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Stanley Cup Final

Ward, Hamrlik get multi-year deals from Caps

Friday, 07.01.2011 / 3:43 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

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Ward, Hamrlik get multi-year deals from Caps
After dealing away one of their prized young goaltenders, the Washington Capitals added more experience at forward and on defense Friday.

The Capitals have added forward Joel Ward on a four-year contract worth $12 million and defenseman Roman Hamrlik to a two-year, $7 million pact. Washington had previously traded 23-year-old goaltender Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-round choice in 2012 or 2013.

Ward was a postseason hero for the Nashville Predators last season. He had 10 goals and 29 points during the regular season, but gained plenty of recognition for his 7 goals and 13 points in 12 playoff contests.

He had 40 goals in three seasons with the Predators. Ward is likely to play right wing on one of Washington's bottom two lines. The Capitals also have Eric Fehr to fit into one of those spots.

Hamrlik, the No. 1 pick in the 1992 Entry Draft, had spent the past four seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. He had 5 goals and 34 points last season, and has 153 goals and 624 points in more than 1,300 career games.

The Capitals are unsure if veteran Tom Poti will be able to play next season because of a lingering groin injury, so Hamrlik could be a replacement for him. He's been durable, playing at least 70 games in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

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That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4