WARNING: This Icing on the Cake post contains female gushing and an obscene amount of girly emotion.
Ken and Laurel Ward gifted the hockey world with a talented, funny, and kindhearted goaltender on this day in 1984 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Yes, Cam Ward was born a goalie…EYECANDYAIR mask and all (ouch). Mr. Ward is now a husband, a father, and a Stanley Cup Champion at the ripe age of 28.
Ward was drafted 1st round, 25th overall in the 2002 by Carolina after playing three seasons with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. He was the Rebels’ 2000-01 Rookie of the Year and won the Del Wilson Trophy for top WHL goalie in 2002 and 2004. Crease partner, Brian Boucher, also won the esteemed award in 1997. Former Hurricane, Justin Pogge, was gifted with the trophy in 2006 as well.
Cam signed with the Canes on May 13, 2004, and to the immense pleasure of fans and the organization, he signed a 6 year contract extension on September 30, 2009. The AHL was his first stop, however, as the NHL was on a lock-out during the 2004-05 season.
He claimed his first NHL victory on October 7, 2005 in a shootout against Pittsburgh. He recorded his first shutout on November 9, 2006 against the Capitals.
This season, the 6’1” goalie has managed the Carolina crease in 52 games with a 22-18-10 record. His save percentage is .911 with 2.82 GAA. Wardo ended last season 37-26-10 with .923 SV% and 2.56 GAA. He literally kept any hopes of making the playoffs alive last year as far as I am concerned. (Insider info…I have removed roughly 12 overly girlie sentences from this paragraph, including, “Oh Lord Cam! I adore you.” And no, I did not forget the comma between Lord and Cam.)
Martin Gerber was the Hurricanes starting goalie when Ward entered the scene, but previous injury and struggles during the 2005-06 Stanley Cup finals meant the rookie had to step in. Boy, oh boy! I think we can confidently say the Conn Smythe trophy was well deserved, as was the Stanley Cup ring. Hello Edmonton shutout! (Drool)
#30 has also represented Canada in the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Championships. Ward assisted his team to a gold medal in 2007 and silver the following year. Bling to match is ring.
Wardo is a well decorated player who always appears cool, calm, and collected. (Ahem, we will forget the moment of frustration he expressed from the bench earlier this season.) It is impossible to recall all his wondrous achievements in one little post, so I’ll be posting some great Cam clips on Twitter today.
In conclusion, here are those glorious, shams-of-gifts from Cardiac Cane:
- The minute the buzzer sounds in the last game of the season, he will be whisked away to Santorini, Greece with his family and dearest friends for a two week vacation. It is incredible well deserved.
- I will also provide a yacht in Greece that would shame Donald Trump’s finest treasures, so he can tour the coast in style and comfort.
- He has been quoted saying his favorite moment was Game 7 of the 2006 Cup finals. I would like to give him a device that propels him back in time, into his body, so he can relive each moment of the 60 minutes.
- Will Farrell will accompany him to a Linkin Park concert and VIP party. That sounds like trouble.
- One million dollars to each of his Special Olympics efforts.
- I’m sure he wishes he had more time in the day to attend to all his training, game preparation, travel, personal affairs, and family. Therefore, I’ll extend the days by 2 hours so he can spend more quality time with Cody and Nolan.
Lastly, and with the deepest sincerity, a lifetime of impeccable health, an entourage of supportive friends and family, side-splitting laughter, and fulfilling success. Good grief, this birthday tribute has me all choked up…curse my insatiable admiration for goalies.
Happy, Happy Birthday Mr. Ward!
The gal you deemed the coolest caniac to grace the RBC Center. (You didn’t think I’d forget?!)
The Canes take on the eastern conference leading New York Rangers on Thursday night. Make sure to check back in for a game preview! Until then, head over to our Facebook page at Cardiac Cane and give us a like! Also, be sure to follow Cardiac Cane writers at: @CardiacCaneFS, @Esbee92, @peacelovepuck, @caniaccaz and @caniac176