Before Matt Murray, there was Cam Ward. In 2006, as a rookie goaltender, Ward helped the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup and took home the Conn Smythe trophy in the process.
Since then, he’s backstopped the ‘Canes franchise with relative consistency. Now, with Eddie Lack waiting for his chance to grab the starting role, the Hurricanes have re-signed the 32-year-old Ward to a two-year contract worth $6.6-million. Ward will make $3.5-million next season followed by $3.1-million in 2017-18.
Cam Ward signs two-year contract with @NHLCanes. https://t.co/ot6xpzmWu0 pic.twitter.com/6UK82rcInc
— NHL (@NHL) June 16, 2016
There was speculation that the Hurricanes were looking to go in a different direction – possibly Lack – but the signing gives Carolina the opportunity to maintain leadership and a veteran presence in between the pipes.
“I believe the hard work begins now,” said Ward regarding the signing. “Knowing the Canes gave me this opportunity to come back for two years, I don’t take that lightly.”
In 52 games last season Ward finished with a 23-17-10 record, a 2.41 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
Ward leads the Hurricanes (and Whalers) franchise in games played by goalies, wins, and shutouts. He ranks among the top 100 goalies in NHL history in games played, wins and shutouts.
While he may have had some struggles with injuries over the past few seasons (2012 to 2014 in particular), he still managed to make a lasting impression on the franchise and the league.