As a crazy day of hockey deals continues to unfold, the Hurricanes and Sharks have jumped into the mix with two back-to-back deals.
Finally ending the constant rumors and Twitter trends, Ian White is now officially on the move. The 26-year-old defenseman will play for his fourth team in less than 12 months now as he is headed to San Jose. In exchange, the Hurricanes will receive the Sharks' second round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
An hour or so earlier, the two teams had announced a separate deal that sent defenseman Derek Joslin, 23, to Carolina for future considerations. It's not yet known whether the White deal was the future consideration or not.
White, a former sixth round pick, has two goals, 14 assists, and a minus-six rating in 55 games this season. For Carolina, he had 10 assists and a plus-four rating in 39 games. He was traded to the 'Canes from the Calgary Flames in November along with Brett Sutter in exchange for Tom Kostopoulos and Anton Babchuk.
In 2009-2011, White played 56 games for Toronto and 29 for Calgary. He had 13 goals, 25 assists, and a plus-eight rating over the entire span.
One player that should be happy about the headline White deal is Derek Joslin, who may now get to have a starting spot in Carolina. Joslin had one goal, three assists, a minus-two rating, and eight penalty minutes in 17 games for the Sharks this year.
The 2005 fifth-round pick had five goals, 27 assists, and a plus-14 rating in 55 games for AHL Worchester last season, also adding three assists and a plus-one rating in 24 games.
While a trade involving White has just been waiting to happen for the Hurricanes, we worry about what situation this will leave their defense, especially with Joni Pitkanen, also rumored to be on the trading block. Today's move opens up the sixth defenseman spot for the taking between Joslin and 25-year-old Brett Carson, who has no points and a plus-five rating in nine games this season.
That unsettled position is another bad sign for a defense that has been the weak point for Carolina the entire season. The unit is ranked 23rd in the league, giving up an average of 3.00 goals per game, and is dead last in terms of shots allowed, with opponents averaging an NHL-leading 33.8 shots per game.
The deal will also, in all likelihood, make Carson a common member of the Hurricanes roster, even as a healthy scratch, meaning yet another graduate from an increasingly-shallow defensive prospect pool for Carolina.
Bryan Rodney is the only other defenseman worth recognizing with AHL Charlotte, as the rest of the Checkers defensive corps consist of just-out-of-college Michal Jordan, out-for-the-year Bobby Sanguinetti, never-quite-NHL-ready Casey Borer, who's-ever-heard-of-him Brett Bellemore, and a few other names that'll draw a blank.
Meanwhile, the Sharks will add just their second well-known defenseman to the roster in White. Other than veteran Dan Boyle, the rest of San Jose's defense has been supported by Jason Demers, Kent Huskins, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Douglas Murray, and Niclas Wallin (a former Hurricane) up to this point. Very few hockey fans outside of the Bay Area know anything about any of those players, but they've still managed to keep the Shark defense ranked 10th in the league this season.
One thing that will come with White, though, is puck movement along the blue line, a force that has not been readily apparent in San Jose's bag of tricks this season.
As both teams look to make the playoffs in their respective conferences, it is very interesting to see each team's outlook, however. The Sharks seem to be trying to add talent for their current roster so they can make a run and go deep into the postseason (for once). The Hurricanes, on the other hand, seem to be building more for the future, despite being two points into the top eight, the same margin as San Jose.
Mark Jones is currently Bleacher Report's featured columnist for the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes. In his two years so far with the site, he has written over 250 articles and received over 245,000 total reads.
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