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Monday April 12, 2010 10:46 pm

White leads the league at least once

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL,

Ian WhiteWhen Ian White retires, he’ll be able to look back on his NHL career and say that he once led the league in at least one category. With the regular season over, White has played more games than any other NHLer. Thanks largely to a midseason trade between his former Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames, White played 83 games this year. Going the other way was Dion Phaneuf. Both defenseman are 25 years old, separated by less than two months, but that’s about all the parallels you’ll find.

White and Phaneuf are polar opposites of each other. White began with the Leafs in 2005 and was with them until the trade to Calgary. Ditto for Phaneuf, just obviously going the other way. Phaneuf has been an aggressive defenseman, known mostly for his physical play. He even racked up 182 penalty minutes in 2007-08. He was also a 20-goal scorer in 2005-06. The most in either category White ever totaled were 57 penalty minutes and 10 goals, both in the 2008-09 season.

Phaneuf is a top-six defenseman due to his experience. White has the potential to be the same, but due to a crowded Maple Leafs blue line, he was often kept off the ice up until this season. He’s shown that he can handle the puck as well as take the man, but he’s also shown that he needs more ice time. He’s earned more and more of it over the last year, and a move to Calgary to fill the void left by Phaneuf will help, but he’ll be tested more in the Western Conference than he was with the Leafs.

White and Phaneuf received massive culture shocks when they were shipped out of their respective towns. Neither can really say they didn’t see it coming, as Toronto had an abundance of blue liners, while reports from Calgary say they and Phaneuf had issues. Both have also made a good transition to their new homes. It’s a shame that the teams around each of these guys are both awful. There’s a lot of room for improvement in both cities, and it will take a lot more than these two guys to improve.



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