.
In 2009-2010 Whitfield ranked third among his teammates in scoring, after missing 28 games, 16 of those playing for the Boston Bruins while their key players were sidelined with injuries. Last season he missed the first half of the season due to a ruptured Achilles. During that time period the Bruins (Providence) went 14-17-3, after Whitfield returned, the Bruins record went 24-19-3, including a 12-6-1 stint through March and April where Whitfield registered 13 goals and 12 assists in 18 games. It’s safe to say that Whitfield has a major impact on the Providence Bruins club. After his impressive stint he managed to get a two-year deal with the club, but the following season he got sidelined with a concussion until December and then suffered from an eye injury. By January, he had only one goal and no assists in 13 appearances. He managed to finish the season with 15 points over 37 AHL games played and the Providence Bruins remained out of the playoffs.
Taking a look at this season, Whitfield suited up for the Bruins first five games and they went 2-3-0, since then the Bruins are 2-2-2. In his five games played he only managed to post four shots on goal and register four penalty minutes, facts eerily similar to last season. Even if Whitfield were to somehow come back from his injury and blow us all away with statistics, it is likely this would be his last season in the Providence uniform. The key factors being his health record, his under performance the past two seasons along with the simple fact that hardly any players stay in Providence past the four year mark, which is where Whitfield is at. While he is open for free agency at the end of this season, it is unlikely another team will want to pick him up. Perhaps it’s time he takes the high road and does what former team mate Nolan Baumgartner did and hang up the skates for a suit behind the bench.