Aaron Ward certainly would love another chance at a Stanley Cup ring, and he understands it's more likely to happen for him with the Anaheim Ducks than the Carolina Hurricanes.
That doesn't make leaving the 'Canes on Wednesday any easier for Ward.
The 37-year-old three-time Cup-winning defenseman was traded to the Ducks, in exchange for minor-league goalie Justin Pogge and a conditional fourth-round pick.
It's not the first time Ward has been traded, but it gets a bit harder every time. A married father of three, Ward said he and his family intend on staying in the Raleigh area whenever Aaron is done playing.
"I'm a father of three and the anxiety goes with thinking about what your kids are thinking, knowing you're not going to see them for a while," said Ward. "I've got an 11-month-old, and this will be three out of three kids I'm going to miss them walking (for the first time). It's an unfortunate part of the game."
"I have three kids, one's in school right now," he added. "I have to consider whether I'm going to go grab him from school before someone tells him his dad's going cross-country."
Ward said the trade caught him a bit by surprise, as the Ducks are 11th in the Western Conference, three points out of a playoff spot, but he is going to do what he can to help Anaheim make up ground..
"Just watching them over the last two weeks before the Olympic break, I'd love to go into that situation," he said. "Just go in, be quiet, not rock the boat and be part of their success."
In 60 games this season, Ward has 138 hits, and he led the Hurricanes with 122 blocked shots. Those numbers would put him at the top of the list among Ducks defensemen. He also has 1 goal, 11 points and 54 penalty minutes.
In 822 NHL games over 15 seasons with the Red Wings, Hurricanes, Rangers and Bruins, he has 149 points and 728 penalty minutes.
"Aaron Ward brings valuable experience and is a proven winner with three Stanley Cup championships," said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. "We are pleased to bring him on board."
Pogge, 23, has split the season between the AHL San Antonio Rampage and ECHL Bakersfield Condors. In 23 AHL games, he's 12-7-3 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. He was a 2004 third-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and played seven games for them last season, going 1-4-1 with a 4.36 GAA. The Leafs traded him to the Ducks this past summer for a draft pick.
A highly decorated junior goaltender, Pogge was 2006 Canadian Hockey League goalie of the year, and allowed just six goals in six games -- with three shutouts -- to help Canada win the 2006 World Junior Championship.
The Hurricanes will have the option of using the draft pick -- which originally belonged to the Boston Bruins -- either this season or in 2011.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.