Defenseman Ian White, formerly of the San Jose Sharks, has agreed to a deal with the Red Wings this afternoon. Both Khan(!) and Chuck Pleiness have confirmed that the 27 year old defenseman has agreed to a two year contract in Detroit, with an annual cap hit of $2.875 million. Although small in stature, the 5′ 10″ White will add another level of grit to the Wings blue line, joining yesterday’s acquisition – Mike Commodore – as a physical presence with a right-handed shot. In terms of production, White won’t do much to alleviate the departure of Brian Rafalski, as he only notched 4 goals and 22 assists while playing with the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and the aforementioned Sharks. In the playoffs, White chipped in 1 goal – against the Wings, of course – and 8 assists while serving as a top-four blue liner under Todd McLellan. He’ll likely serve as another anchor on the power play, where he logged right around two minutes per game in ice time last year.
With White now in the mix, the Wings have seven defensemen under contract for the upcoming season. White’s addition likely means that Brendan Smith will be the #1 defenseman for the Grand Rapids Griffins this season, although the Wings have made no bones about the fact that they would like him to spend time with the big club during the regular season. The Wings now have $7,045,456 in cap space and only a backup goaltender to sign.