This just in, former Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward has signed a one day contract with the Hurricanes and will officially retire as a member of the team.
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Ward, of course, was the Hurricanes' long-time starting goaltender before joining the Blackhawks organization last season. He'll be best remembered for winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 2006 and claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Read below for the full press release announcement of today's news courtesy of the Hurricanes' official website:
RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed goaltender Cam Ward to a one-day contract and that Ward will retire from the National Hockey League as a member of the Hurricanes.
"Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade," said Waddell. "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, holds Hurricanes franchise goaltending records in career regular-season games played (668), wins (318), winning percentage (.557), shutouts (27) and saves (17,261). Including his final season with the Chicago Blackhawks, he completes his NHL career with a record of 334-256-88, a goals-against average of 2.74 and 27 shutouts.
"It was an honor and a privilege to wear the Hurricanes jersey for 13 years," said Ward. "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.
"I'd also like to thank the great teammates, coaches and staff members I worked with during my time as a player in Carolina. I will always treasure my memories as a player at PNC Arena, from winning the Stanley Cup to representing the organization in the All-Star Game. While this wasn't an easy decision, I'm looking forward to making the transition with my family and seeing what the future holds for me post career."
Born in Saskatoon and raised in Sherwood Park, Alb., Ward was selected by the Hurricanes in the first round, 25th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He earned his first NHL win in his first NHL start for Carolina on Oct. 7, 2005, stopping Mario Lemieux, Zigmund Palffy and Sidney Crosby on consecutive penalty shots for the shootout victory. Ward took hold of the Hurricanes starting job during the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, ranking first in the league in playoff wins (15) and second in goals-against average (2.14) to lead Carolina to the championship and become the fourth rookie goaltender in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
In 2008-09, Ward set single-season team records for wins (39, 2008-09), shutouts (6, 2008-09) and winning-streak (9 games, 2008-09) and the single-game record for saves, with 57 in a victory against the Islanders on Oct. 25, 2008. That post-season, he set or extended franchise playoff records in games played (41), wins (23), shutouts (4) and saves (1,064), leading Carolina to the Eastern Conference Final. In 2010-11, Ward ranked first in the NHL and established a franchise record in saves (2,191), earning a spot in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, which was held in Raleigh. On Dec. 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, he earned his 300th NHL win, becoming the 32nd goaltender in NHL history to reach the 300-win plateau, and one of eight players to record the first 300 wins of his career with one team. Ward also holds franchise records in goals (1), assists (11) and points (12) by a netminder.