31-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Ian White Contract Information:
Signed a professional tryout contract with AHL Milwaukee (Nashville) in December 2014.
White signed a professional tryout contract with AHL Milwaukee on Wednesday.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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White parlayed his improved supporting cast and more reliable supply of ice time into a career-high 32 points during his first season with the Wings, while shattering his previous best with a plus-23 rating. With the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart on the blue line, an expanded role for White could be on the horizon as it may be an open competition throughout the season for ice time as part of the top-two pairings. Regardless of his even strength assignment, White might get a chance to quarterback the Detroit power play, making him an intriguing sleeper entering year two in Detroit.
Including the Sharks, White played on four different teams after entering the NHL in 2005-06 with the Maple Leafs (the Flames and Hurricanes were the others). Things seemed to click for him in San Jose, as White had 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in 23 regular season games, followed by his first career postseason in which he tacked on a plus-3 rating with eight assists and a goal. After signing with Detroit as a free agent in July, White will be counted on to help recoup the lost blue-line production following the retirement of Brian Rafalski. If he cracks one of the top two blue-line pairings, there will be plenty of sleeper potential here.
White is coming off of a career year in which he scored 38 points (13-25) from the blueline, with nine of those points coming on the power play. He averaged over two minutes per game on the power play, both with Toronto and with Calgary. He was the one player in the trade that sent Dion Phaneuf to Toronto that didn't drop off upon arriving in Calgary. The Flames made re-signing him a priority, and they inked him to a one-year, $3M deal moments before going to a potentially contentious arbitration hearing. He'll work on the first team power play with Jay Bouwmeester more often than not.
White is in tough for a spot on the Leafs' blue line this season despite his performance last year. He's mobile and talented, and flexible enough to play wing, too. But his value lies on the blue line. He's great in transition and will demand a trade if he doesn't make the squad. He's best paired with a shutdown defender. If he gets that chance -- in Toronto or elsewhere -- he's worthy of fantasy consideration.
White is a cocky twerp whose game doesn't match his confidence. He started last season OK but slipped and slipped and slipped. Now, he enters the season as the Leafs eighth-best defender. There's no value in that kind of job.
White surprised many by earning -- and keeping -- an NHL job last season. In fact, his 26 points tied him for second in rookie scoring from the blue line. He's a tiny (5'10" and 185 lbs) puckmover who plays smart, heads-up hockey. His real breakout lies in the future, though, as he just won't get enough power-play time in Toronto in the next couple years to see him shine.
White doesn't have prototypical size for an NHL defenseman but possesses the speed and puck-handling skills to fluorish with the Leafs if he gets a chance. He has offensive talent and could wind up on the second power play unit with Pavel Kubina if he breaks camp with the team, so consider him a very deep sleeper, but another year of seasoning in the AHL is more likely.
White is a good little player; the key word being little. At 5'10" and only about 185 lbs, White is even smaller than the Devils' Brian Rafalski, the poster boy for wee defenders. White has the brains and ability to do well on the power play and to use positioning to control opponents. Unfortunately, he plays on a team whose coach values wide bodies on the blue line. While he's in the running for a spot on the big squad, White will likely end up starting the year with the Marlies.