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Cam Ward has MCL sprain, season might be done

Mar 4, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT

Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes is introduced before a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at PNC Arena on January 22, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
(January 21, 2013 - Source: Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes earned a 3-2 victory against Florida on Sunday, but the cost was high.

Starting goaltender Cam Ward left the game with what the Hurricanes have revealed to be a third-degree MCL sprain. The 29-year-old netminder won’t need surgery, but he isn’t expected to play for the next six to eight weeks.

Given that there’s a little under eight weeks left in the regular season, the Hurricanes won’t be able to rely on him making any further contributions to their battle for a playoff spot.

It sounds like Carolina has no immediate plans to trade for another goaltender. Instead, the Hurricanes will rely on Dan Ellis and 26-year-old goaltender Justin Peters, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Ellis has endured an up-and-down career, but he’s been a solid backup so far this season. Peters has excelled at the AHL level, but only has 28 NHL contests under his belt.

Carolina entered the season amid heightened expectations after trading for Jordan Staal and signing Alexander Semin. The ‘Canes are currently leading the Southeast Division with a 12-8-1 record.

In an odd twist, Ward’s injury came just one day after Panthers starting goaltender Jose Theodore suffered a significant groin injury in the first game of Florida’s home-and-away series with Carolina.

  1. r8rbhawk - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    If Cam Ward’s season is done, so too is the Hurricanes’ season

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Truth Spoken

    • lonespeed - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      First, he could be back for the playoffs. Second, Dan Ellis has looked exceptionally good in the games he has played. A small sample size for sure, but Ellis has looked good.

      They are four-points up on the Southest, which is full of horrible teams, so getting to the playoffs shouldnt’ be a problem.

      Even though it is not planned, they could also go outside of the box and trade for a goalie to help Ellis. Miikka Kiprusoff is starting to practice with the Flames after missing most of the season, but he’s a workhorse goalie who might want to play for a contender and Calgary might start morgaging the team for draft picks in the next couple weeks.

      • withseidelinn - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        You are being extremely overly optimistic

  2. dipthatchip - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Enormous blow to Carolina. The jets and lightning are struggling, theo and ward ate out, maybe the caps can crawl back? Eh, who am I kidding

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Hasn’t Winnipeg been on a roll lately? They’ve played the Flyers very well in two games this season. They have some nice young talent and a solid D corps.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        they just got rolled on by washington…they are hot and cold, they need a new coach IMO to pull their talent together

  3. jpelle82 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    stinks…he has looked dominant in some games this year despite the team not always playing well in front of him.

  4. viking28 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Cam hasn’t been that good this year anyway, not a big blow as you would think. Peters and Ellis can do the job I think, or there is always that Roberto guy in Van? Hmmm….

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Idk what you’ve been watching but the games I’ve seen he’s been very good. I think that’s a devastating loss. He’s their most important player. Luckily the Southeast isn’t very strong, but maybe this opens the door for Tampa. Carolina has had a good amount of injuries this season and Cam Ward always kept em in games. That win against Pittsburgh he was stellar. I wouldn’t have much faith in Dan Ellis if I was a Canes fan.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        *Tampa and Winnipeg

    • withseidelinn - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      I think the chances of Luongo getting traded just went up a lot. FLA could ride out the season with Markstrom, who is better than Theodore and Clemmensen combined, but for some reason they are against the idea of playing him. Now that Ward is out the Canes will realize Ellis is subpar, hence the reason he has bounced around the league as a backup. One of these teams needs to make a move – my bet is on FLA.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        They may make a move for Luongo (Fla that is) but it just wouldn’t make sense. Why bring in a guy who’s got like nine years left on a monster deal when your goalie of the future will be ready to take over the next year or so. It would substantially stunt the growth of Markstrom. If Fla is smart they’ll have Markstrom and Clemmensen split time. I agree Markstrom is better than both Theodore and Clemmensen so there shouldn’t be a drop off. And they’re not in contention anyway so give the kid some more NHL experience. As for the Canes, bringing in Luongo doesn’t make much sense either. Since Ward will be back next season. I think it’s more likely the pursue someone like Ben Bishop, who’s a free agent after the season. With Anderson (getting healthy) and Lehner, the Sens can afford to deal Bishop. Then the Canes can decide to keep a Bishop-Ward tandem next season, or move forward with just Ward.

  5. withseidelinn - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Another playoff spot opens up. Who takes it? Winnipeg?

  6. ndrick731 - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Michael Leighton is available. Hahahahahaha

  7. valoisvipers - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Just say no to Luongo!

  8. stroh5584 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Rutherford just called some guy in Colorado named Tim T.

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