After spending the last five years with the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, Brandonite Ryan White has traded in the red, white and blue for orange and black.
The 26-year-old centre signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Philadelphia Flyers for the league minimum on Thursday, which put his mind at ease about finally making a decision about where to play this season. After playing in 52 regular-season games last season, White became an unrestricted free agent and was searching for another one-way deal. When he couldn’t find one, he elected to join the Flyers.
"I got down to a couple two-way offers with a couple other teams and basically was getting to the point where I had to make the decision and thought the fit with Philly was the best way to go," he said. "It’s obviously disappointing (to sign a two-way deal). It’s nice to have that solidification and you know you’ll be making that money for the season. It’s just a lot easier on the mind.
"As a goal going into the summer I was trying to get a one-way and keep working my way up, but things didn’t work out that way. The offers weren’t coming in like I thought they would and I just had to pick what I could choose from. Philly was very persistent in trying to get me to go there and I’m very happy and excited to be going there and excited to play with the Philadelphia Flyers."
Fellow Brandon native Ron Hextall is the general manager of the Flyers, a team currently over the NHL’s salary cap.
White’s low salary may benefit him as he tries to crack Philadelphia’s roster on its fourth line. He posted two goals and six points, and took 50 minutes in penalties last season and has five goals, 17 points and 232 penalty minutes in his 141 career NHL regular-season games.
However, he didn’t play in any playoff games last season as the Habs reached the Eastern Conference finals, which has given him a little extra motivation for this season.
"Definitely not getting to play down the stretch last year was disappointing," he said. "At the same time it was a good learning experience, being able to get that far in the playoffs. It’s always nice to be playing and I’ll definitely have a little chip on my shoulder this summer. I’m just trying to work hard to get going again."
White is confident he’ll be able to crack the Flyers’ roster and won’t be sent down to the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms. He’s just looking forward to joining the Flyers’ training camp and getting a chance to prove his worth.
"I’m confident in myself and my abilities," he said. "I’m feeling excited and in good shape and healthy and ready to go to camp. I got an opportunity to try out somewhere and I’ll just go and do my thing and hope for the best."