We have reached the teens in our Greatest Chicago Blackhawks countdown, and we land on a defenseman that was rock solid for an era of great Blackhawks teams.
This wouldn’t have happened in the NHL today because there are so many teams, but back in the mid 60’s sometimes talent was buried in the AHL because there were only so many roster spots.
This is the case of Bill White who didn’t make it to the NHL until he was 28 and thrown in an expansion draft to the LA Kings. He would play 3 seasons and 189 games with the Kings until fortune turned his way and the Blackhawks with a trade that sent Denis DeJordy to LA and White to Chicago.
White really came into his own when he was partnered with Pat Stapleton, and they made up a sensational defensive pairing. White was the old fashion stay at home defenseman which worked really well with the puck moving Stapleton.
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White would go to 5 straight All-Star Games, and if it wasn’t for some guy named Bobby Orr may have won a Norris Trophy or Two finishing 3rd to Orr in 3 straight seasons.
White of course came to Chicago 1970 so he went to two different Stanley Cup Finals, and he was part of a team that won the Division 5 times during his 7 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
White wasn’t a huge goal scorer but he’s 7th all-time in Chicago Blackhawks +/- with a +181 which is pretty awesome for only 7 seasons.
Sadly, White passed away this past year and all the stories I read about White is that like Dennis Hull he was a funny guy who liked to play pranks on the rookies and youngsters on the team. It’s always says something about a person that likes to put a smile on someone else’s face!
White never got to hoist the Stanley Cup, but he’s one of the best defensive defenseman that have ever laced it up for the Chicago Blackhawks!
Only 19 more days left until opening night!