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January 12, 2013 | 10:08am ET
Whitney, Oilers to talk contract

Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney is entering the final year of his current contract with the club, though talks about an extension have not yet begun.

With the season one week away, there are plenty of rumors already swirling around Edmonton over the Oilers' need for help on their blueline.

With Whitney, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Theo Peckham, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter and Jeff Petry on the backend, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is looking to add a top-tier defenseman at some point this season.

Whitney, 29, is set to earn $5.5 million this season (albeit, pro-rated), but has a cap hit of $4 million.

His agent, Paul Krepelka of The Orr Hockey Group, confirmed to TFP that contract talks haven't started yet.

"I have not had any conversations with Steve concerning Ryan's contract," Krepelka said. "Everyone's focus right now is on just getting the season going and gaining an understanding of the new CBA. Those conversations will take place in due time."

It's believed the Oilers would like to get Whitney locked up to a new deal, but it's unclear what type of contract he will be looking for.

The Boston native registered three goals and 17 assists for 20 points in just 51 games with the Oilers last season, as a result of injuring his right knee and right ankle injury.

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