Cam Ward’s lower body, Team Canada chances in peril

Matt Larkin

The hockey gods smiled on Cam Ward when he was a rookie. Called into action in the first round of the 2006 playoffs when Martin Gerber had lost his way, Ward took the Carolina Hurricanes on his back and backstopped them to the Stanley Cup, capturing the Conn Smythe trophy.

But ever since that magical campaign, the gods stopped smiling and started smiting.

A litany of injuries has piled up over the years for the 29-year-old goaltender, including a knee injury that cost him the majority of last season.

The subsequent surgery also cost Ward an invite to Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation camp and Ward came into 2013-14 as a man on a mission, determined to play his way onto the team.

Then, tonight, this happened. Sigh:

Early reports have him missing 3-4 weeks, but lower-body injuries are always tricky for goalies, especially if it’s the dreaded groin. It’s a shame for Ward, a talented, athletic goaltender who has never matched the heights of Year 1 and has never had an elite defense corps in front of him. It also puts the Carolina Hurricanes in a bind, as backup Anton Khudobin was already out with a lower-body injury.