Aaron Ward (ice hockey)
January 17, 1973|
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||208.2 lb (94 kg; 14 st 12 lb)|
Detroit Red Wings|
New York Rangers
5th overall, 1991|
Aaron Christian Ward (born January 17, 1973) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman who played more than 800 games over a span of 13 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, having won twice with Detroit in 1997 and 1998 and once with Carolina in 2006.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ward moved with his family to Blackburn Hamlet, Ontario, a suburb of Ottawa, as a youth where he attended Emily Carr Middle School. He played in the 1987 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Gloucester, Ontario.
Ward played junior hockey for the Nepean Raiders of the Central Junior A Hockey League before accepting a scholarship to attend the University of Michigan. After one season playing for the Wolverines ice hockey team, he was drafted fifth overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft.
Before his playing days at Michigan were over, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, signing with the club in 1993. He was then assigned to the Red Wings' affiliate Adirondack Red Wings for the 1993–94 season, where he spent the bulk of the next three seasons. He later made his NHL debut in 1993–94 and scored his first career NHL goal at the Arrowhead Pond on October 8, 1993. Ward became a regular NHLer during the 1996–97 season.
Ward has played over 600 career NHL games and been a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams, two while playing for the Red Wings in 1997 1998 and one with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. In 2006, Ward scored the first goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to help his team win the Cup. After the 2006 season, Ward became an unrestricted free agent, whereupon he signed with the New York Rangers, joining fellow free agent and 2006 Cup-winning teammate Matt Cullen in New York. Ward's tenure as a Ranger, however, was short-lived, as during the 2006–07 season, among rumours of tension between him and then-Rangers captain Jaromír Jágr, Ward found himself traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for defenceman Paul Mara. With Boston, Ward added solid defence and much-needed veteran leadership to the team, and was often paired with Zdeno Chára on Boston's top defensive line.
Prior to the 2009–10 season, on July 24, 2009, Ward was re-acquired by Carolina in exchange for forward Patrick Eaves and a fourth-round draft pick in 2010. Ward struggled in his return with the Hurricanes, however, and on March 3, 2010, he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goaltender Justin Pogge and a fourth-round draft pick. During the subsequent off-season, on August 24, Ward announced his retirement from professional hockey after 13 NHL seasons.
In the spring of 2010, Ward was the NHL on Versus analyst for the Stanley Cup playoffs and since then joined the Big Ten Network as the hockey analyst. Ward previously worked as a hockey analyst on TSN Hockey until 2015. In April 2019, he was hired by a local ABC affiliate station as an analyst to cover the Hurricanes' playoff run.
In March 2008, Ward, in conjunction with the Toucher and Rich radio program (WBCN 104.1) created a head-shaving charity event called 'Cuts for a Cause'. Seven players from the Boston Bruins shaved their heads to raise money to benefit the MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Patrice Bergeron, Phil Kessel, Andrew Alberts, Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman joined Ward in helping raise $25,000. A second 'Cuts for a Cause' event took place in April 2009 with the group raising $32,000 for the Boston Bruins Foundation and MassGeneral Hospital for Children's Pediatric Oncology Unit.
On October 9, 2015, Ward was arrested and charged with assault on a female and interfering with emergency communication. According to the warrant, he and his wife had an argument during which he took away his wife's phone. This incident led to his indefinite suspension from his job as an analyst on TSN Hockey. The charges were dropped by the Wake County District Attorney's Office in February 2016, stating that “After review of this case and discussions with the victim, it appears that further prosecution is not warranted.”
The couple divorced following the 2015 incident.
|1990–91||University of Michigan||CCHA||46||8||11||19||126||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||University of Michigan||CCHA||42||7||12||19||64||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||University of Michigan||CCHA||30||5||8||13||73||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||58||4||12||16||87||9||2||6||8||6|
|1993–94||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||5||1||0||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||76||11||24||35||87||4||0||1||1||0|
|1994–95||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||1||0||1||1||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||74||5||10||15||133||3||0||0||0||6|
|1996–97||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||49||2||5||7||52||19||0||0||0||17|
|1997–98||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||52||5||5||10||47||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||60||3||8||11||52||8||0||1||1||8|
|1999–2000||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||36||1||3||4||24||3||0||0||0||0|
|2000–01||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||73||4||5||9||57||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||New York Rangers||NHL||60||3||10||13||57||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|All-CCHA Rookie Team||1990-91|
|CCHA All-Tournament Team||1991|||
|Stanley Cup (Detroit Red Wings)||1997 , 1998|
|Stanley Cup (Carolina Hurricanes)||2006|
Trades and transactions
- June 9, 1991, Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st round (5th overall) in 1991.
- June 11, 1993, Traded by the Winnipeg Jets along with a 4th round selection to the Detroit Red Wings for Paul Ysebaert.
- July 9, 2001, Traded by the Detroit Red Wings to the Carolina Hurricanes for a future second round selection.
- July 3, 2006, Signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent.
- February 27, 2007, Traded by the New York Rangers to the Boston Bruins for Paul Mara.
- May 22, 2008, Signed a 2-year contract with the Boston Bruins.
- July 24, 2009, Traded by the Boston Bruins to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Patrick Eaves and a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft.
- December 14, 2009, waived by the Carolina Hurricanes.
- March 3, 2010, traded by the Carolina Hurricanes to the Anaheim Ducks in a trade for Justin Pogge and a 2010 4th round pick.
- "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
- Shinzawa, Fluto (2009-07-24). "Bruins trade Ward to Carolina". Boston.com. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- "Hurricanes gets goalie help". ESPN. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- "Veteran defenceman Ward retires after 13 NHL seasons". The Sports Network. 2010-08-24. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "ABC11 NHL playoff analyst Aaron Ward breaks down Hurricanes vs Capitals". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
- WRAL (2015-10-09). "Alleged assault earns former Canes player a weekend in jail". WRAL.com. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- WRAL (2016-02-23). "Former Canes player Ward has domestic assault charge dropped". WRAL.com. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Alleged assault earns former Canes player a weekend in jail". WRAL. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
- "2012-13 CCHA Media Guide". ISSUU.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23.