Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cam Ward Swatch Card

Cam Ward was the Carolina Hurricanes' best goalie last year, which put them in a corner when he turned free agent but no other team offered him a contract: they brought him back for two years at half price, even though he never lived up to his previous contract.

Heck, he never lived up to his rookie season, where he overachieved by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy (over the more-deserving members of the losing Edmonton Oilers Dwayne Roloson and Chris Pronger), let alone a deal that paid him $6.3M a year, putting him in the league's top-five well-paid goalies for most its duration.

And so he will be making an average of $3.3M for the next couple of years, the Canes hoping that's how long it takes Eddie Lack to grow into the #1 goalie slot.

Except that some of the best goalies in the league - Ben Bishop and Marc-André Fleury, for starters - are rumoured to be available, and after the Montréal Canadiens traded P.K. Subban, every other GM in the league should be inquiring with GM Marc Bergevin about Carey Price's availability; though price is overrated by a lot, he's still a much better option in goal than Ward.

I mean, look at these statistics from the last few seasons:
2012-13: 17 games, 2.84 GAA, .908 save percentage
2013-14: 30 games, 3.06 GAA, .898 save percentage
2014-15: 51 games, 2.40 GAA, .910 save percentage
2015-16: 52 games, 2.41 GAA, .909 save percentage
So, in the past four seasons, he has posted unspectacular backup numbers while playing a starter's amount of games for the last two, getting paid as an elite player at his position.

The Hurricanes have failed to make the playoffs for as far as I can remember, and with good reason: their starting goalie, by failing to stop over 91% of shots against him, has been worse than a plywood dummy in over 100 games in the past two years, and 150 in the past four.

He makes for a good alternate jersey model, however, as can be attested by the game-worn jersey swatch insert version of card #14 from Panini's 2010-11 Luxury Suite set:
It contains a white jersey swatch that's as plain as the Canes have been since the card was issued.

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