White earns team's Masterton nomination

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:34 AM ET

Ian White has parlayed his survival instincts with the Maple Leafs into a longer career than many thought possible.

White, who has received praise from coach Ron Wilson and new general manager Brian Burke, has been nominated by the Toronto chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the 2009 Bill Masterton Trophy. The award recognizes "perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

White was not in the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, a healthy scratch in the first 11 games while the team sorted through many new defencemen.

White, however, didn't get discouraged. He took the challenge of learning an new position at right wing.

The 24-year-old stayed up front until a spot opened up again on the blueline. In 65 games at both positions he has 24 points, is a plus 2 and at one time, led the entire team in plus/minus. An unknown at the 2006 training camp, his ice time has jumped from 18:32 a game in his first full season to almost 23 minutes today.

Winger Jason Blake won last year's Masterton, the first Leaf to do so.

LANCE.HORNBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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