Aaron Ward is heading back to the team that he spent 4 seasons with and the state he now calls home. In a move to dump salary, the Bruins traded the the veteran blueliner to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Patrick Eaves (who was later placed on waivers by the Bruins) and 4th round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. If Eaves doesn't clear waivers, the Bruins will take on a $258,333 cap hit. Ward was on the books for $2.5 million next season.The Bruins will free up either $2,241,667 or $2.5 million depending on whether or not anyone signs Patrick Eaves.
I knew that the Bruins would make somesort of move to clear up cap space, but I am surprised that they chose to move a defenseman. This leaves the Bruins with only 5 defenseman with real NHL experience. They are either banking on Johnny Boychuk or another prospect making the jump to the big club or they are thinking about shopping Phil Kessel for a premier defenseman.
I will hold off judgement on this deal until I see what Peter Chiarelli does with the cap space this creates.
I will miss Aaron Ward being a member of the Bruins. Besides bringing some toughness to the blueline, Ward seemed to be a great teammate and someone who meant a lot to the Bruins' room. I have to admit I am going to miss Ward Wednesdays on Toucher & Rich. No athlete gives a better radio interview than Aaron Ward.
It will interesting to see the "Caniacs" and clueless North Carolina media who bashed him after the Scott Walker sucker punch incident back pedal from their comments and embrace Ward like nothing happened. When asked about being teammates with Scott Walker, Ward said:
"I'll get him back in practice," Ward joked. "Those are things that happen during the game. It's water under the bridge. I'm on his team now."
- Aaron Ward about being teammates with Scott Walker via Boston.com
...Even still, it might not be a good idea for the Carolina Hurricanes to assign lockers by alphabetical order this year.