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March 19, 2014

Todd White

Todd White a crafty undersized forward from Kanata, Ontario. He was best known for the playing four seasons with the nearby Ottawa Senators, but he also played with Chicago, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta and the New York Rangers.

White was never drafted by the NHL. Instead the Blackhawks took a chance on him by signing him as a free agent when he graduated (with two degrees - accounting and finance) from Clarkson University where he also scored 197 points in four seasons.

White learned a lot more than about such high money topics at school.

"I learned a lot of life skills there, how to treat people," he said. "Most of all, I learned how to learn. Going in I was kind of smart, but didn't know how I ticked and how to become a better person."

White would spend much of his first four pro-seasons playing in the minors and learning how to be a pro hockey player.

"If you're not putting up 50 goals a year, you need to know how to play both ends of the ice," he noted.

White put everything together when his hometown Senators gave him a chance.

"When I got to Ottawa I changed my game so I wasn't a prolific scorer, but be a responsible two-way centerman," White said. "I think that's my strength at this level. I tried to prove right away that I could be trusted and responsible as a player. (Coach) Jacques Martin really took to that, and really gave me a chance as the (2000-01) season moved along. It was fourth line, but the next year I really got a great opportunity playing with Daniel Alfredsson. I think I got to be more of a playmaker then and set up the off guys."

White tried to make up for his lack of size and straight-ahead speed with strong offensive instincts and terrific quickness laterally. He was a crafty utility player blessed with versatility in that he could play any forward position. He had a heavy shot that allowed him to score 19 goals or more in 4 NHL seasons.

All said, Todd White was a nice little player who played in 653 NHL games. He scored 141 goals, 240 goals and 381 points. He added another 8 goals and 11 points in 43 post season contests.

When his vagabond hockey career was over White and his wife Sarah - also an Ottawa native - returned to Ottawa. He became involved in youth hockey as well as with radio broadcasts for Senators games.

One thing is for sure - Todd White has never taken his hockey success for granted.

"I feel very, very fortunate. I think of all the guys I've played with, how many would give anything to be where I am. I never take a day for granted. For young guys, hard work and trying to do the right thing and learning the game the best you can with coaches you have, a lot of guys can realize their dreams."

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