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Ward close to signing with Hurricanes: report

Carolina goalie won Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe as rookie in 2006 @NHL

Goalie Cam Ward is close to signing a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, TSN reported Thursday.

Ward, 32, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He went 23-17-10 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 52 appearances this season, the last of a six-year, $37.8 million contract he signed Sept. 30, 2009.

"Cam takes a lot of criticism, but from December to the end of the year, he was one of the top five goaltenders in the League in goals-against [average] and save percentage," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said on June 9. "I think there is some merit to revisiting that and we will make a decision very soon."

Ward won the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2006 and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is 269-208-68 with a 2.70 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and 23 shutouts in 564 regular-season appearances.

Ward, was selected in the first round (No. 25) of the 2002 NHL Draft by Carolina and has spent his 11-season NHL career with the Hurricanes.

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