DETROIT - Not a bad landing spot for defenceman Ian White after racking up the Air Miles last season, being traded twice mid-season.
The 27-year-old headed from the Calgary Flames to the Carolina Hurricanes in November then to the San Jose Sharks in February before signing a two-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings in July as an unrestricted free agent.
As a professional hockey player, White has to expect the possibility of being dealt. But with a young family, he hopes the Red Wings — his fifth team in less than two years — will be his last stop.
“It’s been a tough couple of years — five different teams in the last two years. Last year was really tough getting moved twice. I had a two-year-old at the time, and my wife was pregnant,” said White, who assisted on a powerplay goal in the second period of Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Flames at Joe Louis Arena.
“It was a difficult time for them. That’s the ugly part of our business, moving around. Pack your whole family up and move across the country and do it all again in three months.”
His wife, Tess, and their kids, Paxton (2) and Gracelyn (6 months), are enjoying the burbs of Detroit, and White is loving being partnered with future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom.
“It’s just a tremendous honour to be able to play with a legend like him,” White said. “When I got an opportunity to come here, one of the most storied franchises in the world, it was quite a thrill.”
IN THE CREASE
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard has been the most consistent member of his team the last couple of weeks, but he sure looked awful on that Flames winger Lee Stempniak goal late in the first period. The Flames winger’s offering from the goal-line skipped off Howard’s blocker then off his body and in … The goal gave the Flames the lead despite the fact it was hard to argue they had a single legitimate scoring chance in the first 20 minutes … Niklas Hagman and Pierre-Luc Leblond were the odd forwards out for the Flames, and Derek Smith also sat as a healthy scratch with fellow blueliner Anton Babchuk drawing back in.
AGAINST THE GLASS
D Cory Sarich suited up for his 300th game as a member of the Flames … D Anton Babchuk’s first-period assist puts him at the 99-point mark in the NHL … Not sure it’s going to get much of a look from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan — or that it necessarily deserves a look from Shanahan — but the play by Flames D Scott Hannan shoving Red Wings RW Jiri Hudler into the boards was irresponsible. The fact Hudler’s head hit the dasher and cut him was unlucky … Just like that, Jarome Iginla doubles his goal total for the season. Is LW Curtis Glencross the Flames’ unheralded setup man? … The Joe was pretty full despite rumblings of a Detroit economy collapse that could see the city go bankrupt without federal help. And enough stuck around to boo throughout the latter half of the third period.
Wings D Ian White was so flustered last season, he forgot his pregnant wife at the rink the night she gave birth. After his Sharks beat the Red Wings in Game 7, White rushed to the hospital only to discover his wife was still waiting for him at the arena. “I thought she was already there, so I left her at the game and I went to the hospital,” White said with a laugh.” Luckily, her dad was with her and they joined the defenceman a little later … Wings D Mike Commodore, another former Flames d-man, says after the morning skate he plans to play penalty-free hockey in his Wings debut. That streak lasted just 11 minutes.