RALEIGH, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes wanted to make sure that one of their most important pieces of their franchise, Cam Ward, would not go nowhere, and the team and the goaltender reached an agreement yesterday on a two-year contract extension, keeping the 32-year old Ward in Carolina through the 2017-18 season. Under the terms of the deal, Ward will make $3.5 million in the 2016-17 season, and in the 2017-18 campaign, Ward will make $3.1 million.
“Like I said at the end of the season, I remained hopeful and optimistic that something could be worked out where I could remain in Carolina. I’m really thankful that Ron Francis and organization are giving me another opportunity to stay for two more years.” Ward said.
Ward finished last season with a record of 23-17-10, a 2.41 goals against average, and a .909 save percentage in 52 games with Carolina, and his 2.41 goals against average was his second best single-season mark in his NHL career, while his wins and games played totals were his best since the 2011-12 campaign, despite missing time due to an injury in December, before coming back on December 18th, and from that date all the way to the end of the regular season, Ward posted a seventh-best 2.19 goals-against average in the NHL last season to go along with a 14-9-7 mark and a .919 save percentage in 30 games.
“Cam has been the major face of the Hurricanes both on the ice and in our community for more than a decade, and we are happy that he has chosen to continue his career with Carolina.” said Ron Francis, the Hurricanes Executive Vice President and General Manager. “You go through a process, you look at free agents and who might available come July 1, there’s no guarantee of who might be available and we thought that Cam was right there at the top of the list. We looked at conversations with other GM’s, and
where we are and what we’re trying to build here, we thought it was important to make a move.”
Since being selected by the Hurricanes with the 25th pick, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Ward has already established several different franchise records in the Hurricanes 19 seasons in North Carolina. He is the Hurricanes all-time leader in wins(269), shutouts(23), and games played by a goaltender(564). In 2006, his rookie season, Ward appeared in 28 games, finishing with a 14-8-2 mark, a 3.68 goals-against average, and a .882 save percentage, and in the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, Ward was almost lights out, going 15-8-2, a 2.14 goals-against average, and a.920 save percentage to help the Hurricanes capture its first Stanley Cup title, and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I think it will be easier not to think about it, but I say that carefully because by no means it will be easy.” Ward said. “I believe the hard work begins now, knowing that the Hurricanes gave me this opportunity to come back for two years. I want to make sure that I do everything that I can on my end to prepare and give it my best.”