Landing the depth defenseman they wanted, the Ducks have traded goaltender Justin Pogge and a future fourth-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Aaron Ward.
Ward told reporters in Raleigh this morning that he will not be in Anaheim for tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, but told Randy Carlyle he will practice with his new team Thursday.
In an interview with TSN this morning, Ward, who has been anxiously awaiting a trade, said he “was surprsied it’s Anaheim.”
“I’m happy from the fact I feel it’s a new lease on life,” he said. “October, November, I thought I had the poorest runs of hockey in my career and wasn’t very happy with it. I think I’ve played well the last few months.”
Ward, who turned 37 in January, has a goal and 11 points in 60 games this season for the Hurricanes. His minus-17 rating was second-lowest on the team.
In 822 career NHL games, Ward has recorded 44 goals and 149 points with 728 penalty minutes. A three-time Stanley Cup champion with Detroit (1997, 98) and Carolina (2006), the 6-2, 209-pound defenseman has added four goals and 10 points in 95 career playoff games.
“Aaron Ward brings valuable experience and is a proven winner with
three Stanley Cup championships,” Ducks GM Bob Murray said in a
statement. “We are pleased to bring him on board.”
Pogge was acquired in the off-season from the Toronto Maple Leafs to serve as the team’s third goaltender. The 23-year-old split the season between ECHL Bakersfield and AHL San Antonio, where he carried a 2.57 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 23 games.
The Ducks have three young goalies already under contract. Timo Pielmeier and Jean-Phillippe Levasseur are currently in Bakersfield, and Marco Cousineau is finishing up his final season in the QMJHL.
Ward gives the Ducks seven NHL defensemen under contract. They have been playing with six since Nick Boynton was assigned to the AHL on Feb. 2.