Following this morning's announcement that the Senators and restricted free agent Colin White had agreed to a six-year contract, the 22-year-old centre spoke with the media to share his elation after committing to Ottawa long-term.
"This is something that both parties wanted all along," said White in a conference call this afternoon. "I think it was the right move for both myself and Ottawa. I couldn't be more proud to be a Senator for the next 6 years."
White also shared that the Senators' young roster was definitely a contributing factor for agreeing to his new deal and spoke about the group's familiarity with each both other on and off the ice.
"We're all really close friends and we enjoy being around each other so I don't think there was much convincing to do," he said about contract negotiations. "There's a lot of great hockey players in that group too."
In the same media conference call, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion also shared his excitement about today's signing and reaffirmed that both sides left mutually content with the six-year term.
"We've signed one of our young, core pieces long-term which is a great step in the right direction for our franchise," said Dorion. "Colin's happy, we're very happy with the deal and I hope our fans are happy about getting this type of contract and commitment done from both sides."
With his six-year contract now in place, White was asked about the expectations that could come along with his new deal. He believes that the stability he received today could be the key for him to continue to improve on the ice in the future.
"If anything I think it's less pressure now because I can just play," said White. "Outplaying this contract is a goal of mine so every year I just want to get better and continue to improve in any way that I can."
His general manger agrees and praised White's development last season and his untapped potential as more reasons for the organization to commit long-term.
"We're very happy with Colin's development," Dorion said. "For us, he's just scratching the surface."
As the off-season nears an end, White plans to wrap up his workouts before returning to the Nation's Capital to start training camp. With a mindset towards his continued development, White believes he's put in the necessary work this summer to compliment the success from his rookie campaign last year.
"I want to build off last season and improve both offensively and defensively," he said. "I've been working pretty hard on that this summer so this is just more motivation for me."