RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes are locking up former Red Deer Rebel goaltender Cam Ward to a long-term deal.
The NHL team has agreed to terms with Ward on a US$37.8-million contract extension that runs through the 2015-’16 season. Ward will receive $3.5 million this season in the final year of his previous deal.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Cam prior to the season,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said in a release Wednesday. “Signing Cam long term, along with (centre) Eric Staal, gives us a strong foundation to build teams year after year.”
Ward, 25, is entering his fifth NHL season and holds a career regular-season record of 120-77-18, putting him just 10 wins shy of the franchise record of 130 by a goaltender.
The Saskatoon native is the career franchise leader in winning percentage (.600) and playoff wins (23), ranks third in team history with 12 shutouts, fourth with 225 games played and set the single-season franchise record with 39 wins in 2008-09.
In 2006, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs most valuable player, earning 15 wins and posting a 2.14 goals-against average in 23 games en route to the Hurricanes Stanley Cup championship.
The six-foot-one, 185-pounder was a shining star with the Red Deer Rebels, backstopping them to a Memorial Cup in 2001.
Hewas drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round (No. 25 overall) of the 2002 NHL entry draft.
Carolina signed Staal to a long-term contract last year.