Cam Ward signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday to retire as a member of the team.
Ward was drafted 25th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2002 NHL Draft. As a rookie, Ward backstopped the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2006 and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy. He posted a 318-244-84 in his 13-season tenure with the team and is the 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 in a team release. “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.”
Ward left the Hurricanes as a free agent last summer, signing with the Chicago Blackhawks. The 35-year-old recorded a .897 save percentage and 3.67 GAA, going 16-12-4 in 33 appearances this past season.
“Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said. “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.”
The Canadian goaltender has a career .908 save percentage with a 2.74 GAA and 334-256-88 record in 701 NHL games.