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.