White opts for arbitration

WES GILBERTSON Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Darryl Sutter has a date ó with an arbitrator.

Defenceman Ian White filed for salary arbitration prior to Mondayís deadline, meaning the restricted free agent and the Calgary Flames will have the help of a third party as they try to hammer out the specifics of a new contract.

The blueliner earned US$950,000 last season and can continue to negotiate with the team before their as-yet-unscheduled arbitration meeting.

Should the Flames accept the arbitratorís ruling, White would definitely return for a second campaign with the NHLís Northwest Division club.

Thatís the good news.

The flip-side is the middle man will only hand out a one-year deal, and the 26-year-old blueliner will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

White arrived in Calgary in late January as part of the seven-player blockbuster trade that sent Dion Phaneuf to Toronto.

He finished the season with 13 goals and 38 points in 83 games. In 323 career outings, White has 32 goals and 117 points.

Thirty-one NHLers filed for arbitration before Mondayís deadline, including Edmonton Oilers centre Gilbert Brule, Vancouver Canucks speedster Mason Raymond, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi and Atlanta Thrashers newcomer Andrew Ladd.

Having an arbitration ruling on the books does give Sutter a second buyout window after the last case is decided.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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