Is it time for Hurricanes Goaltender Cam Ward to Move On?

As the Carolina Hurricanes look at the possibility of missing the playoffs again, fans start to question the place of the team’s goaltender


Hurricanes Golatender Cam Ward is the last remaining player from the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship Team

Ben DeBord, News Editor

The 2016-2017 season for the Hurricanes has been a rollercoaster of emotions, as their playoff hopes remain low due to a strongly inconsistent win/loss ratio. And with the lack of any playoff action since 2009, the big question is raised among dissapointed ‘canes fans: is it time for longtime starting goaltender Cam Ward to move on?  

The speculation is viable, albeit very disputed. Many supporters for this argument claims that Ward is playing far past his prime and is compromising the success of the team as a whole. This is supported by the fact that he has played multiple unfortunate games by letting in game-changing goals that otherwise would’ve been stopped by most NHL goalies.

However, statistics-wise Ward has been stopping pucks no different than usual, as this year his save average hasn’t particularly declined as many suggest. According to the NHL, there’s a negligible difference between his 2016-17 save percentage and his seasonal average. (Find more info here:

A quick Internet search of the Cam Ward debate returns arguments for both sides. The calls for his removal intensify during the Hurricanes’ rough stretches, while the desire to hold onto him is increased when the team is winning. SB Nation writer and Hurricanes blogger, Brett Finger, wrote about this situation in a January 2017 post, just ahead of the trade deadline. In the post, Finger points out that Ward has played the second most games among all NHL goalies through 45 games, and that as the season went on, Ward got worse. In Finger’s view, Cam Ward himself is not the issue, the team’s use of Cam Ward is the issue.

A possible solution to this issue is better management of the backup goalies, and since Eddie Lack’s injury monday night the ‘Canes are placing their dependence on Ward or the lackluster Michael Leighton. For now, a huge step into solving the issue is obtaining a quality backup goalie that can faithfully take over games that Ward can take a break from.