Carolina Hurricanes: Is Cam Ward the best goalie in franchise history?

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 20: Cam Ward /

The 2018 version of the NHL All-Star Game is now in the books, and Cam Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes have a Jan. 30 test against the Ottawa Senators.

This is a time of speculation and wonderment as to what the Carolina Hurricanes can put together in a possibly amazing second half of the 2017-18 season. However, a huge obstacle for the Canes, the entire year, has been goaltending. Scott Darling has not lived up to expectations and Cam Ward isn’t a consistent performer.

Yet, in Carolina’s next contest, a Jan. 30 meeting with the Ottawa Senators, Ward is likely to get the nod. He takes on a quality starting goalie in Ottawa’s Craig Anderson. Ottawa presents a chance for the Canes to build a two-game winning streak and gain some momentum entering the February slate.

Looking at the entire body of work for Ward in his career with the Canes, he’s among the best the franchise has ever seen. While his production has declined in recent years, that does not take away from what he’s done for this organization.

As a Conn Smythe Trophy Winner, Stanley Cup Champion, and All-Star selection, Ward is also among the most decorated Canes of all-time. The fact that he’s still helping Carolina make their way into contention at the end of the regular season is a true testament to his stamina.

With Canes fans so excited to have Darling in the mix, to slowly force Ward out of Raleigh, he was definitely in a tough situation this season. Ward made the very best of it, even winning back the starting job at this moment.

Looking at his overall body of work, Ward is the winningest goalie in franchise history, and it’s not even close. Some Canes fans might say that someone like Arturs Irbe is a better goalie, but he just wasn’t with the team for long enough.

Carolina’s defense has proven to be inconsistent over the past decade. Ward is still holding up, and has a great record this season. At 13-6-2, Ward is head and shoulders above Darling in terms of garnering victories. Moreover, Ward could add his 14th win, if the Canes take down the Sens at home.

If the Canes do make it to the playoffs in 2018, Ward’s experience is invaluable. He led the Canes to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, and Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. No matter how much Carolina fans don’t like him, Ward has done a lot for this team. That deserves a good amount of respect.

Next: 5 better goalie options than Scott Darling

In terms of total production and resume, Ward is the best goalie in franchise history, by far. Whether he’s the best goaltender to ever suit up for the Canes is a different story. Ward is a goalie we appreciate this season, and that’s great to witness.