Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is going about his business as usual.
“There was a lot of chatter about it last year and I learned a lot from that too,” Ward told PHT this week. “This summer I was really able to take a break mentally and realize that I can only control what I can control – that’s just having fun and enjoying the game of hockey.
“I’ve been able to do that a lot more this year.”
Ward says he turned to his family to help him get through a tough summer.
“I just look to my family and my supporting crew,” he said. “Just block (rumors) out and try to focus on the game. Whatever happens, happens.”
His wins-loss record (11-17-3) may not look impressive as the league pauses for the NHL All-Star Game, but his save percentage (.911) is as good as its’ been since the 2011-12 season.
“We’ve done a much better job helping him know where shots are going to come from,” Canes’ GM Ron Francis recently told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The highlight of the season for Ward came in November when he won five straight starts and the team went 5-0-1.
“I feel good,” says Ward of his game. “I mean obviously October we got off to a slow start as a team, but come November, the beginning of November, up until now I feel very strong in my game. Been able to work on a lot of things with (Hurricanes goaltending coach) David Marcoux, who has been a great help for me.”
With the March 2nd trade deadline fast approaching, Ward’s name is sure to come up again; however, even with all the chatter, Ward says he doesn’t believe he’ll be traded now.
“To be honest… I’m just going about my business and trying to win hockey games for the Hurricanes,” said Ward. “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of this organization for a long time and I want to keep it going.”
In order for Francis to deal Ward, the 30-year-old would have to waive his no-trade clause.
“I’m not even going to think about that,” said Ward.
With the Canes’ in the middle of a 6-2-1 stretch since Jan. 1, and the team getting healthy, Francis certainly has a lot to think about in the next five weeks.