Yesterday afternoon, former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward announced his retirement. Ward played 15 seasons and won three Stanley Cups in the process, including one in Carolina. Adam Gold and Joe Ovies caught up with him on 99.9 The Fan and the defenseman revealed that he started last season with a knee injury and should have had surgery. Instead, he played on a gimpy knee and it not only cost him a bad year, it probably cut his career short as well.
He also said that he hates to go out after having a bad season but he's looking forward to spending more time with his family. Most fans will probably be looking forward to what's next for the well-spoken player. Ward worked as an analyst for Versus during the playoffs last season and certainly has a future career somewhere behind a microphone.
The blueliner did a lot for the community including sponsoring Ward's Warriors, a project which helped out vets and active duty military in the area. He was a good guy in the locker room and was never at a loss for words. Best of luck to "Ward-o", he'll be missed.
Rod Brind`Amour seems to have adjusted well to retirement so far. The News and Observer published a story about him here, Brind`Amour is Ready to Move On, and WRAL interviewed him at the Jimmy V at this link. David Glenn also interviewed him and you can listen to that here. (Click on "hour 3" for Brindy).
The Hurricanes keep getting unexpected respect around the media world. We spoke earlier how Rory Boylen of The Hockey News predicted that the team would make the playoffs, (even though the publication picks them to finish 9th in the East.) Apparently, Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated agrees with Boylen.
In this article, he picks the Canes to finish 15th in the league and 7th in the East.
Look for a plethora of season previews to be published in the near future. NESN has theirs for the Hurricanes here. We will be watching for more and will post links to them as they come up.
I have received a couple of emails asking about Troy Passingham, the new goalie who will be joining Mike Murphy in the nets in Traverse City. The 6'5 goaltender takes up a lot of a space and won the Memorial Trophy with Windsor. The Hurricanes gave him a try-out contract and according to this write up, he does not have many other options on the table right now. We will see how he does.
We'll close out with a You Tube video of Hurricanes 7th round draft pick Frederik Andersen. Andersen is another 6'5 goalie and he pots one here from behind his net. Sweet!