Joel Ward (ice hockey)
Ward during his tenure with Washington
December 2, 1980 |
North York, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)|
Joel Randal Ward (born December 2, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild.
Early life 
Ward was born in Toronto to his mother Cecilia who worked as a nurse, and his father, the late Randal Ward, formerly an auto-mechanic. Both of his parents are immigrants from Barbados. Joel Ward also has two brothers, Shane and Julian.
Playing career 
Undrafted, Ward played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Platers. After completing his four-year junior career and his final year of eligibility with the Platers in 2000–01, Ward linked up with lower tier professional team the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the West Coast Hockey League to end the season. An unsigned free agent to start the 2001–02 season, Ward attended the Detroit Red Wings training camp on a try-out but was recruited and played collegiately for the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers of the CIS.
Awarded Rookie of the year and the Panthers three time MVP while earning a degree in sociology in his four-year collegiate career, Ward was invited to the Minnesota Wild's training camp in 2006. In his first full professional season he was assigned to the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, signing his first professional contract for the entire 2005–06 season.
After impressing with his work ethic, Ward earned a two-year deal with the Wild on September 27, 2006. Ward debuted in 11 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild during the 2006–07 season but primarily stayed with the Aeros, developing into a responsible two-way player and improving his points totals in each of his three years.
On July 15, 2008, Ward signed as a free agent to a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators. He made the opening night roster out of training camp for the 2008–09 season and scored his first NHL goal in his first game as a Predator against the St. Louis Blues on October 10, 2008.
As a 28 year old ineligible rookie he scored 17 goals in 79 games and his reliability as a defensive forward and success as a utility scoring forward led him to be re-signed to a two-year contract on July 1, 2009.
Ward became a free agent after the 2010-11 season and signed a four-year contract worth $12 million with the Washington Capitals on July 1, 2011. On April 25, 2012 Ward scored the winning goal in overtime in the seventh game of the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The Capitals advanced to the conference semi-finals on Ward's game-winning goal. Ward's dark skin tone - due to his Barbados' heritage - led to many racist comments in on-line media following his game-winning goal.
Ward's fortune would not continue into Washington's series with the New York Rangers. With the series tied at two games apiece, Ward took a high-sticking double minor penalty on Carl Hagelin with 22 seconds remaining in the 3rd period of Game 5 with Washington leading 2-1. Rangers forward Brad Richards tied the game with under 10 seconds remaining, and defenseman Marc Staal scored in overtime with the Rangers still on the powerplay due to Ward's penalty carrying over into the extra session, giving the Rangers a 3-2 series lead.
After the season he had sports hernia surgery.
Career statistics 
|1997–98||Owen Sound Platers||OHL||47||8||4||12||14||11||1||1||2||5|
|1998–99||Owen Sound Platers||OHL||58||19||16||35||23||16||2||4||6||0|
|1999–00||Owen Sound Platers||OHL||63||23||20||43||51||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Owen Sound Attack||OHL||67||26||36||62||45||5||2||4||6||4|
|2000–01||Long Beach Ice Dogs||WCHL||—||—||—||—||—||8||0||0||0||0|
|2001–02||U. of Prince Edward Island||CIS||22||13||14||27||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||U. of Prince Edward Island||CIS||19||11||15||26||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||U. of Prince Edward Island||CIS||27||14||24||38||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||U. of Prince Edward Island||CIS||28||16||28||44||42||—||—||—||—||—|
See also 
- Joel Ward's Twitter
- Best, Tony (November 18, 2011). "Cool US$12m hockey deal". Nation Newspaper. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Right Wing trio adds to NHL's expanding diversity". NHL. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- "Wild signs RW Joel Ward". Minnesota Wild. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- "Predators sign Free-Agent forward Joel Ward". Nashville Predators. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Tkachuk nets two power play goals, Blues drop Predators in opener". CBS Sports. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- "Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward stay the cours". The Tennessean. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-02.[dead link]
- "Trotz excited to have Ward back in the mix". Nashville Predators. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- "Capitals owner Ted Leonsis condemns racist fan reactions to Joel Ward’s Game 7 goal". . 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
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