Monday, March 02, 2009

In Defence of Ian White

Leafs GM Brian Burke announced that the Leafs were offered a second round pick for Ian White. Burke declined the deal.

Some in Leafs Nation have lamented that White wasn't shipped out for a pick, not sure why.

Despite being scratched for the first eleven games of the season, White is tied for 10th overall in the NHL in goals scored by a d-man, 23rd in assists and 25th in scoring. He's tied for 17th in plus minus (yeah, it's an admittedly flawed stat...)

At evens, the Leafs outshoot the opposition when White's on the ice and in terms of gf/ga60, White leads the Leafs in +/-

He's also durable for a small guy - he played in 76, 81 and 51 games over the last three seasons respectively (though that may have to do with the power of his moustache).

In terms of comparators, only Oduya (NJD) and Edler (VAN) put up similar numbers for less than White's $850K cap hit.

The NHL is an efficiency contest of sorts. The more players on a team that outperform their contracts the better and White is clearly outperforming his current deal.

Conversely, a second round draft pick has a 29% chance of playing 100 NHL games.


Further to Lordosis' comment, here are some additional defensive stats from Behind the Net: Ian White has the second best GA60 on the Leafs D (fewest goals against per 60 minutes), plays middle of the pack in terms of who he's out on the ice against (given the injuries to the Leafs D, White's played way more minutes than he likely should have). He's third on the Leafs D in hits and fourth in blocked shots.


  1. Anonymous12:06 am

    Good article, and good points. What one has to consider is whether White can keep this up. It's all about selling high. If this is White from now on, sure, hold onto that pick. If he regresses, maybe it wasn't such a smart move. This was a player that has seemingly come out of nowhere after being benched the first 11 games or so. I guess I'm just not convinced he isn't just playing about his potential for half a season.

    Guess I'd like to see more defensive statistics regarding him. I know Gus Katsaros for one isn't a fan of him defensively.

  2. Anonymous12:40 am

    White has performed admirably and at that salary is a steal for what he provides.

    We don't know when in the 2nd round that pick would fall. All picks are risky but the later you get into the 2nd round, the more riskier it becomes.

    My guess is that Burke is holding out for a better offer. If some GM was willing to part with a 2nd rounder a week before the deadline, someone will probably offer more than that on deadline day. Considering how many buyers are seriously cap strapped, my guess is that Burke will get a few more calls about White before the deadline passes.

  3. Amen. MF, you know that, along with yourself, I've never quite understood the raging hate-on for White in this town.

    There's no way I'd trade him for a 2nd rounder either.

    Everyone's obsessed with a draft pick in this town.

  4. It's really interesting the way Ian White's season started out and where he is now. I think he's shown the kind of attitude, ambition, and perseverence that this team should be trying to achive as a whole. For that reason, I say he's a keeper.

  5. I'd be okay with trading White, so long as the moustache isn't part of the deal.

  6. Since the Leafs are in a rebuild-mode, trading a player only makes sense if he doesn't fit into your rebuild plans or someone comes along and offers to overpay for the player (where are you JFJ?) thereby strengthening your team. White is a versatile, durable, young, inexpensive player that would be useful to have around. He logs lots of minutes and can play on the powerplay. The offer of a 2nd round pick is a fair offer but not one that you would jump on. You laso need to consider that White is one of the few players drafted by the Leafs who has survived and developed into a useful player. However, you don't get too attached to a player as was the case with JFJ. If his salary demands exceed his value then take the pick or whatever else is offered.

  7. Anonymous4:50 pm

    i agree with your points but note his goal scoring totals include a number of goals playing forward so to say he is 10th overall in D goals is a little misleading. I agree that you want player outperforming his contract and White falls into that category. 30 Mins the other night wasn't a fluke.