The San Jose Sharks signed unrestricted free agent winger Joel Ward to a three-year contract worth almost $10 million, capping a week where general manager Doug Wilson made several significant moves – and wrote several big checks – to address holes in the roster.
Ward is a veteran player with a rugged and high-energy game at both ends of the ice. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, he will bring a physical edge to the Sharks, along with supplemental scoring. Last season, Ward tallied 19 goals and 15 assists in 82 regular season games with the Washington Capitals. Over the course of his 8 years in the NHL, Ward has scored 97 goals and dished 123 assists in 517 games, pulling down an average of over 16 minutes of ice time a game in five of those seasons.
— Comcast SportsNet (@CSNAuthentic) July 4, 2015
The signing of Ward concluded a busy week for Wilson and the Sharks. On Monday, the club re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Brenden Dillon to a five-year deal. Tuesday, the club acquired goaltender Martin Jones from the Boston Bruins and quickly signed him to a three-year deal. Wednesday, the club signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Paul Martin to a four-year deal.
And, just like that, Wilson and the Sharks committed a combined $54 million to get the Sharks back into the Stanley Cup conversation. “We had a specific order,” Wilson said, as quoted by Curtis Pashelka in the San Jose Mercury News. “We wanted to get the top-end goalie, we wanted to get a top-four D-man that would complement Brent Burns and find a forward like this (Ward).”
New coach Peter DeBoer now has the needed players to complement a roster already heavy with proven NHL performers. With the new additions of the last week and the hopeful return of catalyst Raffi Torres from a knee, the new-look Sharks will head into training camp in September looking to put last season’s disappointment squarely behind them.
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
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