Cam Ward announces retirement, signs one-day contract with Hurricanes after 14 seasons in NHL

Goaltender Cam Ward announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday and will go out with the team he started with. The Stanley Cup champion signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, who drafted him and was the franchise he spent most of his career with. Ward played last season with the Chicago Blackhawks after being signed to a one-year, $3 million deal in July of 2018. 

Ward mentioned in his retirement announcement how much the Hurricanes and their fans mean to him:

"It was an honor and a privilege to wear the Hurricanes jersey for 13 years. 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."

He also gave a shout out to those who played with him and helped him grow during his time with the team.

"I'd also like to thank the great teammates, coaches and staff members I worked with during my time as a player in Carolina," Ward said. "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."

The Canadian was selected by the Hurricanes in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft with 25th overall pick. Ward earned his starting goaltender spot in 2006 and helped lead the team to a championship, defeating the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final. That year he also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy, becoming only the fourth rookie goaltender in NHL history to do so. 

Carolina's President and General Manager Don Waddell expressed how happy he was that Ward decided leave the league as a member of the Hurricanes.

"Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade," he said.

Waddell also noted Ward's efforts in the community saying, "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 35-year-old holds many Hurricanes franchise goaltending records, including career regular-season games (668), wins (318), winning percentage (.557), shutouts (27) and most saves (17,261).

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