Home > Devils Notes, Player News > A Bittersweet Goodbye: Devils Waive White, Intend To Buy Him Out

A Bittersweet Goodbye: Devils Waive White, Intend To Buy Him Out

Colin White, a 10-year veteran along the Devils blueline, was placed on waivers and will be bought out. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

For the past 10 years, Colin White became a staple of the New Jersey Devils’ defense.

For several of those years, he stayed buried under the bigger names on the blue line, with Scott Stevens and others leading the charge. But as players began to retire or leave in free agency, White became an important piece of the defense.

He earned the respect of his teammates, overcoming a gruesome eye injury during training camp in 2007 that almost cost him his career. He became an assistant captain, and at times was asked to act as captain.

But White carried an ugly $3 million cap hit, and the Devils were in a cap crunch. Despite trading Brian Rolston three days ago (and ridding themselves of his $5.2 million contract), Devils’ general manager Lou Lamoriello wanted more wiggle room. With the rise of prospects and the possible return of Bryce Salvador, White became an expendable piece on the blue line.

Lamoriello placed White on waivers today, and intends to buy him out if he clears. The Devils’ general manager admitted it wasn’t an easy decision.

“He’s been a pure Devil,” Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “It’s unfortunate, but there comes a point when young players have to get a chance. With long-term contracts in this league, this is not unusual, but it is unfortunate.”

White ended his ten-year run with 20 goals and 105 assists in 743 regular season games. A former second round draft pick in 1996, the defenseman won two Stanley Cup championships in 2000 and 2003.

Lamoriello and White discussed the move during an end of the season meeting.

“Colin and I sat down and the end of the season and after the discussion we decided just to go and get a bit of a change,” Lamoriello told Gulitti.

If the team buys out White, they will need to pay two thirds of his contract over twice the remaining years. He’s due $3 million this year, in the last year of his contract. New Jersey will pay him $1 million over the next two seasons.

White remained the last stalwart of the Devils’ dynasty defenses. He seemed to play better last season, and showed aggressive play we haven’t seen in the past few seasons. He got into a few scrums and generally threw his body around. For the first time in a long time, White played like the younger version of himself.

With the move, Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur are the only remaining Devils with championship rings. The move also places a ton of confidence in Salvador’s recovery. The defenseman missed all of last season battling post-concussion symptoms, and has yet to participate in contact drills. It also opens a spot along the blueline for one of the Devils’ young defensive prospects.

Lamoriello believes the move allows White an opportunity somewhere else.

“This will be good for Colin,” Lamoriello told Gulitti. “Now, as an unrestricted free agent, he can pick where he wants to go.”

**********

The Devils also placed recently acquired Trent Hunter on waivers. Hunter, acquired in the Rolston trade, has two years and $2 million remaining on his contract. If New Jersey buys him out, they’ll owe him $666,667 for the next four seasons.

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