Wild homecoming

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

It wasn't what he wanted, but being traded out of his home town is working out just fine for Todd White.

An Ottawa Senator for four seasons before being moved by GM John Muckler prior to the 2005 entry draft, White makes his first return to Scotiabank Place as a member of the opposition when the Minnesota Wild visit tonight (7:30, Sportsnet).

He is currently fourth in team scoring with five goals and eight assists and, as a member of both power-play and penalty-killing units, is averaging about 19 minutes a game.

And while the Senators remain stuck in the Northeast Division basement, White's Wild is riding high atop the Northwest standings with a 12-6-1 record.

"I would have loved to stay, but I realize it's a business and some things are out of my control," said the Kanata product, who was dealt for a fourth-round draft pick (that is now junior prospect Cody Bass) when the Senators opted to keep Bryan Smolinski over him in a budget-generated manoeuvre. "Moving to Minnesota has been the best thing for my career.

"I really feel a lot more comfortable than I did last year," he added, referring to his 19 goals and 21 assists in his first season with the Wild.

"It took awhile to figure out the system and gain the trust of my coaches and teammates, but I feel better about everything now and I'm enjoying the start of this season."

White, who was Daniel Alfredsson's centre for most of his Senators days, now plays with Minnesota's top scorer, Brian Rolston, and 22-year-old winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

While the Senators have tried different centres with Alfredsson -- and fans have speculated how much better off they'd be had they just kept White in that role -- the Clarkson University grad is smart enough to steer clear of such discussion.

"Obviously, I'm concentrating more on what we're doing," he said when asked his thoughts about his former team's current struggles.

"We got off to a really good start and we've had a couple of tough losses lately, like them, but I'm more concerned with what's going on in my room than the other 29 in the league.

"I'm excited, obviously it will be fun to play in front of family and friends again," he added of his homecoming.


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