UFA of the Day: Joel Ward


Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Joel Ward

When Ward was testing the free agent waters in 2011, he was a 30-year-old late bloomer that had never recorded more than 35 points in a single season. However, after stepping up in the 2011 playoffs with 13 points in 12 contests, Washington decided to take a chance on him by agreeing to a four-year, $12 million deal.

There’s some clear parallels going into the 2015 UFA market as Ward had a modest 34 points in 82 regular season games, but he was also tied for the team-lead with nine playoff points in 14 contests. The big difference now is that he’s 34 (35 in December), so there’s a real possibility that this is his last chance to secure a contract of a significant length.

Ward’s agent, Peter Cooney, has clearly stated that his client’s first choice would be to re-sign with Washington. At the end of the day though, term might be a sticking point as Ward is believed to be seeking at least three years while Washington might prefer two, per CSN Washington.

If he does end up on the open market, his work ethic and ability to chip in as a secondary scorer will draw suitors to him. He will probably be of particular interest to squads looking to contend now given his age and reputation for stepping up in the postseason. Teams like the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, and Dallas Stars might be among those that express interest in him.

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