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‘Canes plan to split net duty between Khudobin, Ward

Jun 29, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

Cam Ward, Anton Khudobin Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes may have been trying to find a way to move Cam Ward, but their plan for next season has him involved.

Ward has battled injuries and has a juicy contract that pays him $6.3 million against the salary cap over the next three seasons, but according to Chip Alexander of the News & Observer, he’ll be splitting the net with Anton Khudobin.

Carolina’s third goalie last season, Justin Peters, is set to be a free agent this summer. Making the Ward/Khudobin split awkward is Ward’s history with the Hurricanes and Khudobin outperforming him in a big way last season. Ward was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as he helped lead Carolina to the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Last season it appeared now former head coach Kirk Muller favored Khudobin and for good reason as he had a .926 save percentage compared to Ward’s .898 and Peters’ .919. With Peters on his way out, Ward will have to work hard to reestablish himself in goal to new head coach Bill Peters.

  1. rbbbaron - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    “Ward has…a juicy contract that pays him $6.3 million against the salary cap over the next three seasons”
    Lol, what idiot for a GM gave him that contract? Surely that guy is doing nothing more than flippin’ burgers these days…

    • lowenni - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      I believe he got that contract after he won the Conn Smythe trophy in 2006 as a rookie while backstopping the Canes to their only Cup. Made sense at the time, he was supposed to become one of the leagues best goalies. He was when he was healthy, but no one could’ve expected him to have so many injuries. We can only judge in retrospect…

      • rbbbaron - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        Yes, he did get that contract after the 05-06 season, and after he backstopped the Canes to four (4) forgettable seasons thereafter. That contract paying him 6.7mil this season was signed in 2010, after Ward tore up the league with an 18-win, 2.69 GAA 2009-2010 season. Some genius apparently thought that was enough to merit making Cam Ward, what, the second highest paid goalie in the league at that time? Lol

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    I still believe Cam Ward has #1 ability but heavy workloads for years have taken their toll. If not for that contract another team would jump all over him, Imo. His D has been so-so for years. I’ve seen some stellar games out of Ward, but Khudobin is better right now.

    Unfortunately for Hawks fans I have a feeling that Crawford contract is going to come back to bite them as much, if not more, than Ward’s is now. And Crawford, at his peak, still wasn’t as good as Ward in his prime (before the injuries).

    • onemorematt - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      I think the Crawford/Ward comparison is apt, however, I also think both goalies get an unfair share of criticism. Both are overpayed, but I think most goalies are (and this is coming from a goalie!). It’s arguably the most important position on a team, and one injury, or a few bad weeks and blown confidence can just tank a season for the guy. They also need to be able to play there way out of a funk, which risks a few loses for the team while they find their rhythm again, and a lot of teams don’t have the luxury of letting a few games go.

      • bravesfan1966 - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:01 AM

        THEIR way.

  3. onemorematt - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    So translation – we’ll let both play, while neither really has time to find a steady rhythm (or if they do, the other goes cold on the bench). We’ll then make a split decision half way thru the season to dump one.

    I don’t see this working out well for Ward, but I guess that (and Cam’s contract) are the Canes problems.

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