McKenzie: Hurricanes deem Cam Ward 'expendable'

Jun 16, 1:15 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly eager to cut ties with the man who delivered the franchise its first Stanley Cup after being tabbed off the bench as a rookie in 2006.

Cam Ward is the subject of trade chatter because of the emergence of Anton Khudobin and his inability to stay healthy, but it's his price tag, not the no-trade clause, that will be the most significant obstacle for the Hurricanes.

He is due an average of $6.75 million over the next two seasons, a considerable investment for a player who filled out his 2013-14 stat line with a 10-12-6 record, 3.06 GAA and .898 Sv%. 

Feature photo courtesy of Timothy T. Ludwig / USA TODAY Sports

Sep 3, 5:52 PM

Hurricanes' Ward on summer trade rumors: 'I didn't know what was going to happen'

Sep 3, 5:52 PM

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward spent a large part of his summer unsure if he'd played his final game with the club, constantly hearing his name bandied about in trade rumors.

Ward admitted Wednesday that he "didn't know what was going to happen", telling Chip Alexander of the News & Observer he tried to stick to what he could control, namely getting in shape and returning to his old form:

It was an important summer in my career. These last couple of years haven't gone the way I expected of myself. I feel like that's behind me and you move forward. I've done everything I can to prepare myself to play with confidence.

Every summer you learn new things. For me, I became addicted to watching what I eat and looking for ways to improve my weight training. I focused a little more on strength and growing the muscles and I feel a lot stronger physically.

For now, Ward remains with the club, and will battle it out with Anton Khudobin for playing time, despite carrying a much higher cap hit. General manager Ron Francis says he believes Ward can be an above-average NHL goalie, but it's dependent on putting in the work.

"We still believe he can be an elite goalie in this league," Francis said. "By the same token, Cam understands what he needs to do to get back to that level. He could have done one of two things in the offseason - either sit back and relax, or work twice as hard toward having a better year. From what I have heard, he chose to work hard."

Ward carries a career save percentage of .910, but that number dropped to .898 last season, his lowest since 2007.

Related: Hurricanes' Anton Khudobin suggests Cam Ward may be past his prime

Feature photo courtesy of James Guillory / USA TODAY Sports