RALEIGH, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes announced Tuesday that defenseman Aaron Ward has been selected by his teammates as Carolina’s nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The annual award goes “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community.”
Ward, 33, has established career-highs in goals (6), assists (19) and points (25) in 67 games played this season. The Windsor, Ont., native is in his 11th NHL season and his fourth with the Hurricanes. Originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Ward has earned 99 points (31a, 68a) and 499 penalty minutes in 548 career NHL games.
Throughout his career, Ward has established himself as someone who is willing to go above and beyond to make an impact in his community. Since he arrived in North Carolina in 2001, he has been a major part of the Hurricanes’ charitable efforts, particularly those that involve supporting children’s charities. This season, he again served as the spokesperson for the RBC Center / Hurricanes Toys for Tots Drive, an program he has been active with throughout his career. Ward also served as spokesperson for the Literacy Council of Wake County and for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation’s Casino Night fundraiser. In March, Ward raised awareness for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation when he publicly shaved his head for the organization, which raises funds for the research of childhood cancer.
Last year, he organized an event to raise money for the CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Cary and served as a guest host for the WDFN Radiothon in Detroit, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Michigan. Ward also actively participates in several local charity golf tournaments, including the Jimmy V and Kids ‘N Community events, and is involved in donating hats thrown onto the ice after a hat trick to the Immigrant Worker’s Fund through his church, St. Michael’s in Cary.
In addition to his work with children’s charities, Ward is active with police organizations, including the Police Athletic Leagues in both Raleigh and Detroit, and has been an organizer for fundraising events for the families of fallen officers with the Raleigh Police Department and the United States Secret Service. In September, Ward helped to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina when he volunteered to sign autographs at a Raleigh Downtown Live event to benefit the American Red Cross. He is also an active supporter of the Smile Train and the Teammates for Kids Foundation. In addition to his hands-on work, Ward is a regular contributor to the Durham Rescue Mission, the Haiti Project, the Red Cross, Catholic Central High School in Michigan and University of Michigan athletics.
Past winners of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy include Ron Francis and Jarome Iginla.
The Carolina Hurricanes host the New Jersey Devils tonight at the RBC Center (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) in the first game of a two-game home stand which will conclude with Friday night’s Fan Appreciation Night showdown with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). Tickets for all Hurricanes games at the RBC Center can be purchased at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, by calling 919-834-4000 or via CarolinaHurricanes.com. Tickets to the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are on sale now to the general public, with limited seats still available. For information on Hurricanes season-ticket packages and mini-season ticket plans, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES.