In game 51 of the 2021-22 season for the Ottawa Senators, Colin White finally suited up for his first game. He had been out with a dislocated right shoulder and back in October the fear was that he might be gone for the entire season. Thankfully, he still has the chance to play up to 32 games this year, which feels like a miracle.
Although it is great to see him back in the lineup while so many others such as Drake Batherson, Josh Norris, Thomas Chabot, and Shane Pinto are out, it’s hard not to think about his overall future with the team. Beyond 2021-22, he is signed for 3 more seasons with a $4.75M cap hit. It’s a large sum for somebody who hasn’t really been a top-6 player besides when he was playing with Mark Stone in 2018-19. Some are calling for a buyout, while others are preaching patience and seeing his value.
This week’s question asks: what should Ottawa do with Colin White?
Keep him barring extreme circumstances
If you like White at this price already, this is what you should pick. Obviously extreme circumstances can happen that would change things, but if we assume he is about the same player he has always been (averaged 36 points per season while providing good defensive results), then his deal might be worthwhile for some people.
Or perhaps it’s not that $4.75M is ideal, but it would be difficult to find someone substantially cheaper without giving up any good assets. So if you think White is good enough as is, then choose this option.
Keep him only if he shows more than what he has so far
36 points per season isn’t exactly what you think of when you see a 6-year deal with a $4.75M cap hit. There are some people out there who like what White can provide but want to see a bit more—perhaps more of a 40-50 point centre. I can sympathize with that, as it is not a small sum of money.
Perhaps you want to see him take another step forward, and if he doesn’t over these next 31 games then he could be moved in a trade or a buyout.
Trade him for another big contract
This option is probably less likely but still possible. Perhaps Ottawa is able to trade for a contract that is only one or two years but has a higher cap hit, or the opposite where it’s a smaller cap hit but has four or five years left. The stars would have to align here, especially considering the player they’d be getting back is probably severely underperforming their contract.
The good thing about this option is that Ottawa would at least be getting another asset and not losing White for nothing. It depends who the player is and how much Ottawa would save, but if you’re not fully on the buyout train, this might be a good alternative.
Buy him out
This seems to be a last resort. White’s certainly good enough to be a top-9 player in the NHL, but the cap hit might just be too much for Ottawa to swallow. If the Senators buy him out this summer, they are able to save $10.5M over the course of six seasons, but if they waited until 2023, they would only be saving $3.66M over four years.
If you are picking this option, you see White’s contract as a huge burden to the team’s financials (ahem, Josh Norris and Tim Stützle need new contracts). Vote below which one of these you would trick!
What should the Senators do with Colin White?
|Keep him barring extreme circumstances||264|
|Keep him only if he shows more than what he has so far||160|
|Trade him for another bigger contract||29|
|Buy him out||72|