The Red Wings needed a puck-moving defenseman and had plenty of money to splurge in last summer’s free agent market.

They could have thrown big bucks at the likes of James Wisniewski or Christian Ehrhoff, but they opted for a lower-priced alternative in Ian White. The former Shark was signed to a two-year, $5.75 million deal. He’s actually earning slightly less this season than he did a year ago.

It is looking like money well-spent. White had another strong defensive game Friday as the Wings defeated Columbus 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena to improve to 5-0 heading into Saturday’s game at Washington.

White, a much needed right-handed shot brought in to help compensate for the loss of Brian Rafalski, who retired, has made a smooth transition to the Wings’ style of play, fitting in seamlessly as Nicklas Lidstrom’s new defense partner.

“So far it seems to fit my style,” White said. “They’re such talented forwards that if you can find (an opening) as a D-man, they’re going to find you and you’re going to give each other a lot of chances.”

White has been strong at both ends of the ice. He has two goals, one assist and a plus-5 rating.

“He’s a good puck-mover, he’s aggressive in his own zone, he’s very competitive,” Lidstrom said. “He’s hard to beat one-on-one. He has quickness, especially in his own zone, getting on players and being aggressive.”

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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