Francis: I explored possibilities to trade Ward
Posted June 30
Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis told Adam Gold on 99.9FM The Fan Monday that he explored the possibility of trading goalie Cam Ward.
"I’d be lying, I mean he knows this too, that I did explore if there were possibilities out there that made sense," said Francis. "At the end of the day we came back around to, we thought we were a better team with him in our lineup than not in our lineup."
Ward missed 21 games due to injury last season, playing in 30 as he split time with goalie Anton Khudobin. Ward earned a 10-12 record with a save percentage of 89.9%. The veteran goalie is set to earn $6.3 million for the next two seasons before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
"We feel that Cam is a good goaltender and with the changes, hopefully the new goalie [coach] can work with him and new changes in our defense system that [head coach] Bill [Peters] is implementing, that gives him a chance to get back to the level he was at and the success he’s had in the past," said Francis.
Ward was drafted by Carolina in 2002 and has played in 461 games for the Hurricanes, notching a 2.76 goals against average.
The Hurricanes extended the contract of Khudobin until the 2016-17 season and backup Justin Peters became an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Francis said he expects Peters to test a few markets.
"The biggest change I want to see made doesn’t come through free agency, it doesn’t come in a trade, it’s just our compete level in a day-in and day-out basis," Francis said.