Dynasty Hockey League

Ward eager to prove he’s still got it

Just a few days into the new DHL season Cam Ward’s career hit rock bottom. At 30 years old and with 2 years left on his current contract, the last place aspiring Buffalo Sabres elected to place him on waivers, and send him down to the minors in an effort to shed his almost $2.4 million cap hit. Its been a rough road for Ward in recent years as numerous injuries have taken their toll on his endurance making it impossible for him to be relied on in a starting role. When he has been able to make it into the lineup, the consistancy that the hockey world came to expect from him earlier in his career was simply not there. In the past two NHL seasons Cam Ward was only able to make it into a combined 47 games, posting a GAA just below 3.00 and a lack lustre SV% hovering just above 0.900. Hardly the kind of numbers that a DHL GM looks for while searching for a goaltender to take his team to the promise land.

Thankfully for Cam Ward the end has yet to be seen. As a result of his improved play thus far in the current NHL season, the Washington Capitals elected to give Ward a second life in the DHL claiming him off of waivers late last night. His current NHL pace of a 2.44 GAA and a SV% north of 0.910 was enough to convince GM Todd Westacott that he might still have something of value left to offer in the DHL.

“We saw an opportunity to pick-up a fairly young UFA goaltender who has previously shown flashes of brilliance and star potential at a very low cost. We will most likely utilize him to give Brayden Holtby some rest days and provide some leadership and experience from the goaltender position. Our hope is that Cam can stay healthy and build up his endurance level and confidence to a point where he can prove that he still has what it takes to land a starting role again.”

Although Ward is glad to be back in the DHL, it will be an uphill battle to get back to the level he was once capable of. The road will almost certainly involve playing backup to his younger counter part Brayden Holtby, and waiting patiently on the bench for a shot to prove himself.

“Yeah I am very happy to be given his opportunity by the Capitals. Obviously the goal and the hope would be to find a starting role in the DHL, but handing out water bottles and towels on a DHL bench beats the hell out of riding buses and changing diapers down in the minors. I am just going to work hard to be in the best shape of my career and be ready when an opportunity presents itself to show what I have to offer.”

When asked about the possibility of there being a DHL team out there that in the near future that might be interested in Cam Ward`s services as a starting goaltender, GM Todd Westacott had this to offer.

“I think that right now Cam`s fitness level is not where it needs to be in order for him to provide a consistantly good performance in goal night after night. We are hoping that maybe being placed on waivers might be a motivating factor for Cam to work harder than he has ever worked before, day in and day out, to get back to that level  where he could play every night. We are committed to providing him an opportunity to get into some DHL games and show that he still has what it takes and hope that he makes the best of those opportunities. If a DHL team does show some interest in making Cam a starting goaltender in the future then we would certainly be open to discussing that. We are going to follow the same game plan we had in place when we acquired Jimmy Howard. Luckily we were able to find a starting job for Jimmy and get a couple of decent prospects in return. We hope to find a similar situation for Cam Ward at some point before next season.”

In the meantime, while Cam Ward looks for his opportunity to prove himself in Washington, rumours are circulating that the Capitals may now be in the market for a good bodyguard to watch Brayden Holtby`s back every time he approaches the top of a tall staircase or finds himself in need of the crossing the street at a busy intersection. These rumours could neither be confirmed or denied but we will keep a close eye on this developing situation.

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