Ryan White’s hockey career has now come full circle.
Fourteen years ago, the Brandonite helped the midget Wheat Kings win the national Telus Cup, and now he’s back in his home province playing for the Manitoba Moose.
“A lot colder than I remember,” White said. “And getting out there in the morning with the dog is a little bit bone-chilling some days, but it’s nice to be home. A day off yesterday, so I got to go home and see some family, and it’s pretty special.”
“To have a guy like him that really wants to play here, it’s huge for the organization,” Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said. “So I’m very, very impressed with Ryan.”
White has yet to record a point in his first 10 games with the club. He’s already gotten an opportunity to play both on the power play and their penalty kill. But before the Moose came calling, the 30-year-old White was thinking his opportunities in North America might be drying up.
“When the NHL teams aren’t calling like they used to be and jobs aren’t jumping off the shelves, you start looking around to see where you’re going to end up,” he said.
“I just had a kid five months ago, so we were trying everything we could to stay over here, and when Zinger (Craig Heisinger) called, we were pretty happy to get an opportunity to come here.”
From the Montreal Canadiens, to the Philadelphia Flyers, to the Arizona Coyotes, to the Minnesota Wild, it’s been quite the ride for White. He’s now spent time with 10 different professional teams over just the last eight seasons.
“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind the last few years,” White said. “Bless my wife. She’s been good for all of it. A couple trades where I’m gone and she’s moving the house out and stuff like that. So it’s been a little bit of a challenge, but it’s part of it.”
When White first entered the NHL in 2009, he was better known as an enforcer, but as the game evolved, so did White.
“As the game has kind of changed, I’ve been trying to kind of change with it,” White said. “I went from being a skill guy in junior to trying to find a way into the NHL and pretty much doing whatever you can to get there.”
“When I came up through the league, it was very physical, and you were fighting for your job every day.”
White is playing with the Moose on a 25-game contract, so he’s still fighting for his job every day. And he still has hopes of getting back to the show.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” White said.