The Washington Capitals did right by Joel Ward on Tuesday.
Welcoming number 42 back to Verizon Center for the first time since his departure over the summer, the Caps played the video below during the first break in play. For his 57 goals, 64 assists, and 263,372 goofy smiles, Ward was rewarded with a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Here’s the video. It’s titled, “Thank you, Big Cheese.” Bob Marley’s “One Love” plays in the background.
On July 3rd, we all shed a tear when Joel Ward signed a three-year deal with those bastard San Jose Sharks. The sturdy, likable forward was arguably the most clutch playoff goal scorer in Caps’ franchise history. From dispatching the Boston Bruins in 2012 to his multiple late-game heroics in 2015, Wardo never shied away from the big moment.
Now, via Melissa C. (@fredvegasbass), we’re learning just how much of a consummate professional and helpful teammate Ward was while still in Washington. Watch as he and Andre Burakovsky do a face-off drill at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. You’ll love the leadership here.
Former Cap Joel Ward and current Cap Tom Wilson will paint the line in an upcoming charity ping pong tournament. Smashfest, held next Thursday in Toronto, is a celebrity table-tennis tournament held to raise money for rare cancer and head injury research.
San Jose’s bigasses/60 just got even bigger. NBCSN’s Anson Carter reports that former Washington Capitals winger Joel Ward has signed with the Sharks. Ward did not get the four years his agent wanted; instead he’ll settle for three. The contract is worth $9.825 million, and the $3.275 yearly salary is a $275k raise from last season.
CSN Washington’s Jill Sorenson reported this afternoon that Joel Ward is one of the most popular free agents on the market, according to Joel Ward’s agent Peter Cooney.
Photo credit: Susan Walsh
In the summer of 2011, the Washington Capitals gave Joel Ward a four-year, $12 million contract. The deal was largely based on Ward’s play over 12 games when Ward scored 13 points during Nashville’s run to the second round under Barry Trotz. In the regular season that year, Ward had scored just 10 goals. He was 31-years-old. Some of George McPhee‘s gambles didn’t work out, but this one did.
Photo credit: Nick Wass
Braden Holtby is that good. He has been the best goalie of the playoffs, posting a .951 save percentage through 11 games. But on Sunday night, the New York Rangers offense finally broke through. They jumped out to a 4-1 lead before the Capitals almost pulled off an unbelievable comeback. For the first time this postseason, we saw Holtby crack. Washington’s faith in him, however, is unshaken. They were not interested in talking about Henrik Lundqvist, who turned aside 42 shots in Washington’s one-goal defeat.
“Our goalie’s better,” Evgeny Kuznetsov, defiant in his postgame media scrum, said. “I don’t know what you want to listen from my mouth, but our goalie’s better.”
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