GLENDALE - Ryan White set career highs in games played, goals and points with the Flyers last season as a reliable member of Philadelphia's fourth line.
Instead of re-signing there, White, 26, signed with Arizona this summer looking for an opportunity to become a more impactful NHL player.
He'll likely get that chance because the Coyotes covet his assets: versatility, energy and grit.
"He's one of those guys who's a real good teammate," Head Coach Dave Tippett said after a recent training camp practice. "He's a hard player and just does everything with a relentless attitude. That's who he is. He's got a rambunctious element to his game and that's a good thing."
White seems destined to become a fan favorite in Arizona what with his long hair, his love of chirping opponents and the joy with which he clearly plays the game.
"With anything you're doing in life, you want to enjoy it," White said of his attitude. "It sure makes it a lot easier when you have a smile on your face and when you're having fun. I feel it's a contagious attitude; if you bring that around the room it spreads pretty quick. I'm just trying to be myself around the rink and usually when I'm myself I'm playing better."
White played a solid game in his preseason debut with the Coyotes on Monday vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena. He played 18:26 in Arizona's 5-3 win and chipped in a goal, a hit and a blocked shot. He also helped killed penalties.
Doing the little things well, he says, is his primary focus when he's on the ice, regardless of what those little things are in a particular game.
"(I'll do) whatever the task may be," White said. "For me it's about winning hockey games and doing what I can to help the team win."
White likes the mix of veterans and young players within the core of the Coyotes roster, and he likes the vibe around the team heading into the season. He says the goal of the group is clear.
"Any team in the NHL needs to be focused on making the playoffs," White said. "It doesn't matter how many young guys you have, we're here to win and to get into the playoffs. Any team that gets in (the playoffs) in this league has a shot to win it. I think the first step is making sure we're ready to go at the start of the season."
White, a center who has also played wing, broke into the NHL in 2009-10 with the Montreal Canadiens, who picked him 66th overall at the 2006 NHL Draft. He has played 248 NHL games, and has notched 22 goals and 23 assists. In 73 games last season, he totaled 11 goals and five assists.