Eric Weinrich and the rest of the players to wear # 5 barely stood a chance, as Colin White stole the vote as the best player to wear number five for the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils drafted White 49th Overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. White was called up to the Devils late in the 1999-2000 season and helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup that year. White was also a key defensive factor when the Devils won their third Stanley Cup in 2003.
Colin White was a familiar face on the Devils blue-line, until White suffered an unfortunate injury. During the 2007-2008 pre-season, White was defending two-on-one rushes during a team practice. He was up against John Madden and rookie Nicklas Bergfors. Bergfors took a shot that deflected off of White’s stick and hit him in the right eye. Devils fans say ever since this injury, White has not been the same player.
Because of the injury, White couldn’t be as physical as he once was. You no longer saw him drop the gloves, because if he got hit in the eye again, he would go blind. It’s because of this risk, that White started to wear a visor.
A semi-surprise occurred on August 1, 2011: Colin White was placed on waivers. Fans knew Colin White’s time with New Jersey was coming to an end, they just didn’t expect for it to happen so quickly. White was bought out by the Devils on August 2, and signed a new one year, $1-million contract with the San Jose Sharks.
|Career Stats with the New Jersey Devils|
Thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s poll.
“Best to Wear” # 6 will be posted on Tuesday.
After 11 seasons in the NHL, 37 year-old former New Jersey Devil Brian Rafalski announced that he will be retiring. With a couple of injuries and wanting to focus on his family, he decided it would be the best decision.
In 1999, Rafalski was named the best hockey player not playing in the NHL by the Sporting News. Later that year, the Devils signed him as a free agent. He was a pretty old rookie starting the 1999-2000 season at 26 years old, but he had four years of European hockey experience to back him up. He was paired up with Scott Stevens and played with other rookies, Scott Gomez, John Madden and Colin White. White remembers seeing Rafalski for the first time and thinking he had nothing to worry about when it came to the new small D-man standing at 5″10 and 195 lbs – until he saw him play. Rafalski led all rookie defensemen with a +21 rating, ended the season with 32 points and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Oh, and he helped in winning a Stanley Cup, too.
Rafalski went on to win another Cup with the Devils in 2003 before being signed by the Detroit Red Wings in 2007 to a five year contract. In 2008, he was a part of another Stanley Cup winning team. The next year would mark his fifth trip to the Finals in nine seasons – pretty impressive.
Injuries got in his way this season. Rafalski was on the training table every day and said that it got pretty tiring and affected the way he played. This didn’t stop him from picking up 48 points in 63 regular-season games though.
In his career, he’s also picked up two Olympic silver medals playing on Team USA (2002, 2010) and has been selected for three NHL All-Star Games. With an overall of 79 goal and 436 assists, giving him 515 points in 833 career games, Rafalski is definitely going out on top with a Hall of Fame worthy career.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve put together a few Devils facts focusing on the big number 5!
• The Devils played their first game on October 5th, 1982
• In 1982, we were 5th in what was then the Patrick Division (now the Atlantic Division)
• We had 5th overall pick in the 1989 draft
• The most points by a rookie in one game was 5 pts (Viacheslav Fetisov, 1989-1995)
• On May 5th, 1993, the Devils announced their relationship with the Albany River Rats
• We won our first Stanley Cup in 1995
• Zach Parise played his first game on October 5th, 2005
• Jamie Langenbrunner became captain on December 5th of 2007
• 2011 will be the start of the Devils 5th season in Newark after their first 25 seasons in East Rutherford
• There are 5 levels of seating at the Prudential Center
• Colin White currently wears the number 5
• The Devils shut out the Caps 5-0 in November of 2010
• Patrick Elias had 5 game winning goals in 2010-2011 season
Any big 5’s you can think of? Post them here!