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NHL Free Agency: Newly Acquired Ian White's Services Aren't Temporary in Detroit

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 23:  Ian White #9 of the San Jose Sharks skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on February 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Sharks defeated the Penguins 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Kyle GibbonsAnalyst IIIJuly 6, 2011

For Canadian defenseman Ian White, signing a two-year $5.75 million deal with the perennial powerhouse Detroit Red Wings is a dream come true.

From his cottage in Kenora, Ontario White said of the recent signing,

“It's definitely an exciting day, getting an opportunity to play with such a great team and great organization. I've played against them for six years. It's just a real special team to play against. It's great to get an opportunity to play with those guys – their puck movement, their puck possession, so many talented players.”

The signing of White solidifies an already solid blue line in Detroit.

Though the former forward turned defenseman is a little undersized at 5’10" and 200 pounds, he is one of the hardest working players in the National Hockey League.

And at only 27 years old, Ian White fills a need.

With Detroit legend Nicklas Lidstrom only signing a one year contract extension in July, and the retirement of defenseman Brian Rafalski, it looks as if Ian White could become a prominent fixture at the blue line for years to come.

White was a legitimate nightmare for Detroit in the conference semifinal playoff games versus the Sharks last season.

“We've seen him a lot in the San Jose series,'' Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "He can play on the power play, he's a competitor. He's a guy that thinks the game. He's got the skills. We've got skilled defensemen in (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Niklas) Kronwall, others, and he's comfortable playing with them.''

White’s ability to play with a potent combination of aggression and desire makes him a perfect candidate for the Detroit Red Wings, bringing a competitive fire that the team looked to lack at times throughout the season.

White joins a long list of Detroit defenseman that can successfully play the point in power play situations, and is only one of two right handed blue liners on the team.

“Hopefully I'm a perfect fit for that spot. It really fits my style of game,” White said.

Detroit has done a sensational job not getting lost in the free agent rush when the market opened on July 2nd.

White’s two-year contract with the Wings translates to about $2.875 million a season, a slight downgrade from his $3 million contract with the San Jose Sharks in 2010.

I think at 27 years of age, White could be one of Detroit’s defensemen of the future. It seems to me in watching him play, that he is capable of successfully contributing on both the offensive and defensive ends.

As far as Detroit’s offseason has played out thus far, the signing of Ian White is just another smart, cap oriented decision that general manager Ken Holland has made.

A testament to the genius of one of the preeminent general managers in the National Hockey League.

As far as a fantasy hockey perspective, I project White to contribute at least 35 points for Detroit in 2011.

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