Breaking: Veteran Joel Ward earns PTO contract

Think the 37 year old former 20+ goal scorer has anything left in the tank?

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The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they’ve signed veteran NHLer Joel Ward to a professional tryout (PTO) contract.

The Canadiens have invited forward Joel Ward to take part in their training camp on a professional tryout.

The 37 year old forward put up five goals and 12 points in 52 games with the San Jose Sharks last season. Previously, Ward has played for the Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild. Over the course of his 12 year NHL career, the big winger has a respectable 133 goals and 304 points in 726 career games.

Read below for the full media press release courtesy of the Habs’ official website:

BROSSARD - The Canadiens announced on Friday that they had invited forward Joel Ward to training camp on a professional tryout basis.
Ward played 52 games for the San Jose Sharks last season, recording five goals and seven assists.
The 37-year-old was undrafted, but has played 726 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, and Sharks, recording 304 points (133G, 171A) in 11 seasons.

The native of North York, Ontario may not put up points like he used to, but he’s still an extremely adept penalty killer and at 6 foot, 1 inch and 225 pounds, the big winger has no problem with the physical side of the game. If indeed he’s able to crack the Habs’ lineup out of training camp, it’s expected that he’ll add some 3rd or 4th line grit to the right side of the team’s lineup. 

Don’t expect Ward to be handed a spot by Habs general manager Marc Bergevin, though. Ward will be competing for a spot on the right wing with young players like Joel Armia, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak and Hunter Shinkaruk. Whether or not Ward actually has a shot or if this is all a ploy by Bergervin to light a fire underneath some of his young players remains to be seen. For what it’s worth though, adding a player with Ward’s experience will surely make these young players stand up and take notice. Again, maybe that’s all part of Bergevin’s plan?