|(6/16/16) The Hurricanes signed Ward to a two-year contract extension Thursday. He will be paid $3.5 million in 2016-17 and $3.1 million in 2017-18.|
Ward has a decade's worth of service time in the NHL spent exclusively with the Hurricanes. He led the Canes to the Promised Land for the first time in franchise history back in 2006. A common thought among hockey pundits heading into the 2015-16 season was that Ward would be heavily challenged by Eddie Lack for the No. 1 job. However, that didn't come to fruition as Lack underwhelmed, nor were the bosses in Carolina keen on letting Ward warm the bench while cutting $6.3 million from the cap. Ward has bested his career GAA of 2.70 in each of the past two seasons, suggesting that he still has some gas left in the tank. Given that he previously had a hefty contract, it's no surprise that he wasn't traded last year, but his price tag under the new deal seems reasonable for a team that needs reliability between the pipes.