Cam Ward, the Canadian goalkeeper who propelled to stardom following his stellar rookie campaign that saw him win the Stanley Cup, today signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, ending his hockey career at the age of 35.
The 25th pick of Carolina in the 2002 Draft, Ward joined the Hurricanes in 2005, which saw him shift from backup to starter during the Hurricanes’ unlikely 2006 playoff run, posting a .920 save percentage and 15-8 record en route to winning Stanley Cup MVP, the first rookie to win MVP since 1987 and the first rookie starting goaltender to win a Stanley Cup since 1986. Ward would remain a mainstay in the Hurricanes net for the next 13 seasons, although he would only make the playoffs one more time in his career (2009), and his later years were plagued by injuries and a drop-off in performance. Ward spent his final season with Chicago after signing as a free agent in 2018, playing in only 33 games. Ward finishes his NHL career with 334 wins in 701 games over 14 seasons, with a career .908 save percentage and 27 shutouts.
Internationally, the native of both Saskatoon and Edmonton suited up for Canada at three World Championships, and was among the final goalie cuts for Canada’s Olympic team in both 2006 and 2010. Coming off his Stanley Cup success in 2006, Ward was the starter for Canada at the 2007 Worlds in Moscow, posting a 5-0 record on their run to Gold. Ward returned the following season for Canada’s silver medal finish on home ice in Québec City, going 4-1 in Canada’s first ever time hosting the World Championships. Ward would return once more to backstop Canada to a fifth place finish at the 2012 Worlds, going 4-2.
Winning the IHLC with the 2007 Worlds team, Ward actually only held the title twice, with his only other victory to start off the 2012 Worlds campaign. We wish Cam and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!