OTTAWA – There’s a little more room on the farm these days.
Two days after the Canadiens called up Swedish forward Andreas Engqvist
from Hamilton, the team went back to the well and gave Ryan White
the phone call he’s been waiting for all season.
“This is great. I couldn’t be happier,” beamed White, who has 10 points in 28 games with the Bulldogs this year. “It’s been a trying season for me a little bit so far, but I’m happy where I am right now and I just want to try and help this team win and contribute when I can.”
|White celebrating one of his preseason goals. |
Despite having a stellar training camp with the big club this September, racking up three points in five preseason games – and dropping the gloves four times in that span – the 22-year-old still found himself on a bus headed for Hamilton when the season began.
“Camp is camp; it’s what you do here in the season that gets results and gets you back up here,” offered the Brandon, MB native. “All of the guys who came up before me totally deserved it and they’re playing great. I’m happy I’m still in the mix and it’s good to get back up here.”
Having bounced back after missing 14 games with a knee injury earlier this season, White is more motivated than ever to carve out a niche full-time with the Canadiens.
“It was tough,” admitted the gritty forward. “I have a lot of respect for guys who have to go through that in a year. That was my first time going through something like that and it was tough sitting around not playing. It’s tough on the mind, but I got through it and I’m back to 100%.”
White may be making his first appearance in a Habs jersey this season on Friday night, but his coach already has a pretty good idea of what he can expect from the versatile center.
“Ryan’s been playing well in Hamilton. He and Andreas Engqvist
have both done a good job there and we expect the same here,” explained Jacques Martin, who coached White for 16 games in Montreal last season. “He spent some time here last year for us and he’s a good, smart player. He brings an extra physical presence and he’s a good penalty killer.”
His head coach isn’t the only one who had good things to say about him, either. Immediately after hearing that White had been recalled, one of his former Hamilton teammates couldn’t wait to heap on the praise for the “warrior and best teammate he’d ever had”.
“Some of the guys told me Davey [Desharnais] was pumping my tires a little bit yesterday [to the media] so I read a few things before I came up,” laughed White. “Hearing that kind of stuff is great, especially coming from your teammates and your peers. It’s always a blessing.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSO
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