GARRIOCH: The senators decided it was time to say goodbye to the Colin White center


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The Ottawa Senators have decided to say goodbye to Colin White.

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The Senators placed the 25-year-old White on waivers Tuesday at noon in a bid to buy out the last three years of his contract and once he’s done on Wednesday, his career with the club will officially be over.

General manager Pierre Dorion’s decision to leave White comes as no surprise, as his career with the organization has been marred by injuries and disappointments. He was simply never able to meet the expectations of the contract.

Phil Lecavalier, White’s Quartexx Hockey Montreal agent, told this newspaper Tuesday afternoon that both teams were disappointed it didn’t work out. But Lecavalier is confident White will be able to make a fresh start as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The brother of former Tampa Bay Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier knows how difficult it is for a player to learn they’re no longer wanted. He saw it happen firsthand with his brother firsthand in 2013 with the Bolts.

“These are hard-working, proud athletes. Getting redeemed is often seen as, maybe not an insult, but it’s very hard to swallow,” Lecavalier said. “Having said that, in a situation like Colin is in right now, I think it’s a great opportunity.

“You take a bit of a hard time being a proud athlete, but it gives you a new opportunity to decide what kind of environment you want to go into next time as a free agent. This is a great opportunity for Colin. He will be able to choose where he wants to be.

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White has three more years with a cap of $4.75 million. Under the terms of the collective agreement, he can be bought out at a third of his contract because of his age.

According to the buyout calculator on, it will cost the organization $5.25 million in real dollars to get away from White. That’s a saving of $10.5 million, which is why it didn’t come as a shock.

The decision means the Senators will carry a cap of $875,000 for five of the next six seasons through 2027-28. During the 2024-25 campaign, the organization will effectively receive a credit of $625,000 on the ceiling.

The Senators were close to reaching a deal with the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline on March 21, but when the pressure mounted, general manager Kent Hughes couldn’t cross the line. arrived, so the talks were called off.

Dorion contacted league teams to see if he could complete a trade before making that decision, however, there were clearly no takers. Hughes is White’s former agent at Quartexx and that’s why the Habs were interested in the first place.

He signed a six-year contract with the Senators before the start of the 2019-20 campaign, but he just couldn’t get the job done. Health was a big issue for White and he missed most of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Selected 21st overall by the Senators in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, White left Boston College at the end of the 2016-17 campaign. He’s the only player remaining from the club’s trip to the Eastern Finals against Pittsburgh in 2017 and made just one playoff game that spring.

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In 224 games with the Senators, White finished with 36 goals and 98 points. Teams looking for depth down the middle will take a long look at White. He should be able to choose from several destinations as soon as the market opens on July 13 at noon.

“You can only choose to be a free agent a few times in your career. It happens for some more often than for others,” Lecavalier said. “When Colin signed his contract, nobody went into that. thinking it wasn’t going to work. Whether it’s Colin, Kent Hughes, Pierre Dorion or the Ottawa Senators in general.

“When you sign a long-term agreement, everyone expects it to work and to go well. Sometimes things happen. Colin had a tough time, he had serious injuries, so sometimes it’s hard to start and gain a coach’s trust. You injure yourself again and it becomes very difficult.

“I think where things are right now is probably better for everyone. It’s a fresh start for the Senators, a fresh start for Colin and it’s okay. It happens to a lot of teams and a lot of athletes, where the separation is where things need to be at this time.

The Habs will throw tires on White as UFA, but he will have options. He won’t have the pressure he carried with him in Ottawa and that could help his potential turn into production. White was well liked by his teammates and we will miss him in the room as they had a great time.

It can be a cruel undertaking and you can be sure that Dorion did not want to have to exercise the route of redemption that the organization chose to take on Tuesday. Sometimes you have to admit it’s not what it’s supposed to be and move on. This is the case here.

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Twitter: @sungarrioch

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