The rugged and reliable defenseman is ready to go for the Devils in 2008-09.
Devils Q&A continues this week with veteran Colin White.
White is enjoying the summer in his native Nova Scotia while preparing to enter his eighth season with New Jersey. Drafted with the Devils' fifth choice in the 1996 Entry Draft, the 6-4, 220-lb. defenseman has been a mainstay on the blueline since breaking in with the club during the 1999-2000 season.
Questions for "Whitey" arrived from Devils fans all across the globe, and the two-time Stanley Cup champion took some time to answer a few of the best.
Very few pro sports teams remain competitive annually, over a long period of time. The Devils have managed to do that. How are they able to remain so consistent?
|White is plus-55 in 522 career NHL games. |
Bonner Springs, Kan.
It starts in net with Marty [Brodeur] being a rock for our team for more than a decade. Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko – those guys stayed true to the Devils uniform and stayed with the team for a long time. Over the years, the team's core was kept together. At one point I was one of the young guys, and now I'm one of the veterans. Devils players come and go, then come back to the team. I think that keeps the guys tight. You've seen Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik coming back this year, and it's great for the organization.
How do you feel your style as a defenseman has changed since you began your career as a Devil?
Like every other defenseman, I've had to adjust to the NHL's new style of play. There isn't as much feistiness around the net as there used to be. Defensemen would like forwards to pay a little bit more of a price to be around the net. Overall, though, the game is in good shape. I'd like see it become a little more physical again.
What was it like to return to the lineup last year after missing 20 games with an eye injury?
Mount Olive, N.J.
It was pretty exciting because you never know with an eye injury if you're even going to come back. When I did get back to the ice, I was happy to be a part of the team again. That was the biggest thing: you missed being around the guys and a part of what goes on with a team day in, day out. I'm looking forward to this season even more.How has your playing style changed since you've had to wear the visor ?
Glendale, Calif. (formerly from Exit 109 off the Garden State Parkway)
I'd like to think it hasn't changed too much. I still want to be a physical player on the penalty kill or when I'm matched up against another team's top line. I try not to think about it. I'd rather not be wearing a visor, but I'd also rather be playing hockey than not.What keeps you motivated and inspired to play at your best during the season?
Christchurch, New Zealand
Being on a team is like being a part of a big family. All you have to do is look at the guy next to you, and that's motivation enough. As athletes, we're all competitive and that's something that's inside you from the time you're a kid. Plus, it's never hard to stay motivated when you're doing something you love to do.Do you play any of the NHL video games, and if so who's the best?
Victoria, British Columbia
I'm not into video games too much, although I did try "Rock Band" this summer.
Do you participate in any other sports during the offseason?
Princeton Junction, N.J.
I play golf a lot during the summer, maybe some swimming and tennis, but preferably golf. What players do you spend most of your time with off the ice?
Most of my free time is spent with my family, but the team's pretty close and we stick together as a group. We don't usually hang out with just a couple of guys here and there. Do you like the idea of playing all the teams at least once for the 2008-09 season?
It's a lot better; I didn't like the system they had with teams playing each other eight times within the division. It was too much, and you weren't getting guys like Sidney Crosby around the league. You've got to get a guy like that visiting different cities, especially out west. You know the fans out there want to see the league's top players as often as they can.
Other than winning the Stanley Cup, what has been your most memorable moment with the Devils?
|White hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003 (pictured). |
East Hanover, N.J.
Besides the two Stanley Cups, getting drafted by the Devils was probably the most memorable thing. I was 18, and didn't have any idea of where I'd be going – I just wanted to be selected. For the Devils to give me a chance? I was ecstatic. I never even thought I'd play, but once I was drafted I was set on doing my best. That was a special day for me and my family, to have somewhere to call home. It ended up being a relationship that's lasted for 12 years, and it's been great. I consider the Devils to be a part of my family now, and I have all the respect in the world for this organization.
I have friends that have been with several different teams, and they all say they wish they could have stayed in one spot. It's great for my family, because I haven't had to move them around to different cities.
At the start of your career, you can hardly imagine what it's like to win a Cup, but getting drafted by the Devils and staying with them has been special.After seven years in New Jersey, how do you like living there and do you make it home to Nova Scotia? Is there anything you miss?
Digby, Nova Scotia
The thing I miss about Nova Scotia is the people. I'm not a big city person, I'm more of a small-town guy. During the season we live in a quiet spot in New Jersey with trees and yards, and come the offseason I do get back to Nova Scotia for family and friends. Obviously, I don't miss the weather in Nova Scotia – I'll take the weather in New Jersey any day.You were fortunate enough to play with the greatest defenseman ever, Scott Stevens. What did you learn from him that you incorporate into your play?
The biggest thing I learned from Scott had to do with his work ethic: he came to work hard every day. When he laced up the skates, he was a different person. Scott was always motivated, and he was a guy who was going to win, no matter what it took. What I took from him – or have tried to – is his consistency in being prepared every day.