Oct 7: Smith explained to the media today including Kyle Bukauskas of Sportsnet that White requires surgery on a dislocated shoulder and will be out four to six months. That means the young forward will miss the majority of the upcoming season, though a chance remains that he could return before the end of the schedule.
Oct 5: The Ottawa Senators lost last night in preseason action against the Toronto Maple Leafs but may have a much bigger concern than the final scoresheet. Colin White, who suffered a shoulder injury in the game, will be out a “significant” amount of time according to head coach D.J. Smith. A more specific timeline will be given in the coming days.
White, 24, was set to be one of the Senators’ top centers this season and currently sits as the team’s second-highest-paid forward. He’ll now join Clark Bishop on the sideline, taking out–as Smith puts it–two of the team’s top five options down the middle. Not only that, but the coach also explained that he’s now preparing as if Brady Tkachuk won’t be in the lineup for the start of the regular season, as the restricted free agent continues negotiations with the club. Suddenly the Senators forward group is looking awfully thin in terms of high-end talent.
With every injury there is an opportunity though, and White’s absence will likely open even more time for youngster Shane Pinto. The 20-year-old stepped right into the NHL lineup after leaving the University of North Dakota last season and has been impressive this preseason. Selected 32nd overall, Pinto has a strong presence at both ends of the rink and could quickly find himself in competition for the first-line center role. Smith explained that he’ll try Pinto between Nick Paul and Connor Brown for the next little while as he tries to create an “identity line” which will be difficult to play against.
White meanwhile now faces another tough season ahead. The 2015 first-round pick made quite the impact in 2018-19 with 41 points in 71 games, but hasn’t been able to come close to those numbers in the years since. Last season he had just ten goals and 18 points in 45 games while averaging fewer than 15 minutes a night. A long rehab won’t help, especially as other young talents show what they can do.