There is only one way to beat the summer heat, NHL trade rumors, and we have another one. Cam Ward seems to be dangling out there for anyone to take. The Carolina Hurricanes have the seventh overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, and they seem willing to move up or down.
Ward has fallen out of favor slowly over the past few season, and now he is caught in the eye of the storm, or no-man’s land if you like that better. Cam Ward has a Stanley Cup Championship (2005-2006) to his credit, and several decent seasons, but his future in the NHL as a starting goaltender is cloudy at best. Over the past two season Ward has only been on the ice for 47 games, and his save percentage is for those two years is .908, and .898; numbers like that are a fast way to the AHL or the bench.
For the Hurricanes moving Ward would be a big help as his cap hit come in at $6,300,000 and he is under contract through the 2015-2016 season. At 30 years old and clearly on the decline Ward may be lucky to be a backup. However I wouldn’t expect the Hurricanes to dump Ward just for the sake of clearing cap space. Even at this point in his career, Ward could bring in a 2nd round pick at the Trade Deadline, and at that point something is better than nothing.
As far as possible landing spots for Ward; there are not a lot of teams hunting for an aging backup. There is the chance the Colorado Avalanche come calling, or maybe the Edmonton Oilers wouldn’t mind giving Ward a chance. With the NHL Draft coming up in only a few days we will soon see if someone is willing to make a move and give Ward a second chance at life in the NHL.
I almost feel sorry for how things are playing out for Ward, but only almost. This is the business side of the NHL, and sometimes being in the press box is better than not being part of the game at all.