Whitley in the Bay
Posted on 22 January 2013
The Cardiff Devils are delighted to announce the signing of goaltender Chris Whitley.
The 6 feet one inch native of Oshawa, Ontario, will be familiar to Devils and EIHL fans from his 2011-12 season with Dundee Stars where he was widely acclaimed as one of the stand-out net-minders in the League. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as first choice for the highly respected Allen Americans franchise of the Central Hockey League.
Paperwork is underway for his visa and Devils are hoping to fly him in as early as tomorrow so that he can practice with his new team-mates ahead of the huge weekend against Sheffield (away) Saturday and home to Nottingham on Sunday 27th.
Whitley posted three shutouts in his season with Dundee while facing over 2000 shots at a very respectable 89.7% save percentage in the eighth-placed Stars’ crease. His 1797 saves were good enough for third place in the League.
Head Coach Gerad Adams and Neil Francis had been pulling some late shifts over the past few days, working through agents and contacts to shortlist a new goalie. Having made an offer to Whitley in the last 24 hours Adams is thrilled to have captured his signature.
‘We had a number of options who were mainly younger guys with potential but once Chris’s name came up he immediately became our first-choice target. Having played in this League last year, he knows what it’s all about and hopefully that will cut down the bedding-in time that may be expected for a goaltender that would be new to the League.
Chris is a competitor and put in some tremendous displays last year, winning some games almost single-handedly with some exceptional performances.’
Francis is also pleased to have been able to capture a talented goalie in such a short pace of time with a big weekend – and the transfer deadline – looming large.
‘It’s been a manic few days for G and I with lots of emails and phone calls looking for the right guy at this stage of the season. We are very excited to welcome Chris to the team and he’s excited to be joining us. He was a handful to play against last year and always gave Dundee the chance to win games they perhaps shouldn’t have. Sometimes a change can ignite a team so hopefully this is the case as we look to finish strongly in the League,preparing us well for the playoffs. We are also searching for an additional import forward to boost our attacking options and hope to have some news on that shortly.
Chris will wear the number 83 jersey.