Colin White wasn’t a free agent for very long. After being bought out by the New Jersey Devils yesterday, White signed a one year deal with San Jose to help bolster their burgeoning blue line. The deal will pay White $1 million this season and give the Sharks around $4 million in cap space according to CapGeek.com.
White joins a defensive corps in San Jose that features newly extended Brent Burns, All-Star Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Douglas Murray, and Jim Vandermeer. With the equal mix of offensively talented guys and defensive lock down types, the Sharks defense looks all the more imposing. You can guess that the happiest guy in the Sharks locker room next season will be Antti Niemi.
White was counted on to be a top four defenseman in New Jersey last season and while he’s gotten a little older (he’s 33 now) his physical play will be a welcome addition to the Sharks blue line and not having him playing big minutes (he averaged almost 19 minutes a game last year) will help make him more effective. The competition for ice time in San Jose will also be bolstered by having younger guys like Jason Demers and Justin Braun fighting to stay in San Jose rather than be sent back to AHL Worcester.
One of the Sharks weaker points last season was their depth on defense. This season, that shouldn’t be a problem at all as they’ll have eight guys capable of playing solid minutes for them. With the changes they’ve made to their forward unit by sending Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi out of town and bringing in Martin Havlat, the Sharks are set once again to be a formidable team and a favorite out of the Western Conference.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.