This afternoon the Carolina Hurricanes announced that veteran netminder Cam Ward has been activated from injured reserve and will join AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers for a conditioning assignment.
Ward is returning from his second injury suffered during the 2013-14 season. He missed games between October 25 and November 16 with a groin injury, and returned for eleven appearances in net before returning to injured reserve on January 5th with an undisclosed lower body injury. He had been traveling with the team and skating outside of formal practice, but completed his first full team practice since his injury earlier today.
Ward will become the ninth goaltender to play on the Checkers roster this season, extending a franchise record that previously stood at five. Per the terms of the conditioning assignment, he is eligible to play for Charlotte for up to fourteen days. It's expected that Ward will join the Checkers in Cleveland, where they face back-to-back games against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday and Saturday, and he will likely play in both if he is able.
Per the team's Press Release:
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has removed goaltender Cam Ward from injured reserve and assigned him to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL) for a conditioning stint. Ward will join the Checkers in Cleveland as they face the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ward, 29, has missed the Hurricanes last 13 games with a lower-body injury. The Saskatoon, Sask., native has posted a 6-7-5 record, a 3.15 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage in 19 games with Carolina this season. Ward (6’1”, 185 lbs.) is the Hurricanes franchise’s all-time leader in games played by a goaltender (450), wins (220) and shutouts (21). His last AHL stint was in December 2005, when he played two games with the Lowell Lock Monsters during a conditioning stint. The Hurricanes drafted Ward in the first round, 25th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.