White takes flight to Wild

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Todd White couldn't hide his disappointment.

The Senators centre, an Ottawa native, was determined to bring a Stanley Cup to his home town. But he found out yesterday the only way it will happen is with somebody else after he was dealt to the Minnesota Wild.

White, 30, who wasn't going to receive a qualifying offer from the Senators by today's 5 p.m. deadline, was traded to the Wild by Senators GM John Muckler in exchange for a fourth-round pick during the entry draft at the Westin Hotel.

"I'm very disappointed," said White from his cottage near Arnprior. "This is not a situation that you can control and I've been hearing all the rumours for the last couple of weeks about what I thought might happen to me.

"I'm just glad that I'm going to have the opportunity to go to a team that wants me. This has been pretty tough for the last couple of weeks, not knowing. I've kind of been prepared for the fact that I wasn't going to be back here, but it still catches you by surprise."

Since the draft wasn't still being televised at the time White was dealt, he got word he'd been traded by listening to the Team 1200.

Muckler and Wild GM Doug Risebrough both called later.

It's believed the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers also showed interest in White. Muckler maintained that with Jason Spezza, Bryan Smolinski, Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette on board -- and top prospects Alexei Kaigorodov and Patrick Eaves -- coming to camp, there wasn't any room for White.

"He makes too much money ($938,000) and we just have too many people on our roster," said Muckler. "It's a numbers game and I would say he's a victim of the new collective bargaining agreement because you have to watch what you're spending."

White said it was unfortunate he couldn't finish what he started with the Senators.

CLOSE TO CUP

"I think about that series against the New Jersey in (2003) and I think about how close we were to bringing a Stanley Cup to Ottawa," said White. "I guess I might get the chance to bring a Stanley Cup home, but it won't be with the Senators."

White is going into a good situation in Minnesota. He will get a chance to battle for the Wild's No. 1 centre position with Brian Rolston. Minnesota has decided to let centre Richard Park depart as an unrestricted free agent.

"(White) will be No. 2 and he might even be No. 1," said Risebrough. "The thing I like about Todd White is what he's had to do to get to this level. He's had to work very hard and I respect what he's done to get here.

"He's a skilled player and we think he can help us."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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