NHL free agency: Canadiens sign Ryan White to 1-year contract

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

Ryan White is returning to Montreal and it didn't take arbitration to seal the deal.

The Montreal Canadiens and Ryan White avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $700,000 contract, the team announced Saturday. White, a restricted free agent, filed for arbitration on Wednesday.

White's new contract will keep him from the arbitration process. That is especially important because under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams cannot walk away from an arbitration award under $3.5 million, so in White's case the Canadiens would have been bound by the arbiters' decision.

The 25-year-old has spent his entire professional career with the Canadiens after being selected by the club in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft. He's developed into a solid fourth line player, using his energy and physicality to make an impact despite contributing just one goal and no assists in 26 games last season.

The question for White will be whether he can show a little more discipline in 2013-14. He racked up 67 penalty minutes last season and earned a five-game suspension for elbowing Kent Huskins.

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