Longtime Carolina Hurricane and Stanley Cup champion Cam Ward is hanging up the skates as a member of the team that drafted him, signing a one-day deal on Wednesday, as announced by the Hurricanes.
Ward’s tenure with the ‘Canes spanned 13 seasons after he was drafted 25th overall in 2002.
Not many players kick off their NHL career in such historic fashion. Ward made 28 saves against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his debut on Oct. 7, 2005, and then stopped Mario Lemieux, Zigmund Palffy and Sidney Crosby in the shootout to help Carolina to a 3-2 victory.
The rest of that first season provided more of the same heroics. Ward led the team to a Stanley Cup while becoming the fourth rookie goaltender in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
“Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a release. “From his ‘Cam’s Champs’ program to his efforts with the Hurricanes Foundation and time spent teaching at our hockey camps, he had a tremendous impact on this community. We’re proud that he has chosen to retire with the Carolina Hurricanes.”
Back home to sign the one-day deal pic.twitter.com/Ihm44aDeFf— Carolina Hurricanes (@CanesNHL) August 28, 2019
Ward retires as the team’s franchise leader in wins, losses, saves and shutouts.
“It was an honour and a privilege to wear the Hurricanes jersey for 13 years,” Ward said. “Throughout it all, what stayed clear to me was my love for this organization, this city and this fan base. It is why my family and I call Raleigh home, and will continue to call it home. I appreciate all of the support the fans gave me throughout the highs and the lows. I thank you.
Ward left the Hurricanes as a free agent last summer, playing his final season as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Ward retires with a .908 save percentage, a 2.74 goals-against average and 27 career shutouts through 701 NHL appearances.
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