White finds happiness in Detroit
KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Red Wings defencman Ian White celebrates a goal against the Senators with teammate Cory Emmerton at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 7, 2011. (REBECCA COOK/Reuters)
DETROIT - After all the trades and all the upheaval and all the times teams didn’t want him anymore, Steinbach native Ian White probably deserved to have something good happen to him.
He got it.
Not only was he signed this past summer by the Detroit Red Wings, one of the NHL’s most storied franchises, but he got paired up with this dude named Nicklas Lidstrom, who will only go down in history as one of the best defencemen to play the game.
Yes, life is pretty good right now for Mr. White.
“It’s a pretty special opportunity to get to play with the Wings,” White said after Saturday’s morning skate, standing a few feet away from Ted Lindsay’s honorary stall in the Wings dressing room.
“Obviously the history here and just the amount of championships they’ve won and the culture that we have here, it’s a great locker-room, it’s a great organization. It’s just an honour to be a part of it.”
White, 27, is playing on his fifth team in three seasons after being traded from Toronto to Calgary to Carolina to San Jose in the span of 13 months.
The moving company was on speed dial.
“Tumultuous would be the word I use,” White said. “That’s probably the toughest part of our business, getting traded like that, let alone twice in one year. It was extremely difficult on my wife and my family and me as well.
“You never really think you’re getting traded, let alone twice in one year. It was definitely a tough year, but if all that didn’t happen I probably wouldn’t end up being here, so it all worked out good.”
Going into Saturday night’s game against the Jets White was second among NHL defencemen with a plus-15 rating, while Lidstrom was plus-9.
White said it’s “pretty phenomenal” to be paired with a seven-time Norris Trophy winner like Lidstrom.
“He’s one of the best all time,” White said. “Coming into camp I wasn’t sure who I was going to play with, and playing with him since day one has just made the game so much easier. He’s such a smart player and such a great guy, it’s been quite a pleasure.”
Wings head coach Mike Babcock has been pleased with White’s contributions to the team.
The former Eastman Select is the team’s only right-handed shooting defenceman who plays regularly, and he is a regular on Detroit’s dangerous power play.
“Whitey’s been great for us. He’s been a real good fit,” Babcock said. “He’s not big, he’s not fast, he’s not this, he’s not that. He’s just a hockey player who just competes.”
Sounds like White might be sticking around Motown for a while.
Hey, it’s always good to try new things.