Senators Extend RFA White

The Ottawa Senators have re-signed restricted free agent (RFA) Colin White to a six-year, $28.5 million contract extension.

White is coming off of a rookie season that saw him collect 14 goals, 27 assists and 41 points in 71 games. He was among the rookie league leaders in 2018-19, including fifth in points, third in assists and seventh in goals.

After the signing, general manager Pierre Dorion discussed the signing and the young Senator.

“We’ve identified Colin as one of our core young players who will help drive our team’s success in both the short and long term. Colin plays the 200-foot game that is so coveted in today’s NHL. He can skate, play on both special teams and is a character player and leader who loves hockey and this city. While he is coming off a season where he finished among rookie leaders in many categories, we also know he is just scratching the surface of his potential in this league. We’re very happy that Colin will be a Senator for the next six years.”

White was the Senators first-round pick in 2015, 21st overall. Since then, he’s played in 94 NHL games, collecting 16 goals, 31 assists, and 47 points. He’s also shown his talent off internationally, collecting a gold at the U18 World Junior Championship in 2015, a bronze and gold at the U20 World Junior Championship in 2016 and 2017 (respectfully), and finally a bronze and the World Championship in 2018.

Related: Senators’ White Impressing in Rookie Season

The deal leaves White as the second-highest-paid player on the team, behind Bobby Ryan’s $7.25 million. As per the Senators press release, White’s extension has an average annual value of $4.75 million and is broken down as follows:

“$4M in 2019-20, $4M in 2020-21, $4.75M in 2021-22, $4.75 in 2022-23, $4.75M in 2023-24 and $6.25M in 2024-25.”

White has solidified himself as a top-six centreman on the Senators lineup, playing mainly with Brady Tkachuk and Mark Stone last season, prior to Stone’s trade. He’ll look to maintain that role in 2019-20 while helping Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot welcome to other young faces this season and moving forward.

White’s Contract a Good Sign for Senators Future

For the last two seasons, the Senators have traded off all of their core stars, from Stone to captain Erik Karlsson, to Matt Duchene. They’ve failed to sign someone to a long-term deal since Ryan’s seven-year deal back in 2014.

Colin White #36, Ottawa Senators
Colin White #36, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The signing shows that the team is willing to invest in its future with a long-term deal. The fanbase has been asking for this for years and it looks like they are beginning to listen. Also, and more importantly, it shows that a player is willing to be a part of the organization for the foreseeable future.

With White locked up for six years, they now turn their attention to next season’s RFA, Thomas Chabot. Sportsnet’s Wayne Scanlan reported that the team and star defender have had discussions, but there are no details as of yet. As an All-Star defenseman already, it’s likely that Chabot will take quite a bit more than White to lock down. The team needs to make it happen sooner rather than later, as it’s likely his price tag will just continue to rise.

The following summer (2021) will see Tkachuk, Logan Brown and Drake Batherson all need extensions too. With how all three looked this past season, the Senators will be spending quite a bit by the 2021-22 season. White’s contract is a good sign that they are willing to do just that.