Ottawa Senators should think long-term with Colin White

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 01: Colin White #36 of the Ottawa Senators prepares for a faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Canadian Tire Centre on April 1, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/NHLI via Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 01: Colin White #36 of the Ottawa Senators prepares for a faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Canadian Tire Centre on April 1, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Following today’s announcement that the Ottawa Senators signed Michael Carcone to a two-year contract, the Senators are now left with Colin White as the only unsigned restricted free agent.

With Michael Carcone now signed to a two-year contract with the Ottawa Senators, General Manager Pierre Dorion now only has Colin White to deal with this summer as a restricted free agent.

The Senators are in a particularly interesting position with centremen as this rebuild has left the team without a glorified number one centreman prospect.

Colin White is at the top of a group of centres that includes Logan Brown, Josh Norris, Filip Chlapik, and the recently drafted Shane Pinto.

More from Editorials

This is on top of Chris Tierney, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Smith as centres already established in the NHL. White is one of the organizations top prospects at his position, but he is also already part of the established group.

After spending all of last season with the big club and producing 41 points in 71 games, White clearly belongs in a top 6 role on this team.

His upcoming contract is where things could get interesting. Realistically, I think there are two possibilities. The first being a classic short-term bridge deal, the second being a long-term commitment.

A quick look at the Senators CapFriendly page shows us that since Pierre Dorion has taken over as General Manager of the team there have only been two signings that exceeded three years. The first being Zack Smith and the second being Mike Hoffman.

This shows that the organization has not really been willing or in favour of giving out long term deals in the last few years. Does this mean that Colin White is going to get a short-term deal? Well, it does not necessarily guarantee it, but history does have a way of repeating itself.

It is no secret to anyone who is a fan of this team that the Ottawa Senators operate on a rather tight budget. The Senators also have a history of squeezing every dollar out of their restricted free agents, fully taking advantage of the fact that these players do not have control over their destiny.

Another look at Pierre Dorion’s CapFriendly page shows us that the longest term he has ever given out to a restricted free agent was the four-year deal with Mike Hoffman mentioned earlier.

The second longest was Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s current three-year contract. Every other RFA contract signed by Pierre Dorion has either been a one- or a two-year contract.

Ottawa Senators
OTTAWA, ON – MARCH 28: Colin White #36 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his first period goal against the Florida Panthers with teammates Anthony Duclair #10, Christian Wolanin #86 and Cody Ceci #5 at Canadian Tire Centre on March 28, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images) /

This points to Pierre Dorion signing Colin White to a shorter term contract, I would expect it to come in anywhere from two to four years in length. I mentioned earlier that the prospect depth at the centre position is lacking a player with number one centre potential.

Colin White will be a top-6 forward for this team, and he should be one for many years to come. I think it would be reasonable for Pierre Dorion and the organization to try and sign White to a long-term contract.

The advantage to a long-term contract now would be that the cap hit would probably be lower than if the team signed a short-term contract.

I personally view the Colin White contract negotiations could give Senators fans a glimpse into what the Senators are thinking long-term. If the team is willing to commit a little more money now on a longer-term contract than it could give fans the impression that this team is starting to get to a place where it is willing to spend money.

If this contract comes in on a short-term deal, then I think Senators fans could see this as a continuation of the way things have been for a few years now.

Sens should consider Gusev trade. dark. Next

What do you think, Sens fans? What do you think Colin White’s contract will look like? Do you think the Ottawa Senators are willing to commit to a player long-term if it means having to give up more money right now? Let us know what you think in the comments below!