Hurricanes play tribute video for Ward in emotional return
Now with Blackhawks, emotions run high for veteran goalieby Daniel O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer
The Carolina Hurricanes welcomed Cam Ward back to Raleigh with a touching tribute video.
The veteran goalie, who spent 13 seasons with the Hurricanes and won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006, returned as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
Ward was visibly emotional while the video played before the game.
"It means a lot to me. I've got a lot to be thankful for, for what I went through for 13 years here. A lot of that is the support from the fans," Ward said. "It's hard not to get too emotional when a game is being played but I sincerely thank them for the warm ovation and the Hurricanes organization for putting that tribute together. It means a lot to me to feel welcomed back."
Video: CHI@CAR: Ward dives across crease for astounding save
Ward admitted to some nerves coming out of the PNC Arena visitor's locker room for the first time.
"It took me a little bit to calm down. Obviously there was a little bit of nerves coming back and playing your former team. You so badly want to play well," Ward said.
And while it was his first game back in Raleigh in a different sweater, Ward wasn't just ready to say it would be his last.
"I'm taking it one year at a time and not take things for granted. You never know how much time you have left in your career," Ward said. "Who knows if I will be playing another game here down the road? That's in the future. All you can do is take care of the present and I'm trying to do that."
- NHL.com Correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report.