Francis: I explored possibilities to trade Ward

Posted June 30, 2014

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.



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  • Jeanne Gunn Jun 30, 2014

    It's too expensive to dump Ward, unfortunately, but I'm glad the Canes extended Khudobin's contract.

  • Janet Scott Jun 30, 2014

    Obviously, they couldn't find any teams willing to take Ward with his ridiculous salary. We can't afford to pay a guy, who isn't a starter, that much money.

  • dleven04 Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Obviously, Cam is still being paid by the 'Canes. Who are you referring to as "we"? Who are you to decide that $6.3 is too high of a pay grade? His pay was determined by contract long before he was injured. That is not at all too much money for a piece of vulcanized rubber at 90-100 mph to fly in my direction. That is not at all too much money for a skate to slice my knee open.

  • justiceforall Jul 1, 2014

    Stop dancing around the subject, and get yourself a "real" team captain. That is the first place to start.

  • wlcat609 Jul 1, 2014

    I strongly suspect that the coming year will be one of many adjustments for the Canes and their front office. However, if Ward has a similar year to last season, I would not be surprised if the Canes decided to 'buy out' his last year since a trade may be out of the question. I read the drafting of 'Alex' recently as part of the buy out scenario.

  • Janet Scott Jul 1, 2014

    Dleven04...who am I...someone who pays a high price to watch Ward miss time and time again. And "we" refers to all of the other fans who do the same. it is a shared belief among most educated fans that JR was responsible for contracts that paid ridiculously high salaries for ridiculously long periods of time. Cam chose to be an NHL goalie...

  • HGA_Matt Jul 1, 2014

    If the Canes ever learned to play defense and give their goalies some help, there wouldn't be a concern about trading their best goalie away. Khudobin has been a journeyman for a reason, and besides one great month, was very average last year. The Canes have been giving up too many shots on goal for 7 years now. You can't expect any goalie to take the beating these guys do without getting hurt and giving up goals.

  • dleven04 Jul 2, 2014

    jscott13....ok.....I am glad you are a "high price" spectator. You have chosen that just like Cam chose goalie. The "time" he has missed has been due to injury or simple rest. Your "shared belief" for contracts is exactly JR's responsibility. The "high salaries" are based on what the market will bear, his talent, value to the organization, etc. Would you be willing to stand in that crease as a goalie for less $$$ and for a short period of time?

  • Janet Scott Jul 4, 2014

    Dleven04...the most frustrating part of the Cam situation last season was the games lost because they kept giving him a chance to step up...and he repeatedly failed. I'll bet that drove Muller nuts as well. And JR was much more apt to dole out high salaries with long contracts then most GM's...just take a look at the stats. E. Staal being the 4th highest paid guy at his position in the NHL is crazy...there are so many more than 3 who perform better than he does. He has the talent and the ability, but he just doesn't choose to deliver for whatever reason. Ward also has the talent and the ability, but, once again, he doesn't do what it takes to deliver.

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