Ward assigned to Checkers for conditioning stint
Posted January 30
After practicing with the team Thursday for the first time in 2014, goaltender Cam Ward is headed to the Charlotte Checkers for a conditioning stint. Officially off of injured reserve, Ward will join the Checkers in Cleveland as they face the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ward has been out since New Years Eve with a lower body concern, missing the past 13 games. The Hurricanes have been playing their best hockey in January and the veteran goalie doesn’t want to get back into form at the expense of his teammates.
“I don’t want to hurt the team by stepping in there and trying to feel my way back in, we’ll go over some options and whether that is to get a game in Charlotte to get into a game situations so they just don’t throw me out there and they can be a little more confident throwing me in the net," Ward said.
Practice for most pro athletes is a grind, but Ward was happy to be back on the ice with his teammates.
“It was real good, unfortunately with the schedule there aren’t a whole lot of practices right now," said Ward. "So it has been difficult for me to get into one. Today to be able to get out there with the boys it was a lot of fun.”
Ward has only appeared in 19 games this season and looked like a player ready to get back on the ice with his team, making saves in special teams work and in shootout drills, taking as many shots as possible.
“I felt like I was moving real well. I had my timing down for being away from the game for a little while, so real big positive today," Ward said.
Head coach Kirk Muller feels that Ward can use the game work in the AHL to sharpen his skills.
“The opportunity to go down there and play will get him in a good mindset, the biggest thing is health wise that he can get through a game and he feels good and feels comfortable and that where we are at right now and just take it day by day,” Muller said.
Pat Dwyer was back at practice on a line with Manny Malhotra and Nathan Gerbe, the winger Dwyer had been absent from action since Jan. 22 in Philadelphia, where he left the game after blocking a shot.
“I’m doing good," Dwyer said. "You know it was one of those things that was an over-time injury where it slowly built up and built up and built up until it was unplayable.”
Dwyer said while missing games is not something a player ever wants to do, the time off was beneficial.