Some sad if not surprising news from the NHLPA today: defenseman Aaron Ward decided to retire from the NHL. Here is more from the players association’s press release.
Aaron Ward, a veteran of more than 13 NHL seasons, 17 seasons in professional hockey, and a three-time Stanley Cup winner, announced his retirement from the National Hockey League today.
Ward underwent a third surgery on his knee after last season, and it was recently determined that he would not be ready for the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
“I’m very proud to have played for as long as I did in the NHL, with and against the best players in the game,” said Ward. “This game has left me with countless memories and relationships, especially from those Stanley Cup winning teams in Carolina and Detroit. Thank you to my family, fans, friends and teammates for all of the great years.”
It’s probably reasonable to say that he never quite lived up to being the fifth overall pick of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, but it’s equally reasonable to point out that he had a productive career.
Ward played in 15 seasons in the NHL, spending time with the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. He appeared in 839 total regular season games and 95 playoff contests.
So you cannot say that Ward left much on the table. Congrats to him on a great career and good luck as he enters the horrifying abyss that is normal life.