Cam Ward has played just 47 games in the last two seasons for the Carolina Hurricanes due to injuries. This season, he was 10-12-6 with a save percentage of .898. He’ll earn $6.7 million next season and then $6.8 million in 2015-16, after which he’ll become a free agent.
Anton Khudobin was Carolina’s best goalie this season, is three years younger and costs over $4 million against the cap cheaper than Ward.
Khudobin respects Ward. But he also feels like, perhaps, his time is over in Carolina.
“Of course he is a strong goaltender. He is a good goaltender. No one is counting him out. They [Carolina] will decide what to do with him this year, this summer. Maybe he, how can I say, has presented everything he could have,” said Khudobin at a Russian National Team press conference on Monday.
Presented everything he has with Carolina or in the NHL?
“Maybe at this club. Maybe in his career. He has been playing in the NHL since he was 19,” said Khudobin.
This should make for an interesting training camp. Provided Ward is still a Hurricane.
Some additional words from Khudobin:
How do you rate this season?
“It was a rough season, because I started playing at first, and then I got injured. I missed three months, and then everything started going the way it was supposed to. The coach trusted me, first of all. Second of all I played the way I wanted to play this season. The coach told me right away before the season started ‘You’re going to be winning games, then you will be playing. And if you don’t win, someone else will play.’ And then January was good for me, that even when I was losing it was with a score of 1-0 or 2-1. That’s why he kept playing me.”
What kept you in the NHL even when you were a backup in Boston?
“A dream. Just like everyone, I wanted to play there. I knew I would be playing at that level. I can play at that level. And I was given that chance in Carolina. And thank God that it turned out the way it did.”