Veteran goaltender Cam Ward has signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in order to retire as a member of the team that he played nearly his entire career for. Ward played parts of 13 seasons in Carolina before joining the Chicago Blackhawks for one year in 2018-19. GM Don Waddell explained what Ward means to the franchise:
Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade. 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.
Ward, 35, memorably burst onto the NHL scene in 2006 as a young goaltender with tremendous ability. After struggling through his first partial season something clicked for the rookie in the playoffs, and he took over from Martin Gerber and led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup. Awarded the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP, Ward would forever be remembered in Carolina regardless of what the rest of his career brought.
He wasn’t done.
Ward would quickly become the team’s full-time starting goaltender and go on a solid run for the next decade, twice earning Vezina Trophy votes as one of the league’s best. He holds the franchise records for games played, wins, winning percentage, shutouts and saves. He left Carolina with a .909 save percentage and 318-244-84 record in the regular season, and a .917 mark in the postseason.
It was obvious there wasn’t a lot left for Ward in Chicago last season, but it is fitting for him to return to Carolina before hanging up his pads for the last time. Good luck in retirement, Cam.